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] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]

Beaten by pigs in Texas

I got jumped in some seg office. Yeah man, they fucked me up pretty bad. Shit, I woke up in the ER down in Huntsville. They beat the brakes off me while I was in handcuffs. There were five or six of em. All white! One of them fools was sitting on my back pony-style punching away at my head and face. The shit was so bad (I heard) that some sistas who saw that shit were crying rivers of tears. Many these people just grabbed me out of the hallway took me to an empty seg fofice and called me a nigger about a thousand times. After they did me bad, this one racist ass mutherfuckah came back over to me while I was laying there in handcuffs and put his knee on the side of my head and started crushing away. The whole time he was on my head with all of his weight, rocking back and forth like he was on some "Immah finish me a nigger off type shit."

Like I said, I blacked out wit this fool on top of my head. The crazy part is that I have witnesses that saw this fool beat for me right out of the hallway. But anyway, they did the old assault on an officer case to try to cover for what they did. Man I aint' never had no assault on an officer case. And I been coming to this place since 1985.

I been having real problems with headaches, nose bleeds, forgetting stuff and a lot more. They shipped me to this unit after they ran me through the ringger (court). I been dropping sick call request forms for three months now and they still ain't seen me for injuries. Th handcuffs that they were dragging me around by, done fuck up the nerves in my wrist and hands. I cannot even sleep at night cause the pain is unbearable at times. I be thinking about moving on with my life but my shit ain't right. So I got to file suit on they ass. Them fools almost killed me.

Comrade, man, I am 51 years old. And I was 50 when they done that stupid shit. I got a little over three years left on my ten year sentence. I had a few talks with some old heads that's been on that unit Eastham and they all said the same thing, it's a racist ass unit. And they just assault blacks just for the thrill of it.

I am writing y'all with an emergency stamp cause these folks be blocking my use of the indigent mail system for three months now. Making all types of bogus claims. I done filed three different grievances. It's been a real struggle. But anyway imma get back with y'all on this stupid ass not cause this ain't attorney client privileged. Whenever I do get indigent supplies I'll hit you up with a real letter. They got me in Seg G5 status. This some crazy shit. For beating me the fuck up!

[Abuse] [Legal] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]

McConnell Abuse and Lawsuits Update

There's quite a bit going on here at the McConnell Unit. A lot of retaliation going on against prisoners.

Supposedly there's a lawsuit pending against TDCJ that will be ruled on by March 2018. Regards to sleep deprivation. And because of that a lot of retaliation has been going on against us prisoners. Like for example, we get woken up at the middle of the night (between 12am and 2am) for roster bed book count time, which some guards (officers) will go way over board by forcing every prisoner to get out of bed to show, present his ID and face. And or they will turn on all of the lights to the whole Pod and leave them on until counts cleared. Some days they'll do that throughout the whole day. No such policy exists that says that the lights are to stay on until count clears. Or the officers will come and wake up whoever's cubicle number is on the list to be searched at around 1am to do the search. When policy specifically says that searches should be done by rack up time. Which on most days it's by 10:30pm Sgt. Ukandu was asked about it and I can't believe the response that he gave. He said, that because they are always short of staff it is why that they can't really follow policies. In other words it's okay for them to violate policies because they are short staffed. What do y'all think?

Lately I've been having a lot of problems with a guard that's been stalking, intimidating, retaliating, and harassing me. I've just filed my 6th or 9th grievance against her. Last year it got so bad that I filed a complaint against her with the Office of the Inspector General, and she was kept away from this building for almost a year. But now that she's being assigned over here against she's at it again. Now this time I've gotten my family involved. I had one of my brothers call Internal Affairs, O.I.G., and Ombudsman. See what happens?

Also I've been retaliated by the mailroom staff. For example, before I bought the book Murdered Innocents, I wrote the mailroom supervisor and asked her if the book was allowed to come in. She answered me back and told me yes, it was approved to come in. But now that I bought the book she's telling me that I can't have the book because it's denied. But the good thing is that I saved the I-60 form where she told that it was approved. So I've already filed my Step 1 grievance with that evidence. The thing is that the mailroom supervisor (Ms. Salles) denies the publications on the basis that they are personally offensive to her and not per TDCJ policy.

If you have any information that might be of help to me in regards to these issues, I appreciate very much if you could send it to me. Thank you!

I've heard a lot of prisoners say that they have filed sworn complaints with county District Attorney against TDCJ officers but never get a response back from the DA.

On this month of December there were some auditors here at the unit. I think that they were here for about two or three weeks. They were running chow real smooth. And one day one of the sgts was running chow and somebody asked him a question (I didn't hear exactly what they asked him) and Sgt. Said "Well, we have to show these people that yes, we do serve chow (hot meal) every meal." What does that tell you?

[Campaigns] [Organizing] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Grievance Campaign needed in Texas

I received your magazine Under Lock & Key. I appreciate the magazine and the helpful information inside. I did have a small problem with the mailroom here, who at first withheld the magazine for 7 days claiming pages 1 and 5 advocates prison disruption and strike. After much prayer and filing a grievance, seven days later the mailroom here gave your magazine to me.

I’m experiencing serious problems here at the Wynne Unit in Texas. With my grievance being processed, such as delays, unanswered grievances. And harassment and conspiracy by the grievance investigators at the Wynne Unit by the name of Doyle W. Davis and Preston H. Gadan II.

Grievance officers Doyle Davis and Preston Gajan harass and conspire with their fellow employees when an inmate files a grievance against an officer. When your grievance has merits, Davis and Gajan either will not answer your grievance or they will return your grievance unprocessed.

The grievance officer never explains how to correct the grievance or how to resubmit. I want to join your campaign “We demand our grievances are addressed.” I’m requesting that you send me a petition for the state-level of Texas. And I’m requesting a copy of your new follow-up petition written to Federal Law.

[Abuse] [Wallace Unit] [Texas]

Exposing Wallace Unit Abuses

I wanted to report some things that have gone on since Sept. 2018 I filed 4 grievances while housed on Wallace unit on the following: both cards 1/2 card AM shift refuse to turn us out to law library on time. Law library for G4 offenders is from 6:15-8:15AM daily except Tues/Thurs 6:30-8:30AM because general library runs 6:00-6:30AM Tues/Thurs. Ms. Reyna has been a helpful librarian allowing us ample time to check out a book and review periodicals at the law library. Mrs. Jones/Mrs. Wagner have been exceptional when I filed for copies of disciplinaries.

The grievance coordinator Ms. Merket hasn't been as helpful. I had sent I60s to her asking for grievance # from past dates and none come back. She did however tell me that if I was requesting documents that I must request through open records. About two weeks ago, Lt. Michael Tapscott on 2 card got upset that I filed a grievance because staff wasn't keeping withdrawals I60s, deposit slips, grievances securely there. Sgt. McQuirk was switched to 1 card PM shift. Michael Tapscott got his Lt. status back recently. Sgt. Tanner Mortensen on 2 card stated "grievances cause problems." COV Martinez/Lt. Corey Henry concurred the same thing! It is like they don't like being grieved.

Lt. Henry is our building Lt. Lt. Potter told me on 11/18/18 in front of Ms. Aguilar LVN "She doesn't need a long story" when addressing the pill window situation. On commissary day 11/18/18 between court time and 4:30PM, Sgt. Soto, Lt. Potter failed to call control J2 for pill window on E, F, and G wing. People in the day room were telling on Enriquez "Pill Window." Enriquez stated they haven't called for it. Lt. Corey Henry told me to talk to Lt. Potter that he wasn't aware that J2 G4s weren't at PM pill window. I filed the step 1 and they resolved it and started running G4s during count or when building count cleared. I talked to Ms. Hargrove LVN about the situation and she told me to breathe. Ms. Hargrove is the type of person that doesn't like me to initiate conversation. She just wants to get things done.

There is miscommunication on the unit severely on G4s. We are not afforded commissary weekly like G2s. They run OS every other week on $35.00 spend. The dates they ran us are follows: Oct 12, 24, Nov. 19. We go after J1. They don't have the holiday/hygiene pack in stock. We need to be able to go weekly. On my last unit Hightower, G4s went on Monday. Hightower is a small farm built like Wally Wallace. Lt. Henry would lock the wing if we were disorderly, etc. Major Bristow seems to participate in groupthink instead of being different from his Lt. The gang members disrespect the pigs. Mr. Alamonte sprayed an 18 year old Black man as he came out the cell for not obeying an order.

Laundry Sgt. Buske continues to screw comrades over on clothes giving them bigger sizes saying "I don't have mediums" (grievance # was filed last week)

They are mad that a comrade is exposing their deliberate indifference. Comrades are scared to file grievances.

[Abuse] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]

Disputes and Grievances Ignored in Texas

I am writing you at this time to submit my first article and to request books for myself that I will also share with others. I'm sure the Texas prison system is different then other states prison systems, one being a credit dispute resolution, where prisoners (offenders as we are now called) can dispute their begin sentence date, time earning class, and custody. But then the reply is "we can not change this without a court order." I challenged my begin date that was calculated by TDCJ who is cheating me out of four months. If the error is on their part why would I have to go back to court to force them to calculate my time properly? If they aren't going to help then why even have this department?

The disciplinary department is also similar where cases are judged based on "officers statement," because the officer states you committed an infraction, you are guilty. Even if you have evidence to the contrary. No actual evidence is investigated. Then prisoners must file a grievance which is also not properly investigated and the reply is usually a non-answer that has nothing to do with the problem. To receive proper + fair procedures, both disciplinary infractions and grievances should be handled by impartial persons outside the TOCJ system where these people are not related to, or friends of the very officers who are writing these cases or being investigated on grievances.

[Abuse] [Dominguez State Jail] [Texas]

Price Gouging in Commissary

I would also like to ask is it legal to price gouge on commissary. For instance a soup is like 5 or 6 for a dollar in the world but in county all they are charging us $1.00 a soup. Is this legal? The company that is selling us commissary is also the company that feeds us our 3 meals and they barely feed up and don't ever season nothing as well as cook as if they don't know how living us hungry with no choice but to pay ridiculous prices for commissary items. And they also sell us stuff that isn't to be resold. Like a box of crackers is supposed to be sold as a box not individually sold. They break down a box of crackers and sell them each sleeve for $1.50 that’s $6.00 a box of saltine crackers. Isn't this price gouging and monopolizing? They feed us like crap leaving us no choice but to pay ridiculous prices just cause were hungry. I’ll send you a copy of our commissary list so you can see for yourselves. I don't know I just don't think they should be charging 20 cents for a pack of sugar that you get for free when you buy a cup of coffee at a convenience store or 69 cents for a chico stick please help me understand this.

[Legal] [Abuse] [Dominguez State Jail] [Texas]

Law library access denied in Texas Jail

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and highest of spirits. I am currently Incarcerated in the Bexar County Jail awaiting trial. I recently read a copy of ULK 64. I must say I loved it. I tip my hat to all the workers helping the movement of ULK.

I am currently fighting for my 1st & 8th Amendments Bill of Rights. First and foremost I am considered Protective Custody Special Gang Management. Administrative Segregation under 21 hour confinement with meals served in the cells. Only to be let out for about 3 hours to shower & shave. But most days we are lucky to get 1.5 hours. We are not allowed to participate in any Jail programs or to attend any religious services due to Bexar County Jail not having enough sheriffs to escort us.

I've been Incarcerated in BCADC 4 months. I been filing Grievances to Bexar County Jail Administrator but I haven't received any response to any of my grievances. I've filed about 10 Grievances. I was hoping you all could possibly help me in anyway? I am currently fighting my case but due to my classification status I'm also not allowed to attend the law library. I'm in somewhat of a rut. How can I properly fight for my freedom when I'm not even allowed to attend the law library. However I can fill out via Blue form requesting legal materials. But How do I know what it is I need if I can't physically attend to do research? Could you please send me legal law materials & books? I really really need A Blacks Law Dictionary. My law library says they cannot send me one OR allow me to use one. I must request them to define only 5 words at a time, then wait 10 days for them to provide a response & material. The system Here is very corrupt.

[Abuse] [Censorship] [Stiles Unit] [Texas]

Censorship and Health Violations at Stiles Unit

On 11-1-18 i received a denial of publication, for Under Lock & Key #63. Stating that pages 1 and 5 advocate for prison disruption, however I appealed and was again denied. So I had it sent to my sister.I received Under Lock & Key #64 and was glad to see that it was not denied.

I've been fighting the system for years and have a few people behind me. The Stiles Unit has been in violation of a Health Code and Sanitation Violation. 8 building, where I'm being housed, is a building for the G-5/Close Custody and G4/Medium Custody Offenders, and this administration has set up a make shift kitchen, the food is always cold, the trays are not being sanitized because there is no dishwasher in the make shift kitchen. Offenders handle food without gloves on or hair nets. I've filed a Grievance about it along with 10 other comrades trying to make a change but the Grievance process is a joke. Sometimes they never answer grievances. Would you please send the grievance petition.

[Medical Care] [Boyd Unit] [Texas]

Medical Neglect at Boyd in Texas

I need Sworn Complaint Form to file criminal complaint against prison nurse for falsification of State Medical Records with Grimes County District Attorney in violation of Texas State Penal Code § 37.09 and § 37.10. We have a L.V.N. named Gwendolyn Crawford (a.k.a. "Killer Crawford the Angel of Death") who falsified my medical records on 10/18/18 stating I complained of cold like symptoms, when in fact I complained of a Kidney Infection and Urinary Tract Infection and had a 103.8 Temperature at 6 pm. After Crawford falsified my records I was sent back to my cell. At 12:30am I had to be carried to medical on an emergency where I was shaking so violently from the chills from the fever and infection that guards thought I was having a seizure. R.N. Benson conducted the test for Kidney/Urinary Tract Infection and test was positive showing elevated white blood cell count, protein in urine and fever of 103.8° and Tara Lierdsey, N.P. was called and antibiotics were prescribed, only after they discovered L.V.N. Crawford had falsified my medical record 6 1/2 hours earlier. Crawford was deliberately indifferent to my serious medical needs, practiced medicine outside the scope of her license and violated State Tort Laws of Medical Negligence/Malpractice; as well as violated the Texas Penal Code in falsifying my medical records; which resulted in physical harm, suffering, and mental anguish.

I wish to file both criminal charges with the Grimes County District Attorney and wish to file suit in Federal Court for Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

[Censorship] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Texas mail "lost" or delayed

Today I was denied the latest issue of ULK due to TDCJ BP.31, Reason C, page H5 advocates prison disruption/strike and it was a non-appealable item of course. Mrs. Thomas (Wayne Unit Mail Room Supervisor) informed me, when I inquired as to why so many people also weren't receiving their paid for magazine subscriptions, "Yes, I know, we aren't getting them here." And of course she doesn't know who could have held them up wither, "it must be the post office," which I know better. A lot of my mail is routed through zip code 77320-3144 office of TDCJ Director Bryan Collier and others, including the Inmate Trust Fund/Commissary Supervisor.

I have a lot of trouble receiving my Federal Credit Union statement that's sent out the 22nd of each month (PENFED in Alexandria, VA 22313) and I may it get 8 to 15 days later. My Truck Round Up Magazine, BUD K catalog, Popular Mechanics, and Reminisce of my eleven various subscriptions are most often to take the longest getting to me and sometimes not at all.

Mrs. Thomas swears TDCJ has nothing to do with it either. My mother and sister are retired postal employees and I know the post office is over 99% effective and reliable. TDCJ, on the other hand, isn't at all trustworthy! I've fought this issue over a decade now with absolutely no positive results and don't know what else to do or who to contact about it, the ARRM director says they don't answer prisoner questions/mail, if you have a problem, submit a grievance, which, of course, do not work for prisoners at all. Perhaps you have something that could help? Thank you, and I did immediately submit a step 1 grievance too.