Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. 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.

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] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Heat Reality

If you would, please inform the Texas Civil Rights Project that Ken Paxton Lieutenant Governor is telling lies by the ton about what Texa$ and TDCJ are doing to alleviate the heat injury/deaths problems. All they've done is the very bare minimum to comply with the courts' directives. Our "respite" areas here on the Wynne Unit only receive cooling when high level visitors are here or during an ACA audit. During the summer all these fans do is circulate hot air. It's like living in a convection oven on this whole unit, unless of course you're any kind of rank and have an office, or you are a Warden of course. :)

Also the $100 medical co-pay information is still posted in the clinic and I understand people are still being stolen from by medical.

Thank you for your updated Texas Packet - June 2017. And thank you for all you're doing to help us and empower us in our struggle against the system's oppression and repression.

[Abuse] [Control Units] [Eastham Unit] [Texas]

Use of Gas in Eastham

9 May 2017 — There was a chemical agent attack on E-Line at the Eastham Unit, located in Lovelady, Texas. One of our comraes from United Struggle from Within (USW) filed a Step 1 Grievance and had a free-world friend submit an Ombudsman complaint on eir behalf.

An assistant warden B. Johnson at the Eastham Unit answered the Step 1 and failed to acknowledge the reckless and abusive use of the chemical agent.

Lieutenant Lisa Hibbard was the employee who deployed 2 canisters of CS Gas, whose contents entered the building of E-Line and subjected numerous prisoners to this volatile chemical agent. E-Line is an Ad-Seg wing so there was absolutely no escaping the gas. This particular gas (CS) is LETHAL when used in high concentrations and when ventilation is limited.

The "cover-up" is in full effect on Eastham Unit. Univerity of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) staff made absolutely no attempt to check on the status of prisoners on E-Line who were exposed to the gas.

When it comes to medical neglect or the wanton abuse of Texas prisoners, all too many times UTMB is a willing partner with TDCJ employees. It is important to shed light on these events because TDCJ has erected a wall between the public and what actually takes place inside these slave kamps and gulags.

Military-grade weapons such as this CS gas should not be used on incarcerated prisoners. The humyn rights abuses in Texas prisons are not being addressed.

[Legal] [Texas]

Hard work pays off in Texas

Well I wanted to give you guys an update. Since I receive your grievance packet 3 weeks ago I have started gathering up the Texas admin. codes that are the minimum requirements set for by the Texas commission on jail standards. Since the county jail I am being held in does not have a law library I have been writing to every library in the state of Texas and requesting chapter by chapter the codes. It has been a long endeavor but is paying off. Since I now have the rules that this jail must play by I can write my grievances with codes to go along with the complaints. Also I can pass the information on to others that are wanting to make a difference. Since I started two weeks ago I have been moved 4 times, and they tried to give me to false cases that have been dropped. It is nice to be able to see that yes hard work pays off even when everything is taken away or restriction. I will keep you updated as this battle continues.

[Abuse] [Eastham Unit] [Texas]

Eastham assaulting prisoners, losing paperwork

I am writing to let you all know that at Eastham unit there are episodes of the K-2 epidemic. One person falls out we get locked down for 24 hours. Just one line. Its not in the rule book or disciplinary books, they lock you up for nothing, especially if you can't snitch on someone.

A Lt beat me up last year, I wrote it up and my step 1 disappeared so I could not write a step 2. Also I sent my copies of everything to Huntsville, TX they sent my stuff back saying they don't want any problems or complaints sent to them, when I got the paperwork back I was missing my medical report.

They wrote me an attempted assault on officer. When I got my time sheet they changed it to an assault on officer said it was the same thing, I still have the original case. I'm writing to ask for a Texas Pack. They took mine when they shook me down. My legal work was scattered all around and only my legal folder was gone through. I had my other papers in another folder. I get tired of retaliation and can't do nothing about it.

Eastham is out of control, cussing us out all day long. We report it or write it up. Comes back with no proof and that we lie. The guards and rank work together.

[Abuse] [Gib Lewis Unit] [Texas]

Brutality prevents prisoner transformation behind bars

We are not correcting bad or criminal behavior, we are not reforming lives or serving justice. We are struggling to get public attention drawn to this torture. I've witnessed a guard provoke a prisoner verbally, and taunt him until he had a reaction, which was then used as an excuse to assault the prisoner, claiming the prisoner acted aggressively. Implicit in nearly every interaction with the guards is the potential, the threat, of violence; every breath is a potential disciplinary infraction, or write-up. Many rules are either unknown or go unenforced, making for a milieu where a guard could enter, quite literally, any cell and find a reason to write up its inhabitant. If you have more than three books at any given time, it could be a write-up, or you put a picture of your family on or in your locker, or hang wet clothes up to dry. Almost anything can be considered non-dangerous contraband. Any guard has the power to keep a prisoners from seeing or talking to his family, a power frequently abused.

This kind of control is maddening. For the individuals who live under its influence; any refusal to comply with these instruments of violence – any lack of submission – can be met with a can of mace followed by beatings, while in restraints, and time in segregation. Meeting violent offenders with more violence, along with mental and physical torture is not an effective method of reform. It will only make the prisoners more fluent in the language of violence. And they are frequently angry, bitter and full of resentment.

I have filed grievances challenging this violation of the First Amendment and also the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments due to these prisoncrats stripping me and others of all personal property, denying access to the law library or outside recreation, and deliberately abusing grievance procedure by refusing to process any grievance that is submitted. So we ask that eyes and ears be placed upon this place because there are those offenders ready to force these prisoncrats to remove us from these cruel and inhuman conditions.

These deplorable conditions create an environment that often feels helpless and insurmountable to the prisoners who live through it. We are being oppressed and controlled, mistreated and abused on a daily basis. Some offenders have no means of addressing these abuses – even the grievance procedure is hopelessly flawed, not permitting the offenders to grieve the conduct of the guards, or any procedure whatsoever. They recognize that they are being subjected to conditions that surpass more punishment for their crimes. The parole board isn't actually there to help us obtain our freedom, it's there to give the illusion that it is possible, so that we may be controlled. The few that are successful will emerge as scarred, changed men, living with the knowledge and pain of what they were forced to endure, and the daily suffering that continues by the people they left behind.

On May 28 of this year a fellow inmate as well as myself were brutally beaten in handcuffs and sprayed multiple times with chemical agents off of the camera by officers, sergeants, and a Lt on this Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville, TX. Here on this unit these beatings by officers are the norm for us inmates. Most of us have little to no family support to help us voice these cruel acts of injustice to the public. We are here for rehabilitation and transformation not to be beaten to the point of traumatization. We need the public to know that the real criminals are working amongst criminal and breaking laws, rules, etc on the daily and hiding behind their uniform and rank. Assist us in this struggle for justice.

[Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 57]

Suit to Ensure Improved Disciplinary Process for Deaf Prisoners

I am hearing (deaf) / speech (mute from past strokes) / vision (blind in one eye and impaired in other eye) and W/C [bathroom] restricted/disabled. Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) was refusing to turn the closed captioning on the televisions for me and other offenders who are deaf, hearing impaired, disabled, or hard of hearing.

Also, being given disciplinary case knowing I was deaf, violating my due process rights by not passing a note. No written communication of what was going on during the disciplinary process so-called "investigations."

Now, thanks to Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP), Mr. Brian R. McViverin and Ms. Barke Butler and three others, TDCJ is to have closed captioning feature on these dorm dayroom TVs from the time they are turned on to rack time. And any disciplinary cases I'm (or others of my type of hearing disabilities in accordance of the ADA) given, TDCJ must use special forms for me to read, answer, and sign/initial during the whole process. And anything spoken must be written down. If I see any lip movement and it is not written down, this becomes a violation of my Civil Action suit.

So, if you can, read this Civil Action No. 4:12-cv-02241 compromise and settlement agreement. Please let others know of this. I know I can not have been the only one that has had these problems with TDCJ.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This contributor shouldn't have had to go through the trouble of filing a Civil Action Suit in order to be afforded what is already guaranteed to em from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We here at MIM(Prisons) are disgusted by the behavior of TDCJ, which we see reflected all across the country in various forms. In a society that isn't run by profit and pigs, the courtesy of inclusion wouldn't require all the runaround and paperwork.

[Abuse] [Organizing] [Education] [Connally Unit] [Texas]

Study Group Repression, Staying Strong

My study group "Push it to the Limit" was infiltrated by the pigs' designated imposters, molded with the motive and intent to cause confusion and disrupt positive progress. I've observed intently and gained an accumulated experience as I've re-organized and regarded this delicate "covert ops" incident and compared it with the same covert-ops strategies used against Power cells of individuals of collective units within the past histories.

I've researched material from the book "The FBI War on Tupak Shakur and Black Leaders" to re-evaluate and compare with. The "covert ops" move didn't surprise me at all. I'm an "Organized General," NOT a Rookie.

However, I've rebuilt my study group from scratch. I've been training my new members to "Push it to the Limit" study group that Power is essential for success in the accumulation of money, or in positive progress.

As a Jailhouse Lawyer/paralegal, I'm teaching that Power may be defined as "organized and intelligently directed knowledge." We utilize "organized effort" to produce coordination of effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite end, in a spirit of harmony. Therefore, harmony is the key.

As inspired intellectuals in the making, "Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose."

Now I'm evaluating my study group with persistence and intelligence and use discrimination in the selection of my "Master Mind" group, which shall cause my objectives to be halfway reached, even before we begin to recognize it.

Henry Ford said, "Men take on the Native and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony." This is hard work and that's why it's called a "struggle," I guess.

Me and my new study group members have been changing policy and procedures here at this trashy ass Connally Unit. The pigs even gave me a clear opportunity to be transferred to a better unit as a settlement offer but I've refused such a cop out agreement.

I'm too pissed off to drop the issues as if they've never happened and I'm too real to leave my comrades who aren't adequate in the law to deal with this problem that's been continuing for years by theirselves.

[Abuse] [Luther Unit] [Texas]

Grievance system a failure in Texas

I am currently an inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). I have recently been having trouble with some of the ranking officers of the Luther Unit. Such as cussing me, abuse of power, threats of cases and the taking of my property.

Every grievance I have written has been no help, even the step twos. I was talking to a fellow inmate, and he told me to write to you. That you provide information or how to write proper grievances, and AD and PD codes that will help. I told him I was indigent, but he said you provide the grievance packages free of charge. If this is true I would greatly appreciate your Texas grievance packet and any other useful information you can provide.

[Abuse] [Powledge Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 56]

Powledge Guards Unaware of the Law

Your Texas Pack will support my contentions and add fuel to the fire I have started. You participate in the same practice I do and have been doing since 2010. I apply the law in my grievances. I apply PD-22 in correlation to ED-02.01 and apply the facts of official misconduct that lands officials on administrative probation or suspended 30, 60, or 90 days. I applaud your practice. I appreciate your action, and your newsletter gives me hope that I am not alone in fighting this Goliath that has no moral value. Thank you for your presence and participation.

I am on Powledge Unit after fighting my way to here via Bother units where I still have civil actions pending. But this unit enjoys retaliating against you for your protected right to file grievances or complain. Standards for prison operations in this country are made by the American Correctional Association (ACA), and ACA Standard 4-4274 states I have a protected right to complain about my conditions and official misconduct without fear of retaliation, but the guards don't know that it exists in ATC Rules. See ATC-040. It has been my safety beacon in many grieves.

The state works off the ignorance of inmates — our comrades so to speak. I am requesting that you keep doing what you do and teach the prisoners. Inform them of their rights, privileges, immunities under the Constitution. Where the prisoners of Texas really need help is in statutory law. I am understanding that Administrative Code is where statutory law lies, that governs jails and prisons. Texas prisoners in state facilities are not privy to these laws, so a prisoner cannot successfully litigate a case without an injury. An injury is not a prerequisite to 42 USC 1983.

Well keep up the good work and stand united and strong.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Legal work and campaigns, such as the information contained in the Texas Pack, are one aspect of our struggle toward a society without the abuses that the Texas Pack is focused on: grievance problems, indigent mail restrictions, exorbitant medical copay, and others. We don't think we can get to that society by focusing on just this angle alone, however. So we push our comrades who are getting good information from the Texas Pack to also recognize the bigger picture and the long-term struggle. MIM(Prisons)'s work is focused on prisons in the United $tates, but we strive for this work to coincide with the struggles of the most oppressed peoples in the world. If you're ready to take that step from prison reformer to revolutionary, we offer lots of study materials on the topic, and a correspondence study course for $10 or work-trade.

[Medical Care] [Allred Unit] [Texas]

Medical test results withheld in Texas

I am wrangling with the medical dept about getting the results of recent tests for HIV and HEPC, and also about getting the prescription for glasses that were issued to me about a month ago. I've been getting glasses since 2005 and the prescription has always come with the glasses until this year. When I noticed that the prescription wasn't in the eyeglass case I asked the nurse that brought them to me and she told me to write to the medical dept and it would be sent to me. So I waited about 2-3 weeks to give the blood test results to come in then I sent them an I-60 request form asking for the results of the tests and the prescription for the glasses and was informed that I had to pay for them.

I sent another I-60 informing them that I had paid the $100 co-pay and the eye wear prescription and the results of the blood tests are a part of the service that was paid for but was told that to receive a copy of anything I had to pay. I've written a grievance but won’t receive a reply for 45 or more days.

I was shown a TX grievance guide by someone and would very much appreciate it if you could send me one. I had one from the concerned Christians of San Antonio, TX from 2010 but when I got to this unit the officers shaking down my property threw them away with a lot of other stuff. I need one terribly bad because there are quite a few abuses here on this maximum security unit.