Norovirus in Hightower
Currently, at the time of this letter, we are going thru a Noro-virus epidemic that caused a unit lock-down due to the filthiness of the unit chow-hall.
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.
Currently, at the time of this letter, we are going thru a Noro-virus epidemic that caused a unit lock-down due to the filthiness of the unit chow-hall.
I am at the Wynne Unit. I am writing to let you know that Under Lock and Key July-Aug was denied. It contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to achieve the breakdown of prisons through offender disruption such as strikes, riots or security threat group activity. "Remarks" Reason C page 11 contains information that could cause a prison disruption.
I appealed the denial, even sent a I-60 to DRC, I have not got my appeal back nor my I-60. This happens a lot at the Wynne Unit, all of our step ones come back with: "This office has investigated your grievance. After a review of statements from staff your allegation that you have not been issued your indigent supplies was not sustained, no violation of TDCJ policy was sustained no further action is required by this office and we consider this step 1 grievance closed at this time. Warden McClarin." Every one of our grievances will say something like that. "We talk to our staff, they said no, so you're wrong." Wynne is a unit where staff has a free run to do whatever they want to do, cases are wrote for anything and you can be locked up for asking "why". I hope you get this letter, sometimes Wynne Unit will stop mail from going out or coming in.
Please give me notice you received this because I'm indigent and I'm forced to mail out my mail through the unit law library dept and I'm sure some of my mail is being stopped and intercepted by law library staff members. I have filed numerous grievance complaints and am threatening to file a federal lawsuit, due to being subjected to ongoing harassment, retaliation and ADA discrimination by law library supervisor Ms. Mukoro. I have written to Houston Texas FBI office two different times but I never got a response, and I wrote to The Board of Criminal Justice, PO Box 13084, Austin TX 78711 and again no response. I have written to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, letting him know it's my intentions to file lawsuit against TDCJ officials, if the matter isn't rectified very speedily. I have received numerous bogus and retaliatory disciplinary infraction s from only law library staff members in the past year, and none from unit security officers.
Last time I wrote we was on lockdown because someone murdered their cellie. We came off lockdown for only a little over a month. Now we are BACK on lockdown because someone stabbed a law. We have a new warden, rumor is we will be on lockdown 60 days. If so this will be 4 months out of 2017 the whole unit had to spend on cell lockdown. NO rec. NO 1 hour outside dayroom, only time you come out is showers Tue. Thur. Sat., or if you put in to see nurse.
Now I thought we was supposed to have rec time. But I guess that's long-term seg time. Well this is 3rd wk. lockdown so that's 3 months out of this year. THAT'S LONG-TERM to me. Also no commissary. So we can't buy stamps. We are allowed 5 letters a month. We have to use lineless print paper.
Since I've been back from my bench warrant, they placed me on top bunk on the 2nd row. I wrote a grievance because I have Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome and M.V.P. - mitral valve prolapse. Irregular heartbeat that can sometimes cause you to pass out. I've fallen off the bottom bunk a few times, and have been walking and had to lay down cause I felt as if I was going to pass out. I had an "ablation" heart surgery when I was 17. I'm 28 now. On my step 1, after 30 days they got a 45 day extension then told me they will do nothing they trust the opinion of their medical staff, nurses, doctors. I had a heart specialist and a heart electrophysiologist best doctor in the world. I wrote my step 2 a week ago and told them pretty much same thing that was in 1st grievance. But I added that sometimes I have to sleep on floor with rats & roaches for fear of cracking my head open on falling off the top bunk.
At the Hamilton Unit, the offenders are on the way out – 6-7 months at best 10-11 at worst. Most will not stand for their rights or write grievances due to retaliation and loss of parole. Me and a few others will stand and will tell what's going on and how we are being treated and threatened. This was a youth unit for a long time, so you can imagine how we are treated. The food is now TDCJ as of Sept 1, 2017, yet they are still feeding Air Mart, TYC, or program portions, which are not TDCJ policies.
We have several medical issues at this unit, such as myself, I am awaiting lower back surgery, Dec-Jan, and sitting in a problem. The neurosurgeon who will be doing my operation has done all he can for now. He requests that I receive a pillow to sit on so I don't have pain and burning. Yet I am made to sit in a chair 8-10 hours a day. This should be cruel and unusual punishment. Also South Texas does not approve of North Texas way of medical treatment. North Texas is Texas Tech, South Texas is UTMB. If transferred all treatment could start over and my case was.
Also there is a $ issue about this program and I will do my best to explain one one of many issues, which just happens to be mine. In January, 2017 I received a favorable parole decision. A FI-6R, which is a 6 month PRTC drug program. Target release date Dec 2017. Program start date June 2017. I finally arrived at Hamilton Unit in July, at which time all smut of any kind was removed from my property. I had to and have to follow all new program rules, and mailroom rules, yet I am not actually enrolled in the program yet. I am only housed in the overflow dorm awaiting my turn to start. Now remember my months are June to Dec.
While I am in this overflow dorm waiting my turn to start, July to Jan and Aug to Feb offenders come and start the program ahead of me and several others June to Dec. Parole issued these months, but TDCJ will not get paid unless the offender completes 180 days. You see the program is behind schedule, due to counselor shortage and certain offenders must be released on the short way cause they made parole. This is not fair in my or my family's eyes.
Aug 17, 2017 on about, a Federal Judge made TDCJ clos the Pack Unit due to heat illness. Hamilton Unit is A.C. so all June month offenders were transferred to other units. Myself, I am heat restricted, along with others, yet we were moved to 24-7 lockup at the Goreee Unit for 3 weeks. 24-7 lock up, no rec, no church, no phone, no hot water, only $10 a week commissary. After 3 weeks of this treatment we were sent back to Hamilton Unit.
Why did they chose June month offenders. My thinking is, so they can start 60-100 Aug-Sept offenders and state they were on schedule – they completing offenders on time. I will not get out until April now, yet parole will tell you and my family I get out in Dec. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.
I have promoted our mission and newsletter throughout my housing area and unit informing others of all you offer and on the Texas Pack which brought me to understanding of your organization. Since I have been put through the mill and received a major case for having a pair of earbuds! They went ballistic on me and I have thus been having to fight their injustice and need as much assistance – have sought out the civil rights division special litigation section for their abuse of authority that needs to be investigated.
I have also educated those who are undergoing similar abuses such as negligence in health matters; harassment and retaliation of filing grievances. I believe they (admin) have put a jacket on my file due to my assistance which has caused this extreme action they have taken on this non-threatening, non-dangerous charges.
I had a friend of mine in this system who warn me about their lying and hateful abuse of authority and he was setup for a fall. Vacca v Farrington cite as 8S5W3d 438 (Tx App – Texarkana 2002) A good case to understand just one fellow's struggle with the system: Vacca alleges that as a result of the retaliation, he experienced pain, humiliation, weight loss, emotional distress, punishment without due process, imminent fear for his life, and a "chilling" of his right to exercise access to the courts. Judgment of trial court is reversed, case remanded.
I just finished re-reading in ULK 53 page 12 "Texas Reform Updates." It sufficiently raised my ire enough to put pen to paper and submit my 14-page memorandum which I had the balls to place into the "Head Warden's" hand personally. I enclosed a copy of the same with this letter.
As a result of that act, 90 minutes later I had a member of the Law Library staff in my cell going through my legal paperwork, devoid of the prerequisite authorization (I-186) of a Warden to do so. Whereas, other copies of my own writings — which I sent out, had duplicated, and returned via the U.S. Postal Service — were filched and used to administer a disciplinary case claiming additional fictitious contraband.
This memorandum outlines in detail how the law library (L/L) is run "out of compliance" with BP-03.81, ATC 020, 030, 050 and the Offender Orientation Handbook (I-202).
Among other things, participants of the L/L, i.e. prisoners, are disallowed the right to vocally interact in assisting each other in legal matters.
Since that fateful day, harassment and retaliation in the L/L has steadily intensified. Not being one to take this illicit conduct, I have sent a copy (oh, about eight of 'em) to various entities akin to "60 Minutes," Texas Attorney General, Texas Governor, Access to Courts (ATC) Administrator, Houston Chronicle and other prisoner-assisting organizations.
A multitude of the L/L patrons had no idea the actual truth of how a TDCJ L/L is intended to be operated and run. The staff are actually obligated to facilitate us (prisoners) in assisting one another in legal matters. Not harassing us for spreading the litigious knowledge — as per the ATC Rules.
I have several Step 2s [grievances] under review and am just awaiting their return so I can initiate State Tort action, because the Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction to make the State of Texas follow their own laws and rules. Only the State can make the State conform to its own rules.
If you think that I'm pissed, you're right! After all, I am convicted wrongfully, and wrongfully convicted in this pissant of a state. Being former military, I do not give in. I will prevail(!!) in getting things straightened out and being exonerated. In the course of accomplishing that, I will altruistically get the L/L in this POS unit to come into compliance with the legislatures' intent and the Board Policies intents too.
Other prisoners in Texas I am certain will have use for my memorandum. Go ahead and offer it up. If we prisoners in TDCJ don't start pulling together we are destined to end up fucked off. Expose these people for what they are!
MIM(Prisons) responds: TDCJ's long-term goal seems to be to hide all relevant policies from the people who are interested in them most, and then just operate its facilities however it pleases. That's why we created the Texas Campaign Pack, and why this comrade sent us eir memorandum to the Warden. If the state won't provide this information, we have to do it ourselves. Send in $2.50 to get the Texas Pack.
Exposure and lawsuits are worthwhile approaches, but can't be our be-all-end-all. We fight to not only get the law library back in compliance, but to change society to the point where these problems are no longer possible. We want oppression to become obsolete, and we want oppressed people to have the power to make this a reality!
I am writing in regards to retaliation from officers for an attempted sexual assault by an officer that reached into my cell and tried to hit me in the private area. The cameras show this officer assaulting me. About 4 or 5 days go by and Sgt De Chow comes to my door and rolls it and tells us to strip out. During that process I hand my knee brace to him and he tries to bend it and it don't bend so he closes the door and takes my brace to the front of the run by the picket and takes it apart. A Lt. Simmons shows up and takes my brace and leaves the block and Sgt. DeChow comes back and puts me and my celly in the dayroom. I ask the Sgt why he took it apart and he stated it doesn't matter it's contraband, the metal inside could be used as a weapon.
The knee brace was given to me by UTMB hospital Galveston because I have a messed up left knee and need it. I'm placed in lock-up by Lt. Simmons and when I ask why he says investigation from someone higher than him. Three days go by and Sgt. Easley investigates a case for 13.0 destruction of property saying I tore the knee brace up. Note all of this is on camera where I was housed and a review of the cameras will show the Sgt. DeChow taking my brace to the front of the run pulling it apart. I feel like all this is being made up in retaliation for the grievance I filed on an officer prior to this.
I am writing to let you know the Unit [Pack Unit - editor] have been moved to Travis County State Jail due to court orders on the heat and water on the Unit. We will not be going back any time soon. I want to keep getting Lock & Key
I am in receipt of your August 15, 2017 sending of the MIM (Prisons) "Censorship Pack", thank you very much. Upon reaching pg 4 of 8 the first line hooked me. After receiving a minor disciplinary case, in May 2017, for possessing copies - sent to me by mail from family - of a 14 page memorandum outlining how the Law Library (L/L) is operated in a manner well outside of compliance with T.D.C.J. B.P.-D3.81 and the various A.T.C. rules and regulations put forth by T.D.C.J. & the Texas legislature to govern the operations & comportment of the L/L & those in the L/Ls of T.D.C.J. Of course I filed appeal grievances (steps 1 and 2 both) after they (yea, the pigs) ran the fraudulent case - in violation of due process rights - without giving me the opportunity to participate in the disciplinary hearing by attending (step 2 still under review).
On Aug 17, 2017 the L/Lian dispatched this time, two L/L staff C.O.s to search through my legal materials - as was done in April/May - while I was forced, once again, to be staged "out of line-of-sight" from my cell, while they perused through my legal writings & documents.
Deigning not to reveal whether or not they had the requisite I-186, "Authorization to Search Legal Material for Written Contraband," it is now 48 hours later, time limit is 24 hours within which they are required by TDCJ B.P. 03.8I & II(B)(3) to provide me an I-185 "Notice of Confiscation of Written or Printed Material During Search for Contraband," informing the offender of the property removed, the reason for the removal and offender's right to file a grievance.
These conductings are retaliatory harassment in response to my filing grievances for the retaliation by L/L staff & supervisors as well (in the grievance(s)) as H/W Richardson and the handing of the 14 page memorandum to H/W Richardson.
Coincidentally, the next day my cell was on the "routine" cell search list by the rover C.O. Then(!) later that same day (Aug 18), Safe Prisons came & did yet another cell search on the cell I am housed in - "coincidentally".
As I (& my cellie) keep virtually no contraband, I anticipate a minor case at best (worst(?)).
Before this turn of events I was "only considering" filing a tort claim of retaliation & breach of obligatory responsibility to my safety & well being under color of state law. Now, they have, frankly, pissed me off. Therefore the consideration is now a mission.
I have never filed a state civil proceedings material. Regretfully, I am now, once again, forced to redirect my attention away from my state writ of habeas corpus to attend to this violation of my state & federal constitutional rights. I do not get intimidated; I get motivated to learn more in how to defend myself in the judicial system from the deviations from established rules by those who abuse their authority and bestowed power.