Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. help out

www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

Allred Unit (Iowa Park)

Beto I Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Bexar County Jail (San Antonio)

Bill Clements Unit (Amarillo)

Billy Moore Correctional Center (Overton)

Bowie County Correctional Center (Texarkana)

Boyd Unit (Teague)

Cameron County Detention Center (Olmito)

Choice Moore Unit (Bonham)

Clemens Unit (Brazoria)

Coffield Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Connally Unit (Kenedy)

Cotulla Unit (Cotulla)

Dalhart Unit (Dalhart)

Daniel Unit (Snyder)

Darrington Unit (Rosharon)

Dominguez State Jail (San Antonio)

Eastham Unit (Lovelady)

Ellis Unit (Huntsville)

Estelle 2 (Huntsville)

Estelle High Security Unit (Huntsville)

Ferguson Unit (Midway)

Formby Unit (Plainview)

Garza East Unit (Beeville)

Gib Lewis Unit (Woodville)

Hamilton Unit (Bryan)

Harris County Jail Facility (Houston)

Hightower Unit (Dayton)

Hobby Unit (Marlin)

Hughes Unit (Gatesville)

Huntsville (Huntsville)

Jester III Unit (Richmond)

John R Lindsey State Jail (Jacksboro)

Jordan Unit (Pampa)

Lane Murray Unit (Gatesville)

Larry Gist State Jail (Beaumont)

LeBlanc Unit (Beaumont)

Lopez State Jail (Edinburg)

Luther Unit (Navasota)

Lychner Unit (Humble)

Lynaugh Unit (Ft Stockton)

McConnell Unit (Beeville)

Michael Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Middleton Unit (Abilene)

Montford Unit (Lubbock)

Mountain View Unit (Gatesville)

Neal Unit (Amarillo)

Pack Unit (Novasota)

Polunsky Unit (Livingston)

Powledge Unit (Palestine)

Ramsey I Unit (Rosharon)

Ramsey III Unit (Rosharon)

Robertson Unit (Abilene)

Rufus Duncan TF (Diboll)

Sanders Estes CCA (Venus)

Smith County Jail (Tyler)

Smith Unit (Lamesa)

Stevenson Unit (Cuero)

Stiles Unit (Beaumont)

Stringfellow Unit (Rosharon)

Telford Unit (New Boston)

Terrell Unit (Rosharon)

Torres Unit (Hondo)

Travis State Jail (Austin)

Vance Unit (Richmond)

Victoria County Jail (Victoria)

Wallace Unit (Colorado City)

Wayne Scott Unit (Angleton)

Wynne Unit (Huntsville)

Young Medical Facility Complex (Dickinson)

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
expand

Demanding legal rights, fighting abuse in Texas

I am an inmate in the Texas department of criminal justice prison system. Have been locked up for going on years and have been on three other units. Why it has taken me so long to write the MIM Under Lock and Key publicaiton to expose some of the fowl stuff that is going on behind these walls is beyond me. My bad please forgive me brothers in white!

I started my time at the Smith Unit in Lamesa TX and did 5.5 years before I got my first case and that got me put in close custody for six months and to top it off it was for a fight that never happened. An inmate got to the unit and didn't want to be on the unit and being that I was the only one he knows by name he said that I assaulted him and the rank on that unit is so corrupt that they accepted the story. And well I ain't been able to bounce back yet and this happened in 2014. Six months later the same captain that ran the case on me got walked off the unit because he was caught with meth in his office and a few cell phones that he was selling to prisoners.

After I got sent to close custody I started my grievances to try to get my case over turned and nothing would come my way that would open any doors. I did my time and got sent to Lynaugh Unit in Fort Stockton, Texas and that unit is no better. I stayed there less than a year and was given 8 or 9 cases by the STG officer over the eyar. And all I could do was put in my grievances and let them work for me but I was still doing something wrong that wasn't getting no kind of justice.

I got into a riot there and not only did I get put back on gang file but I got G5ed again and got shipped to this unit which is the Michal Unit.

I'm having a hard time dealing with all the bullshit they got going here. I got your Texas pack of legal rights that us inmates have and often overlook and get screwed because of it. I sat down and read it from cover to cover and well I want to let you know that even though I can't win them all I have started getting some wins under my belt for a few of my fellow brohers in white because of the Texas pack.

Here on the Michael unit they feed us Johnny Sack meals every chance they get and thse sack lunches have nothing but one peanut butter sandwich and a meal sandwich of some kind. The breakfast Johnny is the one that is the real joke, 2 pancakes that is way below the calorie diet for any human being. When I got here I was weighing about 275. I am 6 feet carry my weight well but have been here about 7 months and well I am down to 220. Yeah for me that is my ideal weight but losing the weight too fast is not good and then they don't give us recreation but maybe once a week if we are lucky.

This unit is way out of line and well I am trying to get some other brothers in white to start pushing the pin with me but a lot of these inmates have it in their head that writing a grievance is snitching. So what can I do for myself? They charged me the $100 fee for medical when they had no reason to and well because of the Texas pack and a little bit of patience I got my money back and now they are retaliating by not answering my sick calls for renewals so I am thinking more of the lines of a 1983 being filed so they can get their hearts right.

chain
[Abuse] [Powledge Unit] [Texas]
expand

Powledge prisoners dying from K-2

I am writing to you in regards to the hunger strikes occurring as this is being typed by my good friends on the Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas.

I have heard on the local radio station that a hunger strike is happening on the Allred Unit. The count is at 45 inmates concerning the conditions of confinement, this has been ongoing in Texas because I have personally litigated many claims about unsanitary conditions of confinement.

On another note, the K-2 epidemic is still mounting here on Powledge, but administration refuses to address the problem. The K-2 is coming in thru the industry here, by employees and controlled by the gang members here. This is supposed to be a G.R.A.D. unit. Gang renunciation unit.

But it appears that it is a gang re-organizing unit. They reorganize once they get free of smart gang intelligence officer and get this dumb one here.

This unit is a geriatric unit for old men and infirmed men, but they continue to fill it with young gang members that want to get high or drunk off hooch made with hand sanitizer. A deadly combination that has claimed four inmates. Our society has no more dumb people than we do.

Offenders are forced to endure the smoke despite their breathing problems and sends the offender to the medical with severe problems, in which medical blames it on some other activiating mechanism like the dust or debris.

One inmate died while smoking K-2 and the inmates brought him back to life before the guards could be alerted. He made parole and has not been seen since.

Your analysis has been enlightening and brought us up to date on the epidemic of K-2. Thank you for your service to this major problem in prison and outside. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

chain
[Abuse] [Texas]
expand

Legal battles support needed in Texas

I'm writing to you from a prison cell deep in the bowels of a Texas prison. Recently I reread your article "Texas Comrades Need to Step up" in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Under Lock & Key. It was well written and a much needed call to arms! One question I have for you though is "Have you ever been to Texas, and if so, have you been incarcerated here?" I ask this because I've traveled a lot and have found that most people who've never been here have a hard time understanding the typical Texan, much less the uneducated incarcerated Texan.

To understand Texas you first have to accept that we are programmed from birth to believe that communism is not only a bad thing, but one of the very worst. Communists aren't just the enemy, they are the boogeyman sent forth from the deepest, darkest depths of hell, by satan himself, to steal babies and rape our cows! There is no place on earth where the capitalists have been more successful at spreading their agenda than in Texas. The reason that most inmates in Texas are not doing those things you address in your article is because they do not believe in our cause. At heart they, most of them, are capitalists who only believe in "me", not "we". This, comrade, is the gist of all our problems.

Most of the people who receive Under Lock & Key only support your mission because it furthers their own self-interest of getting out of prison, or making their time easier. When someone has been taught to "not understand" their own best interests, how can one be expected to grasp what's right for the whole, much less fight for it? What to do about it? I'm still working on that one and will get back to you on it!

The main reason for this letter is to find out whether or not you have any specific caselaw that would help me with my 1983 that I'm in the process of drafting. First, I'd like to say that I completely understand that you must receive hundreds of letters each month from POWs requesting help. While I do not claim to be any more important than any of those individuals, I do believe that my situation is unique in its scope. I say this because I currently have the "standing" to challenge all of the criminal justice issues that your org. has taken a stand against, as well as quite a few other issues. But most importantly, is the vast amounts of evidence that I have compiled to support my claims.

A couple areas in which I'm seeking caselaw for are:
1. The grievance system and denial of due process
2. The $100 medical copay. TDCJ charged me for a medical visit that clearly should have been exempt and has never given me the money back.
3. Good Time. Feds ruled that a state can't arbitrarily take good time so Texas created legislation that negates the good times worth.
4. Price gouging and profiteering. Texas uses free labor to manufacture products that it in turn sells on commissary for inflated prices that fare exceed the prices of similar products sold at freeworld retail stores.

There are a few more issues that I plan to file on but I'm sure you get the point. The help I seek is minor in comparison to the amount of good that my suit will generate for all those incarcerated in this country. Mostly I need help finding case law. Because they striped our law libraries of the Supreme Court Digest and I'm having a hard time finding what I need. Can you help with this? The topics listed above are my main concern. I would be grateful for any info or ideas you can provide. With that, I will end this here by saying "thank you!" for your time, consideration and the call to arms for Teas inmates. Some of us do truly think correctly. But only after having re-programed our own brains!

chain
[Abuse] [Rufus Duncan TF] [Texas]
expand

Texas denies good time, takes away family

Presently I'm working on two legal issues. One concerns the fact that Texas yards good time for work and good behavior which is as useful as monopoly money. It plays no role in one's release. My second concern is once a prisoner is released from prison he is never viewed as someone who has payed the price for his conviction. In Texas no one is willing to give one with an X on their back a job or housing that will pass inspection. Should his family be receiving any government housing he is not allowed to spend even one night there. He is also expected to repay the state for all of the food stamps that they received while he was in prison. Bottom line the state is taking the man's family away from him. Here on this unit we are only given ten hours a week in a room with outdated legal books. We are not given the use of a coping machine.

chain
[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
expand

Texas prisoners blinded by drugs

I was talking to a guy who I have been incarcerated with for about 88 months in regards to the ULK issue #59. He seems to agree with some of the articles. The Texas epidemic of K2 overdoses seem to have hit him the hardest. In his experience he claims to have seen at a time or another about 10 men being taken off of his unit in an ambulance because of K2 use. It definitely is a large issue in the hate of Texas, both in and out of prison. The guys who smoke it instantly lose most senses within seconds of inhaling a few hits of the drug. They are unable to add, subtract (accurately), and/or function as if they are transformed into the walking dead.

As long as individuals stay in this mental state of "nothingness" or "no mans land" they will stay trapped and blinded to the truths that will help set themselves and others free from oppression and foolishness. I speak from experience because I was once in "no mans land" as mentioned above. Now that I can think and gather my sense I can gather my thoughts and push forward towards positive productions that will or can be absorbed by others around me.

All in all this guy that I have been speaking to will be writing to subscribe to ULK soon. I don't have the funds but want to work for Marc and Engels on Colonies which was mentioned in ULK59 so that I will be prepared for the future study group on the horizon. ULK59 is the only one I own so whatever relevant back issues you see as being beneficial are welcomed. I will keep the materials in circulation to try and help give men the ability to not only think, but to think outside of the "Amerikkkan box".

chain
[Abuse] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas]
expand

TDCJ preventing receipt of money for no reason

I been in 12 years and never really had an issue with my account, well, TDCJ put a "place hold" on my account which means they stop money from going in or coming out of your account which means no store. It's almost a year like this and I talk to the wardens at my last 3 units, file a grievance. There is no help in this system (TDCJ) for grievances. It was sent back the same day stating its not grievable, smh, and was told to write to the "inmate trust fund." I did and never heard from them either. See people live off the support the people in the world give, family, friends, etc. but TDCJ mis-use the policy to use it only in they power. I don't know what else to do and try not to worry my family for things I feel can be handled by me, but I have come to a dead end and am now seeking advice from your movement.

chain
[Censorship] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Bill Clements Unit] [Santa Rosa Correctional Institution] [Florida State Prison] [Jefferson Correctional Institution] [Coyote Ridge Corrections Center] [Richard A Handlon Correctional Facility] [Stateville Correctional Center] [Virginia] [Pennsylvania] [Texas] [Florida] [Washington] [Missouri] [Michigan] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 59]
expand

Censors in Their Own Words - November 2017

U.$. imperialist leaders and their labor aristocracy supporters like to criticize other countries for their tight control of the media and other avenues of speech. For instance, many have heard the myths about communist China forcing everyone to think and speak alike. In reality, these stories are a form of censorship of the truth in the United $tates. In China under Mao the government encouraged people to put up posters debating every aspect of political life, to criticize their leaders, and to engage in debate at work and at home. This was an important part of the Cultural Revolution in China. There are a number of books available in this country that give a truthful account, but far more money is put into anti-communist propaganda books. Here in the United $tates free speech is reserved for those with money and power.

In prisons in particular we see so much censorship, especially targeting those who are politically conscious and fighting for their rights. Fighting for our First Amendment right to free speech is a battle that MIM(Prisons) and many prisoners waste a lot of time and money on. For us this is perhaps the most fundamental of requirements for our organizing work. There are prisoners, and some entire prisons (and sometimes entire states) that are denied all mail from MIM(Prisons). This means we can't send in educational material, or study courses, or even supply a guide to fighting censorship. Many prisons regularly censor ULK claiming that the news and information printed within is a "threat to security." For them, printing the truth about what goes on behind bars is dangerous. But if we had the resources to take these cases to court we believe we could win in many cases.

Denying prisoners mail is condemning some people to no contact with the outside world. To highlight this, and the ridiculous and illegal reasons that prisons use to justify this censorship, we will periodically print a summary of some recent censorship incidents in ULK.

We hope that lawyers, paralegals, and those with some legal knowledge will be inspired to get involved and help us with these censorship battles, both behind bars and on the streets. For the full list of censorship incidents, along with copies of appeals and letters from the prison, check out our censorship reporting webpage.

Virginia DOC

The Chair of the publications review committee for the VA DOC, Melissa Welch, sent MIM(Prisons) a letter denying ULK 56, and then the next month the same letter denying ULK 57. Both letters cite the same reasons:

"D. Material, documents, or photographs that emphasize depictions or promotions of violence, disorder, insurrection, terrorist, or criminal activity in violation of state or federal laws or the violation of the Offender Disciplinary Procedure.

"F. Material that depicts, describes, or promotes gang bylaws, initiations, organizational structure, codes, or other gang-related activity or association."

Pennsylvania DOC

Last issue of ULK we reported on the censorship of ULK57 in Pennsylvania. After sending a protest letter to appeal the decision we had a rare victory! From the Policy Office, PA Department of Corrections:
"This is to notify you that the publication in issue does not violate Department Policy. As such, the decision of the correctional institution is reversed and the inmates in the PA Department of Corrections will be permitted to receive the publication. The correctional institutions will be notified by the Policy Office of the decision."

If anyone in PA hasn't received ULK 57 yet, let us know and we will send another copy to you.

Pennsylvania SCI-Camp Hill

From a prisoner we were forwarded a notice of incoming publication denial for ULK 57: "create a danger within the context of the correctional facility" p.21, 24

The description quotes sentences that can't be found within ULK including: "PREA system strip searches for harassment in PA", "Black prisoners deserve to retaliate against predominantly white ran system", and "This is a excellent reminder of PA importance of fighting." They are making up text as reasons for censorship in Pennsylvania.

Texas - Bill Clemens Unit

A prisoner forwarded us a denial for ULK 57 "Page 11 contains information that could cause a prison disruption."

In March 2017, our study pack Defend the Legacy of the Black Panther Party was censored for

"Reason C. Page 9 contains information that could cause a strike or prison disruption."
This adds to the growing list of our most important literature that is banned in the state forever, including Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat and [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlan. We need someone with legal expertise to challenge Texas's policies that allow for publications to be banned forever in the state.

Florida - Santa Rosa Correctional Institution

A prisoner forwarded us a notice of impoundment of ULK 57. The reason cited: "Pages 1, 11, 14, 15, & 17 advocates insurgency and disruption of institutional operations."

We appealed this denial and got a response from Dean Peterson, Library Services Administrator for the Florida DOC, reiterating the reasons for impoundment and upholding the denial: "In their regularly scheduled meeting of August 30, 2017 the Literature Review Committee of the Florida Department of Corrections upheld the institution's impoundment and rejected the publication for the grounds stated. This means that issue will not be allowed into our correctional institutions."

Florida DOC

Following up on a case printed in ULK 57 regarding Florida's denial of the MIM(Prisons) censorship pack, for no specific reasons. We received a response to our appeal of this case from the same Dean Peterson, Library Services Administrator, named above.

"From the number of the FDC form you reference and your description of what happened it is apparent the institutional mailroom did not handle the Censorship Guide as a publication, but instead handled it in accordance with the Florida Administrative Code rule for routine mail. As such, the item was not impounded, was not posted to the list of impounded publications for any other institution to see, was not referred to the Literature Review Committee for review, and thus does not appear on the list of rejected publications. That means that if the exact same Guide came to any other inmate mailroom staff would look at it afresh. In theory, it could even be allowed into the institution. ... "The Florida Administrative Code makes no provision for further review."

Florida - Florida State Prison

ULK 58 was rejected for what appears to just be a list of titles of articles, some not even complete:

PGS 6 Liberation schools to organize through the wall (talk about the hunger strikes)
PGS 8 DPRK; White Supremacy's Global Agenda
PGS 11 Case law to help those facing
PGS 19 White and gaining consciousness

Florida - Jefferson Correctional Institution

Meditations on Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings by James Yaki Sayles was denied to a prisoner at Jefferson Correctional Institution because "inmate has received a second copy of the same edition of this publication violating chapter 33-501.401 (16)(b) and procedure 501.401(7)(d)."

Washington state - Coyote Ridge CC

The invitation to and first assignment for our correspondence introductory study group was rejected by Mailroom Employee April Long for the following reasons:

"Advocates violence against others and/or the overthrow of authority.
Advocates that a protected class or group of individuals is inferior and/or makes such class/group the object of ridicule and/or scorn, and may reasonably be thought to precipitate a violent confrontation between the recipient and a member(s) of the target group. Rejected incoming mailing from MIM. Mailing contains working that appears to be referring to law enforcement as 'pigs' it appears to be ridiculing and scornful. There is also a section in mailing labeled solutions that calls prisoners to take actions against prison industries and gives specific ideas/suggestions. Nothing to forward onto offender."

A recent study assignment for the University of Maoist Thought was also censored at Coyote Ridge. MIM(Prisons) has not yet been informed of this censorship incident by the facility. The study group participant wrote and told us it was censored for being a "copy of copyrighted material." The material in question was published in 1972 in the People's Republic of China. Not only did that government actively work against capitalist concepts such as copyright, we believe that even by the United $tates' own standards this book should not be subject to censorship.

Washington state

Clallam Bay CF rejected ULK 58 because: "Newsletter is being rejected as it talks about September 9 events including offenders commencing a hunger strike until equal treatment, retaliation and legal rights issues are resolved."

Coyote Ridge CC rejected ULK 58 for a different set of reasons: "Contains plans for activity that violates state/federal law, the Washington Administrative Code, Department policy and/or local facet/rules. Contains correspondence, information, or other items relating to another offender(s) without prior approval from the Superintendent/designee: or attempts or conveys unauthorized offender to offender correspondence."

Canada

We received the following report from a Canadian prisoner who had sent us some stamps to pay for a few issues of ULK to be mailed to Canada.

"A few months ago, on July 18, I received notice from the V&C department informing that five issues of ULK had arrived here for me. The notice also explained that the issues had been seized because of a Commissioner's Directive (764.6) which states that '[t]he institutional head may prohibit entry into the institution of material that portrays excessive violence and aggression, or prison violence; or if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that the material would incite inmates to commit similar acts.' I grieved the seizure, among other things, citing the sections on page 2 of ULK, which 'explicitly discourage[s prisoners] from engaging in any violence or illegal acts,' and citing too the UFPP statement of peace on page 3, which speaks of the organizational aim to end needless conflicts and violence within prisons.

"Well, I can now report that my grievance was upheld and that all copies of ULK were released to me, but not without the censorship of drawings deemed to portray or promote the kind of violence described in the above-cited Commissioner's Directive. It's a decision I can live with for now."

Missouri

We got reports from two people that the blanket ban on ULK in Missouri was removed and ULK 58 was received. If you're in Missouri and still not getting your ULK, be sure to let us know.

Michigan - Richard A Handlon CF

ULK 58 was rejected because "Articles in Under Lock & Key contains information about criminal activity that might entice criminal activity within the prison facility - threat to security."

Illinois - Stateville CC

ULK 58 was rejected because: "The publication appears to: Advocate or encourage violence, hatred, or group disruption or it poses an intolerable risk of violence or disruption. Be otherwise detrimental to security, good order, rehabilitation, or discipline or it might facilitate criminal activity or be detrimental to mental health. Detrimental to safety and security of the facility. Disrupts order. Promotes organization and leadership."


Read More Censorship Reports
chain
[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
expand

You Can Break The Man But You Can't Break The Man's Spirit

At the end of March 2016, an incident took place on the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony Texas that paralyzed an unarmed inmate from the neck down. The use of extreme force is beyond this measurement as this inmate was already locked in a cage, secluded from population and apparently no threat to anybody or himself. As I relive this harsh reality please bear with me because of the circumstances of imprisonment I don't have all the names or dates as I relate this sad but true story.

A prisoner was ordered by a correctional officer to turn around, bend over on his knees, and put his forehead on the ground. He replied "no... I only put my forehead on the ground for Allah. Please just take me to my lock up cell." (It is against our beliefs as Muslims to prostrate our heads on the ground to anyone but God.) The officer then said "if you give me what I want then I will give you what you want" and then smirked as he said it. This interaction was cut short as higher rank officials came and he was now just told to turn around so they could handcuff and escort him to a temporary holding cage and he complied and was put in what we call the "Legal cage." Mind you, all this is visually on camera and all has been recorded except audio.

Now this same officer from earlier was assigned to escort him to his lock up cell and upon this action he followed up with the same orders as to, "Turn around bend over on his knees and put his forehead on the ground." He replied again "No, I only put my forehead on the ground for Allah (SWT)!!!" The officer then said "Are you refusing to obey an order and not in compliance so I can properly escort you? Like I said give me what I want and I'll give you what you want." Upon hearing this he realized this was more of a sexual gesture and became hostile toward this officer for his remark and yelled "No, I only bow my forehead on the ground for Allah (SWT)!!! Just put me in handcuffs and take me to my lockup cell."

The officer then took his mace out (or what we in here call gas) and began emptying his whole can of mace into my friend's face until his can was completely empty. He began screaming and saying "Why did you spray me?" The officer then called in a use of force on his walkie talkie. Another and bigger can of mace was then brought and they began spraying him again directly in his face.

As this was taking place the assistant warden named "Cooper" happened to walk up and my friend began his plea "Warden Cooper this man wants me to bend over, put my forehead on the ground just so he can handcuff me. I told him that I will let him put the handcuffs on me and escort me to any cell but me putting my forehead on the ground and bending over is beyond extreme. Please Warden Cooper can you help I'm burning and covered in mace." The warden then turned to the officer and said, "keep up the good work, you're doing a good job." Then Warden Cooper abruptly walked off. The guard then began his rant "See I'm god back here as you can see the Warden just gave me the go ahead. So do as I say."

Just as this officer finished his threats a team of officers arrived suited in extract gear and a use of force camera on. The officer with the camera on told him "you are not in compliance for us to properly escort you therefore a use of force is needed so what is your statement?" He said, "I'm not refusing, just put the handcuffs on me and take me to my cell." The officer said, "is that your statement?" He did not respond. The correctional officers then opened up the door, grabbed and picked him up over their heads and slammed him straight on his head. Mind you he's a small guy at 5'9" and 150lbs. He went limp and they then hogtied him and handcuffed him as the officers dragged him into the Infirmary.

To my friend's recollection, once in the infirmary he heard the nurse say, "we're going to have to send him to UMTB Hospital" right before he passed out. Three (3) days later he awoke in a CAT scan machine and all he could hear was the noise from the CAT scan machine. Once the CAT scan was over he was slid out and then told the nurse "Ma'am can you please take these straps off me so I can get up and walk." The nurse looked at him and said, "Baby there ain't no straps on you, you are paralyzed from the neck down."

Upon hearing this he shed tears relentlessly like never before. He recalls laying in the bed and a fly would land on his forehead and he couldn't even swat it away. The agony of laying in a prison hospital (as they eventually transferred me to one) and not having proper assistance because of the low regard for us as inmates was unbearable, but something he had no choice to bear. Not being able to feed himself, bathe himself or at the very least use the bathroom himself as he had to wait hours on end for prison hospital staff to change his diapers.

One day he was laying there and out of God's good Grace a Muslim (a Muslim woman) walked in and she said "I was making Salat and Allah (SWT) told me while in Salat that there is a Muslim in this hospital that needs a Qu'ran." Hope was conceived on the day. The doctors gave my friend an option, if he did the surgery then there was a chance he might walk again but if he didn't go through with the surgery then he would never walk again. As Muslims it is upon our belief that we only bow to Allah (SWT) so he chose not to go through with the surgery. Six (6) months later when me and my brother crossed paths again he was being wheeled in a wheel chair to Jumu'ah and I began to call him. As we were in each other's presence we began to cry, and he said "I never thought I would be able to make Salat again," and then gave all his might as he struggled to stand and hugged me as we continued to shed unconditional tears. He said "I just learned how to walk again two (2) weeks ago. This morning I woke up in tears from the cramps I felt all over my body and it being so cold. I didn't know if I would make it to Jumu'ah but Allah (SWT) is Akbar." (God is the Greatest).

I was on medical chain to the prison my brother was at and only there from Thursday to Monday. So if he hadn't went to Jumu'ah then we would have never crossed paths. I also seen that the officers broke both of his wrists from when they slammed him on his forehead. My brother can't even wheel himself around because his wrist and motor skills or let alone put his gloves on himself. He now also has to wear glasses because his eyes are too sensitive to the light from the overuse of mace as they burned a layer of his eyes away, in fact on the day he seen me he slowly took his glasses off and sacrificed to endure the pain as he squinted and said, "I want to look at you." They also damaged his memory and he still couldn't control his bowel movements. Through all this he never received a disciplinary infraction because in the end they the quote-unquote correctional officers knew who was wrong. The magnitude of this wrongdoing is that the NAACP Southern Division appointed a lawyer to my brother's case. This sad case shouldn't go unheard to prevent this kind of stuff from ever happening to anybody else.

In physical reality, a man is broken but in spiritual reality his faith never wavered as my brother gave up his physical for what he believed in spiritual. In greatness that belief didn't change on the day of the incident and even in a wheelchair it still hasn't changed now as I write these very words. The moral to this sad but true story is, he is still Muslim and he never stopped praying or gave up his Salats (prayers) as he was paralyzed in a hospital bed and his faith actually became stronger through this trial and tribulation as he said to me when I seen him again "Don't give up Islam."

chain
[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
expand

Grievances Ignored, bribes demanded in Texas

I wrote a grievance on the warden of my unit for bribery. I alerted him of my life being threatened and he took that opportunity to coerse a bribe instead of doing his actual job. When I wrote in to inquire what's come of that grievance I was told by my unit's grievance investigator it was sent back and deemed redundant but I never received it back, nor have I received the emergency grievance I wrote due to me having a feeling they would do this. There's grievances that the units saying were lost but I know it was thrown away due to answer in response to the grievance being able to cause trouble.

chain
[Abuse] [Medical Care] [Stringfellow Unit] [Texas]
expand

Medical Neglect, Denial Access to Court, Retaliation

I am writing in regards to some situations I have been dealing with and as of yet to get a positive resolution. I’ve been a victim of medial neglect, deliberate indifference, discriminated against in violation of the ADA (American Disabilities Act), and denied access to courts. Here’s my statement of facts:

In May I filed a grievance for being inadequately housed in a cell. I have a breathing machine (for sleep apnea). The machine is plugged in over the toilet and sits on the floor next to the toilet. The toilets in the cells have a history of overflowing. I explained that I could be electrocuted in the middle of the night while I am asleep. I requested to be housed in a dorm where the machine could sit on a table next to the bunk. In the grievance I stated the American Disabilities Act, and the criteria says that I qualify for dorm housing. The same warden (Bruce Johnson) that investigated the grievance is named in the grievance, the one that denied me dorm housing, and denied my grievance.

In August, in the Eastham Infirmary, I was denied access to medical (I’m Chronic Care). I have hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea which causes me to stop breathing in my sleep. I'm supposed to get one gallon of water per week for my c-pap machine. Nurse Danny Washington had told me to come in on a Tuesday in August, because I did not receive a lay-in. I was told by C.O. Twana Mack to quote "Get the f__k out!" I was also denied to turn in my sample that the doctor requested. I was unable to use my breathing machine that night of 8-15-17. I filed a step-1 grievance and again was investigated by Warden Bruce Johnson who is named in prior grievances. I filed a step-2 and mentioned that C.O. Twana Mack has a history of cursing inmates and denying them access to medical and while inmates are filing grievances on her, no action is being taken. As of November, I have not received my step-1 & 2 response. I've tried requesting getting copies from the Unite Grievance Office (Ms. Hall and Ms. Washington) to no avail.

In October, I went on medical chain to the hospital at the Estelle Unit and when I returned, I was housed in Seg with G-4 and G-5 offenders. On these lines (cells) we are not allowed to go to Church nor law library. So basically we are in overflow and we're punished for going on medical chain to the hospital. We're housed in Seg for 30 days. In October I received some documents from the Judge at the Federal Courthouse in Dallas with a deadline to respond. I wrote Warden Bruce Johnson and explained to him I needed to attend the law library to get assistance in filing the objections or filing a motion and my request was denied. Warden Bruce Johnson denied me access to courts stating we could not attend the law library while in overflow (seg).

I wrote the law library and explained to them that I needed to attend a session to get assistance in responding to the court and was denied and told they would bring the books. I ask them how would I know what I need if I have no understanding of the law? Again my request was denied (I filed a grievance) pending. This is just one way Warden Johnson discourages us from seeking medical attention in other units or hospitals by putting us in seg(lockup) for 30 days when we return.

On 10-30-17, I received a lay-in to go to O-Line. After about a week I refused housing, I went to the Lt. office and when he pulled me up on computer, he said I was never supposed to be on O-line, those inmates are members of a Security Threat Group (Gangs). I was sent to the D-line where I spoke to Sgt. Teri Hargis who told me to fill out an Offender Statement form. In that form, I requested a Unit change which was denied by Major James Kent (Please see grievance).

It's rather disheartening to realize my family's hard earned tax dollars is contributing the salaries of such dishonest TDCJ employees.

In closing, I would like to thank for your time, concern, and interest in this ongoing, urgent, and legal matter, and I look forward to your reply.

chain