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 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.

[Abuse] [Ramsey 1 Unit Trusty Camp] [Texas]

False Disciplinary Cases have Lasting Ramifications

Forgive me for not staying on top of letter writing to you all, because I really miss the newsletters you send. I’m not sure if you have already heard about this incident that occurred here in Texas at the Ramsey Unit in Roshanon, but I will reiterate it for you and the results it brought. In March, 2018, an email was written and sent out to unit sergeants on the Ramsey Unit requiring them to have their officers write at least two disciplinary cases each day for “unauthorized storage of property” without exceptions. This email was written by Captain Reginald Gilbert on March 10, 2018, and was responded to a couple of hours later by now former Major Juan Jackson, who stated that the instructions on the email “will help greatly in fighting a gig,” which is slang for a unit audit. The quota system was abandoned a few weeks later, but an investigation has begun into this.

Now, even though a write-up for not being able to properly store our property into lockers or storage containers that were designed and built for the amount of property that was allowed during the time they were built, (over 40 years ago when the spending amount for commissary was $60.00 a month compared to the $210.00 that is allowed now) is considered minor, if you have already had two minor write-ups in 90-179 days, the third one would be considered a MAJOR case, which can result in the loss of good time, time earning class, commissary, recreation, telephone, and visitation restrictions being leveled against you. This has been and still is going on throughout TDCJ with NO ONE to monitor these atrocities occurring to us.

Now, as the so-called investigation of the bogus disciplinaries resulted in 180 disciplinary cases being thrown out, an inmate’s mother wrote us saying that her son had been set up by prison guards who had planted two screwdrivers in his cell in connection with the quota. Another investigation was opened, and this time, four men were FIRED and another one resigned. (It was my understanding the Major Jackson walked before they walked him.) That’s not all. Some of those same officers were ARRESTED on misdemeanor charges relating to the planting of the screwdrivers.

Once the information hit the fan about the bogus disciplinaries, 500 were found to be written because of the quota scheme. Along with the five officials that the Ramsey Unit lost, a state jail in Atascocita had one official removed; instead of demoting a Captain at this same state jail, he was FIRED. At McConnell, 293 cases were dismissed along with another 83 cases waiting to be processed, and a Major was demoted. At a state jail in Austin, 91 cases were thrown out and an assistant Warden, a Captain, and a Sargent were demoted and reassigned to other units.

Even though we were glad to hear all of this, it means NOTHING to those of us who have already been scarred by the hundreds and thousands of false & bogus cases that caused many of us to be denied parole, and many other things just so certain officials may look as though they are doing a job. When Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) Captain Lonnie Douglas first arrived here on the Wayne Scott Unit back in August, 2017, she immediately initiated a quota system, threatening to write officers up who didn’t turn in a certain number of cases. The result; officers went to resigning by the dozens because many of them did not want to be part of an injustice against those of us who didn’t deserve it.

The cases against me during her tenure here were so minute that it cost the state more to address the appeals, then it did to write them. Captain Douglas has now been promoted and reassigned, yet there are still inmates whom she left her mark on. These so-called disciplinary quotas are still a part of this system, and will forever be. There are some acts of good news in the air concerning good time being given to help us come up for parole sooner, yet it doesn’t seem as though it will help the thousands of us in need of parole. I will let you know what happens with it at a later date.

[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]

Prisoners Punished for Writing Grievances in Dalhart Texas

I wanna thank you and everyone that have supported offenders in their struggle from within. The Texas Pack has helped me more than anything I could find in the law library. It’s still a struggle in here when you file grievance on the staff of this Unit. I have been harassed and retaliated against because I chose to stand up for my rights and fight by filing grievances and helping others to do the same.

I don’t like how staff punish offenders or harass us because we choose to write grievances on their misconduct, but it’s okay for them to do this to us. Here are some of the things they do to me here at Dalhart Unit. I recently was placed in medium custody because I was defending myself from being assaulted. I put in for law library and every day I asked if they are doing extra time and every time it’s a “no.” One day I decided to look at the log sheet where we sign in and out. I noticed in the log sheet that the officer had written “no offender requested extra time.” I have asked for extra time every day and this officer is stating no offender has requested extra time.

The most recent one is the Warden. Warden Jeter was harassing me for having my legs crossed while sitting. When I said that I feel like I’m being harassed, he got mad and locked me up in AdSeg, in the shower, then told his officer I was engaging in a sexual act. No disciplinary was written, but I did write a grievance on his harassment and retaliation.

This is a struggle for me and I pray God to give me the strength to continue to fight for what’s right. I have two 1983 on the Warden and his ranking officers.

Before I forget, would you so please send me TDCJ Offender Grievance Operation Manual and the Federal Petition (or anything that will help me with my fight.) Thank You! I know I can’t stop I just need help.

[Organizing] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 66]

Sack the Sack Lunches

I’ve always been revolutionary-minded, but it’s a struggle here in Bill Clements Unit. Here’s one example that happened early last month. I work in the laundry. Well all of us are waiting for them to call for chow (lunch), but all of a sudden the C.O.s running chow forget to feed laundry! So the chow C.O.s tell the laundry C.O. that they are going to give us sack lunches. All of a sudden, this is the sad part, a bunch of my fellow coworkers are going back into the laundry. Well a few of us spoke up saying we’ve been working and are NOT going to accept a sack lunch. Eventually they opened the chow hall for us. Well I guess this is all for now. Again thank you for all you do.

MIM(Prisons) Texas Coordinator responds: Small incidents like this one might seem inconsequential to many people, like those guys who just went back to laundry when told they were gonna get sack lunches. These are small wins that make a huge impact on people’s minds, though. Showing people little successes like this whenever we can helps plant seeds in their consciousness about resisting oppression and standing up for themselves. It was a completely fair argument to make, that the C.O.s made a mistake and should fix it. So rather than get hung up on how sad it is that so many people just were going accept the sack lunches, i think it was really great that so many people got to see what having a backbone looks like in real life. Inevitably, this is what inspires people to grow their own backbones and start standing up for themselves. Thanks for this awesome report.

[Abuse] [Censorship] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Abuse and Censorship at Wynne

I really appreciate you for informing me of this policy for an appeal of all rejected publications from different units, but this unit I’m on (Wynne) isn’t given a person or persons and opportunity to appeal our right to have ULK 63 at all. I hope and pray that we win this case in receiving all of Under Lock & Key pamphlets with no problem. There is no riots or strikes or disruptions going on at this prison that I’m on at all, period. These old folks are just waiting to die and the authorities aren’t making it easy for us to just do our time. Some are getting parole while others are dying and suffering a beat down handcuff beating.

These officers are out of line handling us old people the way they treat us, slam to the ground while in handcuffs, you grieve the incident and are retaliated on when no life flight going over the railing from the third tier. You might survive the fall and you may wish you didn’t make it because you be in so much pain. Old people’s bones heal very slowly.

Some of us like to have some help from the outside world to get political news to read on all what’s happening around the nation and to stay connected to the free world even though you’ll never be able to go back to the world ever again.

Reading the notification to the Director’s Review Committee 11/2/2018 for Under Lock & Key No. 63 on my denied yellow paper says Reason C, page 1 and 5 advocate prison disruption/strike. But reading what’s on these pages of that booklet there’s nothing of that such. See they have taken all the manual’s out of the law library on procedure to fight them when they are wrong in wronging one of us on their own policies.

These pages in ULK 63 said “publications shall not be rejected solely because the publication advocates the legitimate use of offender grievance procedures, urges offenders to contact public representatives about prison conditions, or contains criticism of prison authorities.”

This don’t have anything to do with reason C at all. There is no 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 at all period. So TDCJ denied the publication because they didn’t like what they was reading and denied it out of spite, but the law is the law and they is not exempt from the law (DRC) and it is going down.

[Abuse] [Bexar County Jail] [Texas]

No Recourse to Fight Abuse at Bexar Jail

I am currently housed in the Bexar County Adult Detention Center. We have had enough of the senselessness & oppression that we have been subjected to, & remain under.

I have somehow been dubbed by my peers to be the leader of this movement that is being birthed here which is known as the “Dungeon” or the “Ghetto.” I have been helping people with lawsuits & educating them on legal terminology. Mind you, we are being punished for being ex-gang members. They do not allow us to go to church, they do not allow us to go to the law library or to speak with a certified paralegal, or to go to anger management, parenting classes, educational courses, absolutely nothing. Not only that, but they have somehow successfully monopolized the food industry in here. This has been going on for years. The same company who provides us with our 3 meals a day also runs the commissary, so it’s no wonder that our meals are dramatically under the 2,000 calorie mark. They feed us scanty rations making commissary a MUST if you don’t want to pass out from hunger or develop hunger pains. They sell a single pack of Ramen Noodles for 1,250% over market value. $1.00 each, when at stores you get 1 soup for 8 cents. That’s too much. They even sell individual items with no bar-code for over 1,000% market value. We are starving.

The medical treatment is a bust. My cellmate almost developed sepsis when he got a staph infection & they gave him stool softener & laxatives as treatment. They charge people for chronic care, & they charge us financial restitution for things without the due process of law. Say you move into a cell & something is damaged, there’s nothing you can do about it. If they catch you, you get written up & classification comes to see you where you will be found guilty & charged for the damaged item; hundreds of dollars! Notice there’s no mention of being fingerprinted, or read any rights, or any of that. Not just that but the local law enforcement agencies have been paying criminals (as they always do) to create this cycle of insanity. Out on the grimy streets of San Antonio, people are getting “gangstalked,” murdered, set up, driven to the brink of insanity…Etc. Etc. It’s all this federal gangstalking. Notice that I come from San Antonio. a military city, so you know the oppression is hard over here.

I’m sitting here on a murder charge–they set me up because I refused to become a fed. They made 5 different propositions to me out here & I refused. Twice I was met nearby after refusing those propositions, by hit men. My face was plastered all over every major news station in San Antonio at the busiest time of media watching where they dubbed me as guilty & showed a video of some guy who doesn’t even look or move like me. All my friends and family know I didn’t do it. I need help. And a lot of it.

Thank you so much for what you guys do. I really appreciate it.

[Abuse] [LeBlanc Unit] [Texas]

LeBlanc Texas Disregards Grievance System

Changes to law library content has made the acquisition and perusal of the Texas Offender Grievance Manual nearly, if not totally, impossible in spite of board and administrative directives requiring them to be in the law library for use in researching grievance rules, stipulations, and instructive information.

I have had two grievances which have been rejected as redundant with the added statement that only one grievance per disciplinary is allowed. I ask that you refer me to legal counsel, yours or another’s, who could pursue this blatant disregard of the grievance system and my right to use it as well as the denial of my due process rights under both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions. I also need to be able to send legal mail to prevent it and other information it may contain from being gleaned for information I want to keep private.

In addition, I would like your Texas Pack sent to me with updates to all available legal actions currently being pursued by other entities and any case numbers to which I may refer to for further information.

[Legal] [Terrell Unit] [Texas]

Helping Each Other is Only Legal Assistance Behind Bars

I do not know how I’ll be received, I don’t see myself as a revolutionary, I’ve been fighting the state for religious rights in two separate Civil Rights suits. I’ve also been assisting others with various legal issues, from Appeals, Habeas Corpus, Grievances, Divorces, Civil Rights suits etc. I do these things to help those in need because it is the right thing to do.

Our Law libraries are archaic and we are on our own to do research and file anything, no help from Law Library staff, just each other. The policies and practices in the Law Library are designed to hinder us, not to help. So, any information or materials that would be helpful, please consider me when distributing it. Thank You!

[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]

Health Risks from Asbestos in Old Prisons

I was placed in a cell here in ad. seg. housing, which is unhealthy with escaping toxic fumes (paint chipping, amosite/brown asbestos, from cement, and some of these cells have contaminated ceiling tiles.) Kept me tired, minor headaches, diarrhea, at times difficult to breathe. So to our People incarcerated in these ’Old Prisons” shall educate ourselves on these Hazard chemicals.

From the book: Silent Killers: Radon & Other Hazards by Kathlyn Gay: Asbestos deadly fibers, natural mineral fiber in rocks, patching compounds, textured paint, wrapping for heating ducts and water pipe insulation, floor & ceiling titles, roofing shingles, cement, plaster (strengthen concrete and sound proof) etc. Well just a small note and big thanks on the readings.

[Censorship] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Illegal Censorship of Subscriptions

I often never receive my Popular Mechanics magainzes or my Bud K Knives catalogs I’ve subscribed to. I’m not denied them, they just don’t get here to me. I’ve written to both numerous times and never have heard back from them. They also often lay blame on the local post office for various reasons as well.

[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]

Punished for Reporting Abuses at Ferguson

I am at a really bad unit named Ferguson Unit at midway Texas, about 20 miles from Huntsville, TX. At this unit I have shown the rules, policies, procedures, practices, of T.D.C.J. with other offenders saying, “Oh well, we have been punished for made up rules, given cases, violating our rights in every way. Grievances do no good even the bosses tell the others who, what, when, on them.” Yeah it causes many problems for me. The pigs get away with so much that the oh well offenders (OW) let them talk them up. At an inspection, a group asked if we seen any roaches, rats. We said no. But this one guy said there was. The inspector said “oh that’s why they only wanted to show this dorm.” The L.T. here stated “oh yeah tomorrow you’re on lock down.” We are. The food is all mush soups. Types of food portions so small that I see us that do not have commissary, are about sick. One hot dog, one sandwich, food unprepared or clean.

Here is a kicker. I came here to repair equipment because I am an equip mec for 30 years, professional. I seen a lot that this farm shop was selling parts to equip that it was not put on, or put in trash. I wrote the main O.I.G. (Offender Inspector General). It was all turned on being my fault, and to mind my business. Wow, I was talked to really bad still watching them break the laws.

I did everything I could to be sent to a different work camp. We are abused, fed mediocre food. They strip us out multiple times going out to work. Search us multiple times, the bad is other (oh wells) oh drown us. Us that would file grievances, or lawsuits they try to beat us up.

They see I don’t back down, I seem to not get it through their heads if the unit don’t get stopped from violating their rules, policies, the more they are restricted from little freedoms. They are blind.

I’ve spoke to many about this with same issue, no one wants to stand in unity. This is the worst unit I have been on.

Here’s the problem. The unit has all kids with few older guys. The kids are doing so much stealing from kitchen doing this and that! Going dorm to dorm. Really doing free will. Without realizing if it was not for someone like me they would not have any type of T.V., radio, so much as their house. What am I to do? No talking to them.

We spoke to a SGT Andrew Sey about why we’re on lock down and made to get up at 6AM on our day off to clean a dorm that has SSI. “Because if someone tells Huntsville inspectors B.S. on us, you can’t write grievances on us because we can lock the dorm down for not being clean.” Our Dorm is the cleanest I’ve seen. This unit that abuses us in ways that they believe we can’t do anything about. The kitchen C/O Stubble Field has these same guys feed us so they give 3/4 scoops of portions. Pans are not on a warmer, uncooked, nasty to eat.

The pigs use things like “this is a disciplinary unit”. I said what did I do to be put on disciplinary? I’ve seen nothing about some sidewalk rules in no T.D.C. It’s just this unit. How can I get help? I’ve written every rights group there is with no help or any reply.

I am forced to repair the equipment, threatened by them. They do it in ways that shoulder the policy. How can I fight this unit’s every grievance, every I60, they use other offenders against me for doing it.

I’m asking you for help! Any new forms I could use to guide me to file them, I can’t seem to word them well. The food, the abuse, at the end of everything I’ve done nothing works.

We are made to get up at 4AM lights on, say name, number and then at other counts the dorm C/O wakes you up. Then cross count also. These C/Os enforce rules that do not exist. The inmates follow them like dogs, they let them put things in their ear.

Do you in any way have forms for me to copy on my own as in about abuse, food, C/Os, I need help wording how to write it legal, I want to file a suit. Last year during shakedown they burnt us up in the sun naked out of spite for hours.