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)

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)

[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 46]
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Plan of Attack on Texas Hiding Grievance Manual

TDCJ Pig
To the comrade who submitted the article "Texas Hides Grievance Manual" on a memo by Access to Courts Supervisor Frank Hoke, take these words of wisdom.

The grievance procedure was certified by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Southern District of Texas in 1989. In 1999 the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) and Agency officials approved the Offender Grievance Operations Manual (OGOM) and screening criteria. Pursuant to Board Policy (BP) 03.77,

"The resolution support manager shall establish and maintain the Offender Grievance Operations Manual (OGOM) to provide guidance to employees regarding the offender grievance procedure. ... Instructions on how to use the offender grievance procedure shall be established separately from the OGOM for distribution to offenders and employees. Provisions for training, education, and implementation of the offender grievance procedure shall be established in AD-03.82, 'Management of Offender Grievances' and the OGOM." Signed by Oliver J. Bell, Chairman TBCJ

Note the last part in BP-03.77 "shall be established in AD-03.82." In AD-03.82, the Resolution Support Manager is responsible for oversight of access to courts, offender grievance and Ombudsman. Section I of AD-03.82 establishes the set criterion of emergency and specialty grievance. Furthermore, AD-03.82 Section IV A states: "Copies of BP-03.77 ... and this directive, as well as instructions on how to use the offender grievance procedure shall be available at each unit, to include copies in the law library." AD-03.82 Section VI A states: "The resolution support manager shall direct, administer, supervise, and manage the implementation and operation of the offender grievance procedure without interference by any employee."

The memo you described was not issued by Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ). So it is null and void, being it amends AD-03.82 and BP-03.77. On Page 1 Chapter II of the OGOM titled "Authority" it states: "AD-03.82 'Management of Offender Grievances'. Establishes agency expectations and the fundamental groundwork for the effective operation of the Offender Grievance Program. The administrative directive is more specific than board policy and supports the grievance process by providing a basis for the offender grievance operations manual."

Notice that the Access to Courts is not the agency that is responsible or authorized to make policy or amendments to policy or revisions. The Access to Courts is violating the Liberty Interest Protections in AD-03.82, being that Frank Hoke is not authorized to amend oversight policy or the OGOM. These revisions unauthorized by Oliver J. Bell have not been tested for constitutionality and changes AD-03.82 in violation of Texas law and Texas constitution articles 1, 13, and 17. Please read the article titled "Right to Assist others with Legal Work" in ULK 42 and you will see why they are doing this. Law library staff violate privacy rights, copying letters, which they send to Access to Courts for review. An Access to Courts violation has occurred which impedes, hinders or denies these rights. There has been no change in AD-03.82 or BP-03.77. Hoke's memo will only go in effect if we allow it. This is an unauthorized confiscation of OGOM without reason of safety or security justification. See Corby v. Conboy, 457 F2d 251 (1972). Always keep the pigs within the "pen," or they will eat up your rights and liberty and defecate corruption, that will abolish the smell of peace, and make the path of unity impossible to walk.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The knowledge of the invalidity of this practice within Texas prisons is certainly something we can use in our fight to remedy this repression. Prisoners in Texas should take the information above and apply it to their struggle to get the grievance manual put back into facility law libraries across the state. If someone puts together a sample grievance, petition, or other organizing tool then we can distribute it as part of our Texas Activist Pack.

But we also know that just because something is illegal or invalid doesn't mean that the state will ever actually be held accountable, or be made to follow law. This is evidenced in prisons all across the country, and on a broader scale by the illegal settlement of Palestine by I$rael and the many illegal atrocities committed by the United $tates and imperialist corporations all across the world. Those with power will do whatever suits their interests. A grievance campaign might help us win small victories. But we can't be deluded into thinking that if we just point out to them that they are breaking the law they will change their behavior.

Mumia Abu-Jamal explains this well in the book Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. In the Preface, Mumia hammers home the point that law is what a judge decides in the moment; that they make it up as they go along. In a discussion about what makes jailhouse lawyers go crazy, Delbert Africa explains to Mumia,

"It drives they ass crazy 'cuz they cain't handle the fact that the System just make and break they laws as it see fit! How many treaties they done signed with the Indians? Ain't a one of 'em they done kept! Some of 'em broke 'em befo' the ink was dry on 'em old treaties! Them the same folks who run this System today! If they couldn't keep a treaty with Indians when they first got here, what make you think they gonna keep they so-called law today, especially when it come to me and you, man?"

Mumia pushed Africa to explain further why this makes jailhouse lawyers go crazy, and Africa responded,

"They go crazy becuz, Mu, they really believe in the System, and this System always betray those that believe in it! That's what drive them out of they minds, man. They cain't handle that. It literally drives them out they mind. I see 'em around here, walkin' 'round here dazed, crazy as a bedbug!"

Mumia follows this conversation with an anecdote about a jailhouse lawyer he knew from death row who insisted his appeal would be granted because his argument was so "black and white" that the judge "gotta" go for it. But as Mumia explained to this brother,

"They do what they wanna do, man! Just 'cuz it says something in one case, they don't have to go by that case, man. I agree with you, that you got a damn good argument — and you should prevail — but I don't go for that 'gotta' rap!"

While we want to hold our oppressors publicly accountable as much as we can, these struggles are more about highlighting inadequacies of the injustice system and agitating for others to join our struggle against capitalism and imperialism. When we do win a legal battle, we take it as an opportunity to build space for more revolutionary organizing. We ultimately need to wage a protracted, long-term struggle (that eventually will be an armed struggle) against this oppressive legal and economic system under which we attempt to live. In the meantime, we agree with Mumia that "the law ain't nothing but whatta judge say the law is."

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Medical Care] [Clemens Unit] [Texas]
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Clemens Unit Complaints

Grievance Petition Update


I have been filing numerous grievances since I last wrote in. I also used the grievance petition to my advantage. Below is an update of people I have contacted about the grievance petition, when, and the result.

I received a memo from the TDCJ Ombudsman office after mailing a petition to Governor Greg Abbotts's office 13 April 2015 stating "Your correspondence was forwarded to this office by the office of the Governor. The Governor's office does not respond to prisoner complaints or requests."

I wrote to...
... Scott Medlock of the Texas Civil Rights Project at his new address. It is 1101 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702. I wrote to him on 19 May 2015, and have not received any response.
... Senator Jean Huffman on 23 February 2015, with no response.
... FBI Houston 15 June 2015, with no response.
... Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on 26 May 2015, with no response.
... Region 3 Director Leonard Echessa on 3 July 2015.

I would like to receive 50 petitions so that I can mail to district attorneys in the surrounding counties. I took it upon myself to participate in this campaign because there needs to be accountability.

Obstruction of Grievance Process

CO II Okonknoo called me a "troublemaker" and made a comment stating something like "I have received a lot of grievances [on my misconduct]. The grievances help promote me. Every grievance that is written on me states that I am doing my job. Let me do my job."

Grievance Investigator II Anna Rodriguez fails to answer questions in regard to grievance numbers. She asks me why I need these numbers, and states that she doesn't know the pigs who receive the Step 2 grievances in Huntsville, Texas.

Every Step 2 medical grievance sent comes back with a rubber stamp. Myra Walker was usually the one that signs off on step 2 medical grievances.

Rat and Roach Infestation, Rotten Food

I live in a dorm with 53 other comrades where rats tear up soups in lockers, and roaches are all over. Comrades leave cups and spoons all over the floor. The dishwasher is always messed up. Therefore we comrades get dirty spoons, cups, and plates.

They undercook food. I can't even eat greasy food in prison like I used to: chili, mac, beef noodle casserole. Most of it is pork. The diet for health trays contains pork. We are eating bananas and cucumbers, some of which are rotten.

Unkept Facilities and Supplies

I have been constantly sneezing and coughing up mucus. It is overly dusty here. Urinals and plumbing is filthy rotten. There are shower heads that are out. I press some of them and every now and then they work. They need maintenance. Maintenance never comes in to inspect and fix the drainage issues.

We haven't received any cleaning supplies in a long time. At my last unit and other units we get cleaning supplies each week. This unit doesn't care about cleanliness.

We are only allowed one pair of boxers, one top, one bottom, and one pair of socks. We exchange daily. At other units (Robertson/Roach), you keep two pairs of each. Pigs trip about having more than one pair of boxers. The boxers are torn up. They expect us comrades to wear these torn up boxers. The laundry department refuses to repair them. This also goes for the shirts. They never replace missing pockets in the shirts or the pants.

They do not change the water coolers every hour throughout the day/night like they are supposed to. There is a lot of heat exhaustion. This is an older unit. I feel that they need to shut down this unit.

Guards and Medical

The majority of staff at the unit are Afrikan nationals who treat comrades as trash. They bring their bad attitudes to the prison and unleash it on comrades. Most of the pigs don't wear their nametags which is a violation.

I had a lot of problems showering at night because pigs want to screw comrades of showers when they work 1st shift/go to school. Every comrade should be afforded a shower.

The medical department is bad. The lighting in the dayroom at nighttime is too bright and it has hurt my vision severely. I was diagnosed with lattice degeneration and dot hemorrhage (thinning of retina). Medical doesn't do a lot for comrades.

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[Religious Repression] [Texas]
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Unequal Religious Permissions in TDCJ

TDCJ started allowing pagans to have a "service" once a week. We get 1 hour for non-outside-leader peer-to-peer, and 2 hours for groups led by an outside teacher. But the problem is that they don't even follow the policy that they themselves put into place, and 90% of chaplains and corrections officers (COs) are anti-pagan. These so-called Christians are the ones who oppress everybody who is not a Jesus follower. They cannot understand why we, those liberated from a "slave religion," refuse to follow their way. So they oppress us all as "satanists," which is funny when most of us don't even believe in the guy.

The chaplains will "lay us all in" (give a pass) to attend "pagan services" at a pre-determined time and place. It's almost always at count time when no movement is to be allowed, or at shift change when the COs are trying to get gone. So it's impossible to get out the door most of the time. When we do, they expect all of us, Wiccans, Ásatrú/Odinist, Druids, etc., to group up together and do our thing in a common circle. This does not work! We are so different from each other that it would be like making Muslims, Catholics and Christians all group up and have church together. I've had kingsmen (fellow followers) get locked up for asking to speak to the major or warden to get permission to be in separate groups. The unit chaplain didn't like the idea that we may get our way over what he had in mind. We tried to do some simple rites, based on what TDCJ policy lays out that we can do but this was shut down. Administration claimed that we require an outside leader. They don't understand that we don't require a priest or the equal to lead our groups. Most of the time who lead a rite is rotated or chosen by knowledge of the purpose and/or reason for said rite. Most of the simple rites don't require anything more than a cup and bowl, which we can get from unit commissary. But they want to try to oppress us by saying that we can only get together and study our lore during our hour long session.

I want to ask all Texas Pagans to come together and fight to get equal rights as the other religions. It would even be good for any oppressed Pagans of other states to join the movement for our "services." Don't let the powers that be use scare tactics to stop the equal rights. All it takes is a unified front to stand together and it will work in our favor.

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[Abuse] [Prison Labor] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]
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Carrot and Stick in TDCJ

I am doing time and slave labor on the Wynne Unit in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). This is an industry unit. Millions of dollars worth of commodities are mass produced by prisoners who receive no type of worthwhile compensation. These items consist of vehicle registration stickers, license plates, mattresses that range from Sealy Posturepedic to college dorm and prisoner beds. Signs are produced for a wide range of functions, and there's a computer recovery warehouse that refurbishes used and discarded units to be sent to high schools and hospitals.

It goes without saying that if everyone decided to lay it down the powers that be would have a serious problem. Yet sadly enough out of the 2,200 prisoners housed here, the number would more than likely be in the double digits only. You have those who don't want to lose their clerk job where they might get a few perks every now and then. Some in the craft shop would put the craft shop first. I do understand why people want to protect their "jobs," but how much longer are we going to stand by and be forced to witness the constant abuse of power?

I have been locked up in segregation unjustly. I've seen my brothers lose their lives which may have been prevented if the COs acted as if they gave a damn. Although we all know they don't. So, we rise early every morning, we are told to work "or else", and god forbid you try to utilize the option to go to school because you are expected to be at work before sunrise even if you are trying to educate your mind and work on your attitude.

It's no secret that the TDCJ's main concern all the way around is money. Ironically our "great state's" prison system is in the negative on funds but will not hesitate to lock someone up over a bullshit parole violation or something nonviolent like theft. And we are being punished daily by the COs and administration who use their position as an opportunity to abuse other human beings and get away with it. Our so-called grievance system is a laugh-out-loud joke, just like TDCJ's good time and work time fiascos.

The reality is that if just one third of our prison population would spend some of those phone minutes on educating our outside support rather than crying about more money for holiday packs and new shoes every 6 months, we might see some difference. Let people know how they can help, without making TDCJ's commissary richer. I like candy and sodas as much as the next guy. What I don't like is getting treated like dog shit just because I'm trying to resolve a problem. The indigent mail issue, the medical copay, the good time, work time and assaults on inmates by guards are but a few of our long list of issues that are not just going to disappear. We will not go quietly into that good night, and we will not back down without a fight.

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[Religious Repression] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Lockdown to Punish Those Fasting During Ramadan

I'm on lock during the month of Ramadan because I'm Muslim and I'm fasting. I've written grievances (I-60s) to Warden Vondra, the head Warden, and to Warden Clark concerning the Ramadan service for the Muslims on Ferguson Unit. Isn't it some type of violation for them to lock us down during the month of Ramadan? It started on 18 June 2015 [reported 7 July 2015].

They also have violated the right for us taking showers too because they have exceeded the limitation of 72 hours between shower access. While we have been on lockdown for the Muslims who are fasting we have been getting regular Johnnys along with the rest of the unit. It seems like they want us to break our fast and they don't bring us no type of cold water or nothing else to eat when our fast is broken. I feel that is wrong and the Muslims are being discriminated on Ferguson Unit. When we are on lockdown the Christians get to go to their service without any question being asked. I'm asking if I can get some type of help on this matter.

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[Control Units] [Texas]
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Following Policies or Following Whims?

After reading ULK 43 I decided to write for the cause. Seeing the article "Denied Recreation in Ad-Seg" written by a Texas prisoner made me want to expound on the same issues and expose the injustice in Texas prisons as a whole. From general population to Ad-Seg we all take the unfair shake of the hand; from the food on most units, to the disciplinary system, to the grievance system setup, to segregation placement and release. It's all kangaroo! And the chance for changing this seems highly unlikely. The "new" Willie Lynch and Jim Crow still has the masses blind, programmed and divided.

On this unit there are only two grievance investigators yet neither knows any answers to questions about grievances. Some grievances I've filed that have substantial evidence against officers or the system take 90 days to "investigate" and/or come up lost. Others come back with such a general response, it doesn't address the issues grieved. I have over ten grievances with the same response!

There's no need to really comment on the disciplinary system. Anyone who's ever caught a case knows how that turns out 99% of the time. I've never understood how the substitute counsel is supposed to be here to help us prisoners in such a matter when they are employed by the same agency that employs the captain who will find you guilty.

All of the conditions for management and release can be found in the Administrative Segregation Plan in the law library, signed by Director Rick Thaler on 6 March 2012. A lot of us are in segregation for some b.s., and once here they keep us here against policy with lame reasons or some non-violent infraction which has nothing to do with segregation placement anyway. Here are a few helpful things listed in the Administrative Segretation Plan.


I. Definitions A. At no time shall administrative segregation be used as punishment for misconduct. Punishment of an offender shall be assessed and imposed only pursuant to the provisions of the rules governing disciplinary procedures.

VI. Recommendations for Release B. General Procedures
1. The ASC may make recommendations to the SCC [State Classification Committee] for removal of an administrative segretation offender from administrative segregation who is between routine SCC reviews.
2. When considering the release of an administrative segregation offender to the general population, the SCC shall base the decision on whether the offender would still be:
a. A current escape risk;
b. A physical threat to staff or other offenders;
c. A threat to the order and security of the prison as evidenced by repeated, serious disciplinary violations


Grab a look at that policy, then ask yourself and others, does it take keeping a human being in segregation 3, 4, 5, or 10 years for any reason, provided their behavior is not continuously violent? I myself have been in segregation for almost 600 days now, for "possession of a weapon," that was not actually on me but in a cell where me and another prisoner were housed. Anyway, I'm labeled as a threat. I haven't done anything to anybody, haven't caught any violent cases either. When will I not be considered a threat? I'm not even labeled as part of a "security threat group," or escape risk!

To all of us in the struggle I just want to say keep your head high and strong. Learn the rules and know the game.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This author's experience shows that prisoncrats don't have to follow their own rules for responding to grievances, just like they don't need any substantive justification for torturing individuals for years. There are many who spend their time and energy trying to improve the protections for prisoners by enhancing prison rules. We can use this tactic to our advantage to make space for our organizing, but ultimately we wonder what's the big picture? The anecdote above is just one small example of the role of social control of Amerikkkan prisons which has been blatant for decades. And prison reformers have been trying to for decades improve these same prisons' conditions, while doing nothing to dismantle the economic system which requires oppression of groups over other groups. Prisons are a manifestation of that hierarchy, and capitalism is the economic system that we must destroy.

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[Migrants] [Texas] [ULK Issue 45]
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Ensuring Prisons are Populated

When the U.S. border patrol concocted a plan in 2005 with the help of George W. Bush called "Operation Streamline" the idea was to get tough on immigration by arresting and prosecuting those who crossed the border, instead of simply deporting them or placing them in a civil detention center. According to a report by the Bureau of Justice (BOJ) more than 80% of immigrant defendants received a prison sentence.(1) This punishment was for crossing an imaginary line into territory that was, before the battle of Alamo, their country's land. If one looks at it from the side of someone who crosses illegally, held up to 15 months in jail, one must ask what the hell is going on with this new prison system. According to the BOJ statistics the more than 60,000 people convicted of immigration crimes in 2014-15 were primarily found guilty of one of two things: "illegal entry" or "illegal re-entry."

In Texas, where many arrests are taking place, it is costing the state $270/day to house immigrants, not including food. That's $98,550 a year! Former Attorney General Eric Holder announced reforms to the nation's drug sentencing laws in an attempt to reduce the number of federal prisoners held on non-violent offenses, but these actions are not tackling the bigger picture. The expanding pool of new prisoners has meant steady business for the two largest U.S. private prison corporations. Last year, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) received 30% of its revenue from federal contracts with the U.S. Marshall Service and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a total of $546 million. The GEO group received more than 25% of its revenue for a total of $384 million and four of the CCA's board's senior executives are former BOP employees. In Pearsall, Texas, there is a jail that can house up to 1,800 men at any one time, sleeping up to 100 on iron bunks in dormitories. This isn't a traditional jail, but a piece of land surrounded by fences topped by razor wire and run by the GEO group.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of new senate immigration legislation estimated that

"the additional prosecutions under the bill would lead to an increase in incarceration costs totaling about $1.6 billion over the 2014-2023 period ... Those costs would stem from the increased number of individuals prosecuted, the change in sentencing guidelines, and the rate of conviction. ... Implementing the legislation would increase the prison population by about 14,000 inmates annually by 2018. The total additional costs to detain, prosecute, and incarcerate offenders would total $3.1 billion over the 2014-2023 period..."(2)

In Arizona, three privately run jails have contracts that require 100% occupancy. The main incentive for private prisons is to make money and they lobby politicians to keep it that way. The United $tates is a country where private corporations profit from "lockup quotas." So in the eyes of capitalism "Operation Streamline" is full steam ahead.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Private prisons are indeed cashing in on national oppression in the United $tates. And the use of prisons to target migrants is a key component to the imperialists' efforts to keep the borders closed and hoard wealth for Amerikan citizens. Defining the act of crossing an imaginary line in pursuit of a safer environment or a higher wage as illegal and requiring imprisonment is just one more way that the Amerikan criminal injustice system ensures a system of social control over oppressed people within U.$. borders. And the private prisons have found a way to turn a system that is inherently built on taking a financial loss (the government has to subsidize prisons as they do not make enough money from prisoner labor to run themselves) into a profitable enterprise for imperialist parasites. Sadly, there is no problem filling these prison quotas, as the criminal injustice system shows no sign of cutting back on what has become the largest imprisonment country per capita in the world. We have written before about the private prisons economic push to lock up more migrants.(1) And in response to these conditions, more recently we have seen some migrant prisoner protests.(2) In the end we won't be able to defeat this system of national oppression against migrants and all oppressed nations without dismantling imperialism itself. Imperialism depends on closed borders to ensure luxury for a few at the expense of the rest of the world.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons), "National Oppression as Migrant Detention," Under Lock & Key No. 11, November 2009.
2. MIM(Prisons), "Prisoners Take Over Adams Correctional Center in Protest of Conditions," Under Lock & Key No. 27, June 2012.

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[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 45]
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Finding Unity in Texas through ULK

I found a copy of Under lock & Key 39 and saw that right here in Texas concentration camps there are likeminded brothers struggling in other facilities in the same predicaments. Resist! Resist! Don't get discouraged! I am among you and our numbers are slowly growing.

This very morning I got the various gangs to quit talking bullshit by speaking to my likeminded neighbor about what I've read and studied from ULK 39. These white gang members normally talk over me and try to drown me out, but my voice is loud and I want to be heard by all; Black, Brown, Red, and white. Everyone finally got quiet and me and my neighbor talked. For about 45 minutes we talked about organized prison protests in California, of the 30,000 prisoners hunger strike, and the fact that in Texas you can't get more than two to agree to do it and they give up after commissary.

Then a Mexican brother got into our conversation and told me about MIM and MIM(Prisons). I told him I had found ULK 39 in my cell. He said it was his and they move him around every two weeks because he's a "threat to security." He then shot me ULKs 38 and 37, several Prison Action News publications, and the Texas petition to have our grievances addressed! I've been doing something similar for several years. It's really helped a few people out. There is a right way and a wrong way to write step one and step two grievances. It's the most asinine case I've ever run across, but if you use their own game rules against them most times you prevail. There are small victories. They just circumvent new policies with bogus practice.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The Texas activist pack is available to anyone in Texas who wants guidance on fighting to get grievances heard, and it also includes information on how to fight the medical copay as well as the restriction on indigent mail supplies. Just write to us for a copy. It's a big packet of information so if you can send a donation to cover the cost of printing and mailing, that would help us send more lit to other prisoners in need!

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[Religious Repression] [Idealism/Religion] [Texas] [ULK Issue 48]
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Take off the Religious Blindfolds

"Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich." - Napoleon Bonaparte

It seems Napoleon had a firm understanding of the opiate of the masses. Imperialism has been using religion as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It isn't any less apparent today inside the U.S. prison systems. In some cases, units offer 2-3 times as many religious classes as educational courses.

Most religions, especially Judeo-Christian ones, champion punishment, often unjustly, under the reasoning of "because I say so." There's no objective investigating, and nothing is circumstantial. This propaganda is flooded into the prison system to create the mindset that prisoners are bad people and do not belong in society. This also helps the people in the free world who do not see us as deserving of human rights. So they allow the imperialistic oppression to continue. Criminals shouldn't be punished, they should be rehabilitated.

They claim Jesus once said to "turn the other cheek." Pacifists rarely enact change. Religions for the most part promise a better afterlife which gets people to overlook and ignore what's going on here and now. They preach that if you sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut, it will be better after you are gone. I'm sure the imperialist pigs have no qualms about expediting your departure. Amerika loves this "shut up and take it" mentality; it's what the country was founded on. Every day, I see prisoners take verbal and physical abuse from the institution and do nothing because they are "trying to be good Christians."

The lumpen need to take off the blindfolds placed on their eyes by the church, synagogue, or mosque and realize materialism is the vehicle to a better life of freedom. Meaning true freedom from oppression in this current life they're living, not down the road after they're dead.

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[Abuse] [Mental Health] [Texas]
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Texas Mental Health Services Don't Service the Prisoners

I'm writing because I feel I'm not receiving the right treatment. I have stated this to the doctors and therapists here but the mental health staff don't care. I've been suffering from major depression since I was 12 years old, after I was molested by my mother's boyfriend. I've attempted suicide in the past; most recently was April 14. I had to be sent out to the hospital. I've been on life support twice. For the last 10 years I've been in and out of the hospital for suicide attempts.

The staff don't give a damn about what happens to us prisoners. This is supposed to be a mental health unit to help prisoners with their mental illness, but University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) does nothing at all to help. And the warden knows what's going on. A few months ago a prisoner killed himself and nothing happened. I've had nurses tell me they don't care if I kill myself. I've written grievances about the matter, and I've also written to senator John Whitmire and the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Brad Livingston. I'm not receiving any kind of treatment I feel I should be getting. I've asked for a new therapist and doctor. I've written the clinic director Dr. Farley, and Dr. Khawaja.

I've been having a lot of problems with my therapist (Mr. Dalazrer). Other prisoners and I have filed numerous complaints against him. I filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. He came to my cell door and stated if I wanted to get off psych and be able to come out of my cell I would show him my penis, so I filed a complaint. I wrote to the Ombudsman office, and the Inspector General Investigations Department. I tried talking to the warden. I filed the complaint on May 8, and it was complete on May 21. Nothing was done. Mr. Salazar has continued to come to my cell door. I feel very uncomfortable around him. On May 21 UTMB and the warden Comstock had a meeting with Mr. Salazar. Then on May 22 I was told I was being discharged from the mental health unit. I was told by a staffpersyn that I can continue to write to who I want, but that nothing would happen to Mr. Salazar.

Since I started filing complaints on Mr. Salazar and Dr. Patel they have retaliated against me by continuing to place me on psych cell, where I am on a "behavior management plan" and I can't come out my cell. Mr. Salazar has stated that if I don't talk to him, he will place me on psych cell. The reason I was placed on this behavior management plan was because I wrote a letter to my family explaining how I felt and the type of treatment I was receiving. I haven’t engaged in any aggressive behavior to be placed on the behavior plan. They have prisoners here who throw things on officers and medical staff, have uses of force, and get disciplinary cases and nothing is done to them. This is only retaliation. Once you're placed on this plan all your property is taken for a period of time. None of this is right. I have had an organization called "Inmate Assistance League" here in Texas contact a Dr. Penn in Huntsville Texas about this matter. But nothing was ever done.

I refuse to give up. I found out at visit from my brother that he hasn't been receiving my mail about the complaints I've filed. I will appreciate any kind of help you can give at this time, cause things is at its limit. The mental health system here in Texas is not good at all. I would like to request a subscription to ULK.

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