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

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)

[USSR] [Environmentalism] [Texas]
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Debating Stalin

I'm writing in response to the article "Gulf Oil Spill: It's Capitalism, Stupid!", and wanted to address one issue within the article. In this prisoner's article, he states that "this type of disaster would have had a very small to nil chance of happening in the former Soviet Union (1917-1953) [The Lenin and Stalin era] or the socialist People's Republic of China (1949-1976), because those communist countries wouldn't have had to do the extensive drilling that the First World seems so caught up with. Why? It is exactly because the communist countries implement something called 'planned economics,' to meet human needs."

We must be careful what we teach in regard to a better government when using the Stalinist era. This individual's comment regarding "planned economics" is wrong, it was not implemented peacefully but through violence. He should read about Stalin's seven year plan and the collectivization of property and farms. History reflects that Stalin killed over 20 million of his own country men, so using him or that era as an example is misguided. Stalin was a tyrant, a pathological killer. I would not name his era as one of humanity's finer points, nor look up to his "planned economics" which cost so many of his countrymen's lives.

Additionally, the Soviet Union's record regarding ecological and environmental disasters is one of complete failure and surpasses the United States record on a grand scale, both under the Stalinist era and even today.

It is ok to believe in one form of government or a goal of government, but let's not distort the past to build a better future as this is nothing more than an illusion in which we all already live under in America.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The original author was correct to uphold the Soviet Union and China as examples of environmentalism. In 1942, under Stalin's leadership, the city of Moscow composted all of the waste of its 4,000,000 inhabitants. The biothermal process heated large "greenhouse farms" in the city, while the resulting compost was used as fertilizer.(1) With all the talk of "green cities" in the United $tates, there are no projects that rival what the Soviets were doing 70 years ago. Similarly, China and the Soviet Union had massive recycling programs for metal decades before such things became fashionable in the imperialist countries. Also note, that if one were to do a quantitative comparison of socialist vs. capitalist environmentalism, one must compare countries of the same time period, reflecting similar ecological knowledge.

This letter gives us a chance to debunk some myths about the Stalin era in the Soviet Union in general. First, we want to be clear that state capitalism, which was put into place in the Soviet Union after Stalin's death, does not reflect Stalinism or any form of socialism. Therefore this author is just confusing the issue by complaining about environmental disasters there today. Second, we must point out that the article in question never claims that planned economics was an entirely peaceful process. However, we must be very clear that it was Stalin's policies and practices that enabled the Soviet Union to industrialize the Soviet Union, defeat Hitler and put an end to fascism, in spite of the purposeful non-interference policy of countries like the U.$. who hoped to stand aside and let fascism wipe out communism.

This letter reflects the typical anti-Stalinist propaganda of the imperialist countries who like to claim that Stalin himself killed over 20 million people, as if one man could possibly be so powerful. The reality is that many people died during the fight against fascism, and in fact Stalin himself did order or oversee many deaths of spies and those suspected of being infiltrators for the fascists. In this way Stalin ensured that the Soviet Union was the only country free of a Fifth Column of fascist spies and infiltrators. This made it possible for him to do what no other country could even come close to accomplishing, in spite of the lack of development and widespread poverty in the Soviet Union, and defeat Hitler. The aggressive industrialization and collectivization reflected the needs of the Soviet Union at the time those policies were implemented.

This letter includes the usual imperialist propaganda of labeling Stalin a pathological tyrant rather than looking at his actions and evaluating them scientifically. It's easy to sling around names masquerading as political criticisms. But when we look closely at Stalin's record and his policies we can see a history of carefully evaluating the difficult conditions of the time and making decisions about what to do based on the reality of those conditions. When you have the fascists amassing on your borders, planning invade and massacre your population to put in place a system of tyranny and oppression, sometimes the best options to fight those fascists don't involve picking flowers and singing happy songs. Without industrialization the Soviet Union could not have defeated Hitler (even Hitler saw this) and with an active Fifth Column of spies the fascists would have had the inside track on Soviet activities. In wartime difficult decisions must be made, and the world is lucky that Stalin was a man able to make these decisions scientifically, without sentiment, or we could be living under global fascist rule today. As it was the Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people to the war against the fascists. The number of lives saved by his victory in the war is never something he gets credit for, but even deaths from starvation due to the conditions of war are something his critics like to count as if Stalin had personally executed every single person who died during his leadership.

For more on Stalin we recommend MIM Theory 6, The Stalin Issue.

notes: 1. Anna Louis Strong, The Soviets Expected It, Toronto: Progress Publishing, 1942, p.15.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Texas]
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Chains of Another Kind

These are chains of another kind
I see locked on a souljah's mind
Got em killing for no purpose
So he feeling that life's worthless.
Raised in another struggle
Pray for better days but still trouble
I wonder will he break free from tha enemy
N see that a king is what he can be
We all victims of this white man's oppression
locked in by his trick words n hard lessons
I see kids grown up with no dads n moms
and in other countries they getting killed by bombs.
Drugs got tha hood on lock, how can we change
Mothers giving birth to babies with dead brains
Fathers living life in these pins
N this is all cuz tha color of our skin.
Browns, Blacks, Yellows, N Reds
No matter what, if ya ain't white, they wanna see ya dead
Open up ya eyes so you can see tha truth
and never stop trying ta turn seeds to fruit
I shed tears more than what you would think
but I shed em on tha paper with ink
I hope you listen, cuz even thou there's diamonds that glisten
we still got pictures of kids missin
Now give thought, right now as we speak
there's a kid in this world who got nothing to eat
People spending mills on cars n claim to be stars
when others dying everyday from tha fact that they starved
This is chains of another kind

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Texas]
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Oil in the Wheels of Injustice

Trapped in a jungle of degradation, where my worst enemy is my own people. No one standing for what is right. Stuck in this mass illusion that everything is okay. Content on what is offered by the injustice that is thrown your way. When will you realize that you are a cog on this system of injustice, and without you, it can not run.

Off of your sweat, muscle, tears and knowledge, these wheels of injustice keep turning. You are the oil that keeps it going. Without you it can not run. It would shut down like an engine full of sand. Like a person lost in darkness, reaching for something he can not see. The injustice system would be lost.

What do you fear? Better living conditions. More privileges. Getting paid for the slave labor that you do now. Think! The system in place is not for you but against you. It is for itself. You get no reward from it. It is designed to keep us divided. No unity, and we fall for it. The system is laughing at you and you don't even know it. Open your eyes. It's not us against us, but us against them.

Stop living the fantasy life. You call yourself hard, but when it comes to standing against the system, you go soft. Things can change if you want them changed. All it takes is a little sacrifice. It's not a white and black thing. It's us against them. In numbers we can be a force that can be heard. It takes sacrifices, but in the long run, it's for the best. Don't be a coward, stand up for what is right. Unite! And you can be the future to make these injustices right.

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[Organizing] [Security] [Texas]
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Snitch Solution

Ears on alert everyone - wherever snitches roam carelessly, claiming that this is their "get down" generation ready to put any prisoner way down.

There's no doubt that snitching has gotten out of hand in prison, but here in Texas we have found a good solution to this shameful way. If you want to be a "snitch", go ahead get down, I and other prison reformers have decided to support you all the way. You can declare victory now!

Pick up your pen and paper, if you need more, feel free to ask for more from any of us. No one will try to stop you, as long as you start snitching 24-7 to our state Senators and Representatives about our prison conditions. I truly believe that you, snitches, can get something rolling, and help us bring some kind of change for the betterment of thousands, if not millions. That's truly getting down, maybe someday others will stop calling you a snitch and honor your efforts because you finally got it right. Other prisoners are not the enemy - for sure.

What are you waiting for, become part of the solution, stop contributing to the problem. If that's what makes you a snitch, then more power to you, use your mind and your prison time for the struggles of someday fulfilling better prison reform. Go ahead, if you plan to do something, let it be done in prison style, that'll be the day, I and thousands more, maybe millions of prisoners will shake your hand tight, call you a real brother, never a snitch.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade correctly points out that there is a political line behind snitching. And when it is the imperialists and their pigs committing the worst crimes, we support those who are brave enough to come forth and expose the truth.

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[National Oppression] [Texas]
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Racist penitentiary politics in Texas

[img="https://www.prisoncensorship.info/art/quick/singlespark.jpg" alt=A Single Spark]I'm writing from the plantation state of Texas, although I'm currently confined in Texas I've never lived here. I was sent to Texas from the Maryland Division of Corrections, under Maryland's Interstate Corrections Compact Agreement. I was transferred to Texas in part due to my prison politics, and because I wouldn't become a passive and willing participant of my own oppression. I was not alone, there were many like minded comrades who have been exiled to other states because of our dedication and loyalty to the struggle, in our pursuit of freedom, justice and equality. The revolution has never started amongst the masses, it's always been the flame of a few, to spark the righteous indignation of the many! The revolution has always been bloody, in the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality there's always going to be bloodshed because these imperialist, capitalistic pigs will never voluntarily relinquish control of the commodity of the prison industrial complex.

I quickly came to realize that the Texas correctional philosophy is deeply rooted in an overt racist sentiment that's too casually expressed. The very colors of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's officer's uniforms are a symbol of oppression and hatred, confederate blue and gray. These are the very same color uniforms of the confederacy, that the confederate soldiers wore during the civil war, when they were fighting to uphold the institution of slavery. Unfortunately the Willy Lynch theory is prevalent here in Texas. The penitentiary politics that these pigs employ are reminiscent of the gestapo tactics of the Third Reich.

I quickly found myself entrenched in the struggle here in Texas as a righteous member of the Nations of Gods and Earths, I manifest a peace mentality that's deeply rooted in a position of strength. Here in Texas, the penitentiary politics involved with the different prison organizations goes contrary to the very foundation on which they were built, which was the struggle. The devils here in Texas use our cultural differences against us, to keep us divided, employing the age old tactic of divide and conquer. Our struggles have always been intertwined, from Che Guevara fighting in Angola and Mozambique to General Toussaint of Haiti leading the revolution to free the island of Hispanola. The Black and Brown struggle has always been one and the same. Why do so many of your forsake the struggle and identify with the oppressor? Stop allowing these devils to exploit our differences to keep us divided, the more divided we stand, the more they'll continue to conquer us. It's time for us to unite.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's article about Texas is appropriately timed for our Under Lock and Key theme of United Front. The importance of oppressed nation groups coming together to fight the oppressors rather than fighting each other is no more clearly seen in Amerika than in the prisons. As this comrade points out, the criminal injustice system plays oppressed groups against each other to keep them divided. We are working to bring together lumpen organizations for peace as a part of the anti-imperialist United Front. Representatives of groups, who are authorized to speak for them, or who want to help build support within their group, should contact MIM(Prisons) for a copy of the draft statement of unity.

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[Release] [Campaigns] [Organizing] [Texas]
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Fighting Parole System in Texas

January 2011 will be a legislature year in Texas. A petition has been put on the internet to ask our state leaders to reform the Texas parole board system, a tyranny agency ruining thousands of lives, in prison and in our own society. For some years now, since the mysterious death of David Ruiz (a Brown brother who achieved federal action to demand prison reform in Texas) we continue to raise awareness of the new and old injustices of the "justice" system as it pertains to parole.

Texas prisoners are not granted parole, even though they have done everything possible to be eligible for parole as required by their Inmate Treatment Plan (ITP). When the judge, the lawyers for both sides, and the offender all agree to a sentence, why does the parole board have the right to deny the parole because they decide the prisoner hasn't served enough time? Doesn't make sense or seem fair, does it? Prisoners have a time calculated date which is the parole eligibility date and those having met their ITP requirements should automatically make parole on that date. As the system works now, prisoners can not know whether they can exercise their special review rights, effectively ask for a review, or even know why or if they have been turned down, because they do not have access to their files. It is impossible for anyone to know if they have been falsely or wrongly accused of a transgression while incarcerated. If information has been erroneously placed in the file that may actually belong to another prisoner, or if their parole is being thwarted by a campaign by others they won't know. They can not know if rules have been violated or if evidences that would prove their worthiness for the privilege of parole is actually in their file.

Good time is currently not calculated or used to achieve parole or financial compensation for prisoner labor. At present it is awarded but discounted as part of the parole process (ignored and not honored), meaning modern day slavery is going on. The system currently continues to vindictively punish even the "ideal" prisoners who have been rehabilitated (which supposedly is the goal of the incarceration) making them wonder why they keep trying and causing them to lose all capacity for hope as the promised parole is disregarded and becomes one setback after another. In addition it callously wrecks the lives of families and children of prisoners who suffer needlessly while trying to find some reason for the parole board's coldness and tyrannical practices acting above the laws of the land.

Taxpayers are being robbed of funds by the corrupt parole practices. Prisoners in Texas seem to be the exception to the 13th amendment of the U$ constitution abolishing slavery as a large amount of capital is raised by the prison work generated by the incarcerated people now in prison. However, in the united states of america we should not allow slavery for state and corporate profit. It is criminal in itself to keep prisoners incarcerated for financial benefit by enslaving inmates past their parole eligibility date when they prove that they have gotten rehabilitated and qualify for parole release.

If you want to help change these parole injustices, please have your families and friends go to the following website and sign the petition: www.petitiononline.com/tcb123/petition.html
Also please have them write each one of their representatives.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this prisoner that the parole system in Texas, and throughout the criminal injustice system in the U$, does not work, not even by the laws of this illegal government. We find the demands in the petition agreeable in that they would lead to a general reduction in imprisonment in Texas.

However, disagree with the common misperception that the U$ prison monstrosity is driven by a desire to exploit prison labor. Certainly the workers benefiting from their well paid jobs running the prisons have an interest in denying parole, and the politicians who want the votes of the workers and their families, share this interest. But as we explained in an article on the U.$. prison economy, prison labor can offset some of the costs of imprisonment, but prisons are not profitable. They are a tool of the government that both provide jobs for the mostly oppressor-nation labor aristocracy workers while providing social control of the mostly oppressed nation population that is incarcerated. The U$ prison system is a massive suck on superprofits extracted from the Third World to pay staff and provide basic needs for those imprisoned. This is one of the costs of operation the imperialists are willing to pay, not something they are making money off of. That an industry has developed around this massive project is only a product of this reality that helps tie labor aristocracy interests to the imperialist state.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Texas]
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War on Drugs - Democracy Style

Greetings to everyone standing up for prisoners and human rights. My red fist goes to all MIM social or prison reformers who continue to carry truth, facts and hard struggles in their hearts against a democracy that does not serve all equally but serves the few rich imperialist greedy elites. MIM(Prisons) is speaking hardcore about a reality destroying many all over Amerika, especially those in prison of Black or Brown crimes, also known as the "War on Drugs." I am not trying to justify that smuggling or selling drugs should be permitted. Yet thousands now sit in prison with long harsh prison sentences that usually don't even balance out to such drug crimes. For example, in Texas the court judge gives you a certain prison sentence for drug crimes so that when you're up for parole the parole will be denied for reasons like "excessive amount." These reasons will be used each time you go for parole, not only violating Texas parole board policies but state law and U$ Constitution Amendments like the double jeopardy clause.

The Fifth Amendment of the U$ Constitution states, "…nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…" This clause assures three basic protections: it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal, it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction, and finally it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense.

Violating the double jeopardy clause qualifies as a constitutional violation in satisfaction of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, Pub. L. No 104-134. 110 Stat. 1321. When evidence indicates the parole board has violated the U$ Constitution the matter may be reviewed by a Federal Court pursuant to §1983.

2011 will be a legislature year. Black, Brown and other brothers in prison in Texas should ask their family and friends to protest such failed parole policies, state laws or constitutional amendments, now broken by this war on drugs by homeland terrorists calling themselves our nation's leaders.

The War on Drugs is not only a failed war on drug dealers, but against our families and communities, especially the Brown barrios and Black ghettos which many have always called home. The war on drugs sole purpose was to be able to create a new home, called prison, now filled with prisoners for drug crimes under harsh laws of sentencing ruining thousands of lives. And even our nation seems to be under attack by a democracy that serves more the rich than the poor or needy ones. I encourage others to draft protest petitions or letters and have their loved ones send them to John Whitmore who is a Texas Senator in charge of The Sunset Commission looking into this kind of prison violation.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We condemn this practice of refusing prisoners parole based on their original sentence, but we can learn from history that elections are not the answer to the problems of the oppressed. The imperialists and their supporters will be elected, and candidates truly serving the people will never gain any real power in the United $tates through elections. However, we can exert pressure on the criminal injustice system through protest letters and actions. Sometimes we can win small gains for the people through these struggles. And there is nothing wrong with using election time to push a progressive cause, just keep in mind that many legislators get elected on a "get tough on crime" platform. All this rhetoric is bullshit that has nothing to do with the reality of crime and punishment in Amerikkka, but the publicity is important to politicians so they are probably less likely to take progressive action in an election year if it might make them look "soft on crime."

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Real Hope is in Historical Materialism

Reading the many articles in Under Lock and Key, I realize daily how hopeless our battle against injustice, inhumane conditions and the current American system itself, may seem. I continuously hear so many say we can't change it. They are wrong. They are weak and apathetic. We (prisoners and all Americans) must awake a revolution - no, not in the commonly accepted sense, not an attempt by one group to overthrow another to assume power. We need a revolution of the most profound kind, a revolution of the national soul and psyche, because if we continue to quietly submit to the injustices of this country, this system, with no opposition, then the limits of the tyrants will be absolute, acquiesced to by the very people who they oppress. Yes my brothers and sisters, it will be terrible to watch, torturous to be involved in, yet unquestionably destined to triumph if we (prisoners and Americans) will once again band together as one and rise to the call. I am certain of this because of my belief and faith in us, as prisoners, people, and Americans. William Faulkner once said, "It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe man [and Prisoners] will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance." We are that Man and Woman. Rise to the call of freedom and justice.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this prisoner that it is important that we believe in humynity and our ability to rise above what we have accomplished (or failed at) in the past and create a society free of oppression. However, we do not just take this on faith, we base it in the history of humynity, the struggles of the oppressed always fighting to rise out of oppression. And we do not share this comrade's faith in "Americans". As a whole Amerikans are bought off with the profits of imperialism and have a material interest in maintaining this system of exploitation and oppression. It is not their humyn nature that will lead people to rise above oppression, it is their desire to fight their own oppression that will ultimately bring down imperialism. We can learn this lesson from history, and so we should not place false hope in the bought-off Amerikan population as a whole. With that said, we do work to win over the minority who will join the cause of the good of humynity, against their own material interests, and we will continue to educate and organize petit-bourgeois people to that end while working for and with the truly oppressed and exploited.

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[Prison Labor] [Texas]
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Abolish Prison Slavery

A search of the Texas constitution reveals no trace of the word slavery or any reference to the use of prisoner labor as slaves. Nevertheless, Texas has a long and unbecoming history of resisting the economic integration of Blacks into it's society and exploiting the use of prisoners as slave labor (including Mexicans) etc.

The 13th Amendment to the US constitution states in pertinent part: "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime... shall exist within the United States." The 13th Amendment was formally adopted on December 18, 1865. Texas was not among the states ratifying this amendment. In 1866, participants at a constitutional convention took the position that it was unnecessary to adopt this amendment. By taking an oath to support the united states constitution, they had indirectly abolished slavery and this was sufficient. It was not until February 18, 1870 that Texas formally adopted the 13th amendment, and this was only done grudgingly, to satisfy conditions for gaining admission back into the union.

Prisoners perform valuable services in their prisons and in a multitude of different prison industries. Without prisoner labor, these prisons and prison industries could not function. From the inception of its prison system, Texas historically refused to pay its prisoners any wages for their work, no doubt relying upon the clause carving out an exception for prisoner labor in the 13th amendment of the US constitution as their authority for doing so.

The 70th Texas legislature reversed this long standing practice and policy by creating work credits as part of its major overhaul of the parole system. Under the 1/4 as this legislation came to be called, these work credits vested when earned, and hastened a prisoner's mandatory supervision date. Since this law was enacted, prisoners have been receiving a half day of work credit for every day of calendar time served.

During the term of the 74th legislature, from 1995 to 1997, the parole board's ability to perform its statutorily delegated function of reviewing all parole candidates applying the Texas parole guidelines to their cases and issuing decisions as to their fitness for parole was clearly illusory. The parole board was vastly lacking the staff and resources to perform this task. Nevertheless, the 74th legislature increased the authority of the parole board by giving them the right to cancel a prisoner's work credit, simply upon a finding that the prisoner's release could endanger the public's safety.

A finding that a prisoner's release could endanger the public's safety is ambiguous, vague and vulnerable to abuse. Parole candidates have seen their mandatory supervision date pass as well as their good time and work credits rescinded for just this reason, with no factual basis and no reasoned decision to support this finding.

The parole board is making its prisoners serve their sentences day for day, acting above Texas law and of our US Constitution, like the 13th amendment, claiming it is giving out parole when a prisoner is within months or a year of finishing his or her entire prison sentence. Is this not illegal, and prison slavery? Indeed.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We don't like to use the word "slavery" too much in reference to the modern U$ prison system. Though in fact, slavery is legal in U$ prisons according to the 13th Amendment, which this writer seems to ignore. As we have discussed elsewhere, the prison system is not akin to the economic system of slavery in capitalist or pre-capitalist societies. It is a form of the mass lumpenization that is unique to modern imperialism, and is about managing excess populations, not acquiring populations for exploitation.

We appreciate the brief history of Texas policies provided by this writer, but would add to it the significance of the history of the 13th Amendment. As mentioned, this amendment allowed for slavery in prisons at a time when imprisonment of Blacks was even easier than it is today. This was a bone thrown to the white nation in the South who stood to loose out from the new economic realities following the Civil War. Southern whites were given a means to control Black labor on a small scale to get them through the transition. Today the 13th Amendment plays a similar role, where mostly Blacks and Latinos are forced to do much of the maintenance labor to support their own imprisonment, while predominantly white staff make fat checks as watchdogs and bureaucrats in the system.

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[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Texas]
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Pepper Spray for the Mentally Ill

Here in our Texas prison system, prisoners with mental health issues are being abused, mistreated, assaulted, and forced into harming, hurting, endangering themselves as well as other prisoners and officers. The unit officials are negligently using chemical agents against mentally ill prisoners by spraying pepper spray (OC) directly on us and then leaving us in our contaminated cells as a form of punishment. They leave us there to suffer as they watch with gas masks on. OC cause you to burn for days, and by the cell not being decontaminated, it's an ongoing torture. Every time you touch something in the cell it starts all over again.

Mentally ill prisoners are constantly written bogus disciplinary infractions, which we are automatically found guilty of. The mental health and medical departments are co-defendants with the administration's corrupt misuse of disciplinary policy and procedure by falsifying documents, and signing off on these cases without any sort of support on the prisoner's behalf.

This causes mentally ill prisoners to max their sentences because every major case is automatically a year set off by parole, plus the fact that it's also a year's wait before you can receive eligibility for the appropriate line class all over again. So if you are bipolar paranoid, or have another psychotic disorder, you are constantly in harm's way.

And as I've mentioned, the psych staff corroborates with the administration to keep you down and in the last place. There are not any successful programs for prisoners like myself who are provoked to act out in order to receive immediate help and relief. Our ADA rights [granted by the Americans with Disabilities Act] are being stomped on.

MIM(Prisons) adds: For more on mental health abuses, causes, and cures check out Under Lock & Key issue 15.

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