Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

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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] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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4 Days of Confinement and Confusion

Can you tell me what the basic needs that a prison must provide you with? I'm asking because I was recently locked up in solitary confinement (PHI) for 4 days without toilet paper, light, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, or writing material. I had to eat any food with my hands, and I had never had a hearing of any kind. I was not found guilty of any infraction. Nor was I told why I was being locked up in pre-hearing detention/solitary confinement, until the 4 day when I was released from these conditions .

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[Medical Care] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Medical Abuse in Texas

I'm writing to request information and a guide to challenge TDCJ's medical co-payment. I am dealing with them trying to retaliate against me by charging me for services that are clearly exempted, i.e. falling from the top bunk and seeking medical attention for my knee and head right afterwards. I've been serving time for over 21 years and never really needed to know how to file anything against them properly until now.

I'd also like to ask if you know of anyone, yourself or other organization, that can help me in filing a 1983 lawsuit against TDCJ for their deliberate indifference and negligence in treating me. I wrote a Step 1 grievance on January 28 telling them that I was having trouble getting in and out of the top bunk, having fallen and hurting myself a number of times, and that there was no safe way to climb up (there's no steps or ladder in these old units) and requesting a bottom bunk or to be moved out to the camp. On February 10 I fell again and wrecked my knee and slammed my head into my fan.

I sought medical attention (for which I'm being charged) and was seen as a walk-in and had an accident report done. Then was told I'd be referred to the provider and be seen in 2-3 days. They refused to give me a bottom bunk then, even though I could barely walk and couldn't get up into my top bunk. After talking to various rank and being told only medical could give me a bottom bunk (and the nurse said it had to be swollen or broken before they'd do that), and to figure it out, I took a fall that night and spasmed my back, locking it up so that I couldn't sit up or even walk. Medical assumed I was faking and told me to get up and go back to my cell and again refused me treatment. I was locked up and disciplined for three weeks and subjected to a variety of retaliations.

After I wrote all of this up and sent letters to the Warden and Office of Inspector General, they finally let me see the provider and she ordered x-rays. The x-rays showed my ankle is fractured. Although so far I'm only being treated for one, the other ankle and shin feel the same way. They've put me in a walking boot and referred me to Galvaston, and put me in a bottom bunk as far as possible in the pod. So I'm forced to climb up and down four flights of stairs multiple times a day.

I know very little about the law or proper legal issues. I'm trying to learn right now, but could really use some help. I've given up asking these writ writers in here cause they can never agree on anything. From what I can find, this is a simple, cut and dry case. I've been keeping copies of everything I've written so far, but I don't know what else to do. I don't care about "getting paid," I just want them to fix these cells like they're supposed to. There are 116 units in this system and this is the largest, yet most all the others have steps and handles and tables to get up and down the top bunks. Guys like me who are big (I'm 6'5'' tall and weigh 280 lbs - I was over 315 lbs last year) are at risk and hurting themselves and it seems like nobody cares.

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 50]
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Medical Copay Extortion Adjusted

I received the information on the study group/cells which I go over several times a night, then engage my neighbor here in Ad-Seg/SHU in good conversation. At times others quit talking, and conversation don't resume until directly after I am forced to sit down after standing on cold hard concrete a few hours. I have severe nerve damage from diabetes as well as this cement box environment. But I do hit the door at least 4 times a day to continue or expand the topics I read in past issues of ULK I have, or the more recent materials you have sent like "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" and "Commitment is the Key." I have got two young men reading many of my past issues of ULK that I have received from you and inherited from others over the years.

Forming an actual study cell on this 14-man section of the pod is hit and miss. The Security Threat Group Office has a very broad but vague description of who and what constitutes an STG member/group. And this being a highly militarized zone in central texa$ with Ft. Hood and an Air Force base nearby; many who discharged or were drummed out come to work here, with severe cases of hate toward prisoners in general. A few target anyone deemed anti-american or anti-capitalist.

What I see are quite a few who support the xenophobic racist Trump, even a few people one would not expect such as several black and mexican officers! I do not capitalize their race/color or call them New Afrikans or [email protected] because they are not to me, supporting a vile individual like Trump. I have attempted to find out why they support him. It's the rhetoric he spews that they believe in. More jobs, make america great, stronger military presence overseas, etc. Because of my reaction and comments I have lost meal trays come slop time, or been "forgotten" for medical lay in, rec or even shower time. Even my mail gets misplaced for days or given to the wrong person on another section!

Oh, an update on medical co-payment in texa$ and University of Texas Medical Board (UTMB) Healthcare. As of 1 February 2016 TDC prisoners are not charged medical copay for the dentist UNLESS it is for teeth cleaning. So texas comrades let it be known on your facilities. This came directly out of the mouth of UTMB Dentist of the Year for 2016 quoting the director of texas healthcare in TDC and the director of TDC dentistry.

As of April 2016, I am currently battling a new TDC move on medical copay. If you do win your initial grievance Step 1 or Step 2, they now go back on your records previous 24 months and look for things to charge for that were overlooked the first time. I have a grievance filed specifically countering that. When I hear a response I will inform all my comrades at MIM(Prisons).


MIM(Prisons) responds: We appreciate this comrade updating us on the medical copay campaign, and we are not surprised that TDCJ is going back thru medical records to see what they can charge for. It's just another example of the eternal dead end of reformism. As revolutionaries, we work on reforms presently so we can lay the groundwork for our more broad political organizing. We recognize the need for a complete change in the system that capitalizes off of humyn suffering, and we are always striving toward this goal.

Subscribers should keep sending us updates on the several campaigns we are supporting all across the United $nakes.

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[Abuse] [Stringfellow Unit] [Texas]
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Old Construction Contaminating the Air

Since early January there has been a lot of reconstruction going in in this old building. A lot! There is dust and other materials in the air from the workers scraping old paints from the walls, and the grinding of metal, etc. Needless to say, these acts have polluted the air. Not many guys are complaining, or talking about this matter so far, but I know that having to breathe in contaminated air for weeks can't be so healthy. So, I want it to be known, and I intend to write to other outside organizations in hopes of letting my words spread.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Ferguson Prison: Brutality and other Abuse

Here's some conditions I and others go through around here. When asking for a ranking officer, we are denied. Mostly when we ask for grievances on the block, they have none, or lie and say they don't. Inmate brutality, guards using unnecessary force always, putting their hands on us. They don't give us cleaning products to clean the cells or toilets. They make us buy them off commissary. I hardly ever go to the store, so I can't. We hardly ever go to the Rec Yard. I know they are violating our rights and its not right.

They also pass out mail without checking inmate IDs, & other people get our mail. I just got a grievance back from the warden on the subject. He don't even care. I also need anything else you have that will help me in TX prisons.

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[Campaigns] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 49]
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Making Moves on Indigent Mail Campaign

In 1987, the Guajardo v. Estelle case, modifying the correspondence regulations in the Texas prison system, was finalized. One of the results of Guajardo was prisoners with less than $5.00 in their trust fund accounts were considered indigent, and thereby entitled to five one-ounce First Class correspondences per week, and unlimited legal and privileged correspondences.

Circa 1998, Jason Powers, attorney at law, with the firm Vinson & Elkins, contacted me informing me the state had filed a motion to vacate Guajardo pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Powers solicited my assistance in defending plaintiffs' objection to State's motion. Obviously, the plaintiffs failed to prevail.

My concern regarding recent constrictions in indigent correspondence procedures is: Since vacating of Guajardo, indigent prisoner correspondence has been reduced from the 5 personal letters a week and unlimited legal correspondence, to 5 personal and 5 legal correspondence per month. This, when the indigent requirement has remained less than $5.00 since 1978, never being adjusted per the inflated dollar.

As such, I intend to commence a petition campaign directed at State Senator John Whitmire, State Committee on Criminal Justice, demanding not only that the 5x5 weekly indigent correspondence regulations be reimplemented, but that the standard of indigence required be adjusted to reflect a realistic inflated dollar. So fly this by your grievance writers and gauge their thoughts on the matter.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The reduction in indigent prisoner correspondence envelopes has a direct impact on prisoners' ability to stay in contact with family, fight legal battles, and engage in political education and organizing. The criminal injustice system wants to curtail these activities as a part of the goal of social control. As revolutionaries we support campaigns to expand access to correspondence, as we know this is critical to our ability to reach our comrades behind bars. We look forward to input from other grievance campaign participants about this new tactic in Texas.

Another campaign that is active in Texas is the right to access to a law library. We also recently learned that the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook has been banned across the Texas Department of Criminal Injustice as of October 29, 2015. Texas is continuing a long history of assault on oppressed peoples in that state, and the only way we're going to be able to overcome the new (and old) tactics developed (and re-instituted) daily is to overthrow the state apparatus that makes it possible. Obviously Amerikkka's government system has got to go.

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[Abuse] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Long-Term Untreated Injury from Officer Excessive Use of Force

I have been dealing with this unjust system in the federal court for their abusive action. In 2009 I was brutally injured by some TDCJ officers.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found one of the Sergeants at fault for non-provoked unnecessary excessive use of force. With the help of his co-workers my tibula and fibula were snapped causing a compound fracture break so serious that the paramedics could not transport me. I had to be life flighted to a free world hospital. Then with it being an "offender and officer" ordeal, medical was lacking so gangrene set into my leg. Plus one of the screws of the hardware had bent and when medical did surgery they left half the broken screw inside my leg.

I thought the Attorney General's office was to seek justice, but even though the OIGs office found them at fault the AG's office is defending the officer like they did nothing wrong. To this day my leg is constantly swelling with major pain and I am not given proper pain treatment. I am supposed to be on a single level unit but I am not. I am not supposed to walk over 50 yards (50 feet by specialist suggestion, doctors that are specialists and work for University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) the same medical system that supplies the employees to the units). The doctors on the unit override their coworkers - the specialist - and making me put more pressure on my legs that has not fully healed. The mental stress - at times these officer get aggressive and this triggers an offense/defense mentality issue in me that almost causes me to get caught up in more trouble with this system. Is there a way to get this abuse to the mass media? You have officers jumping on handicapped and older people. The officers pick their battles.

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[Medical Care] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Medical Treatment and Medical Negligence

I have been having trouble with the medical treatment I have been given since entering the system, to include mis-diagnosis and further injury after this. I have twice been charged for treatment of illness/injury caused by neglect and the negligence of the medical department. Not only am I being charged, I am being refused surgery to correct an injury because it is not life-threatening. But it is definitely causing a lot of misery/discomfort and diminished quality of life.

Without getting into specifics, I was treated for cancer in 2011-2012 and after 1 year of trying to get properly diagnosed, I had chemotherapy and two surgeries. After my last surgery, I was forced to return to work and, despite complaints, developed a hernia on my surgery site. I have seen a surgeon twice since 2012 and have been declined for surgery and only given work restrictions.

I have a lot of complications developing from this and twice the medical department has charged me for treatment. I would like some help in the procedures to properly grieve these issues and prayerfully get relief. Thank you for your assistance.

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