Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Got $20? Slip it in an envelope and send to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140. Help cover printing costs. 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)

[Spanish] [Culture] [Texas]
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Hip Hop en la Esfera de Acción del Estado

Mostrarlos como groseros y depravados...tener miembros detenidos por acusaciones de mariguana. Investigar conflictos personales o animosidades entre ellos. Manda artículos a los periódicos enseñando sus depravaciones. Use narcóticos y el sexo gratis para entrampar...obtener especímenes de sus escrituras. Provocar rivalidades entre los grupos de objetivo que pueden resultar en muerte. Tácticas FBI COINTELPRO documentado a ser usado contra músicos políticos.(1)

Yo sostengo que es malo en cuanto nos concierne si una persona, un partido político, un ejército o una escuela no es atacada por el enemigo, pues en ese caso, eso significaría definitivamente que nos hemos bajado al nivel del enemigo. Es bueno si somos atacados por el enemigo, ya que demuestra que hemos trazado un límite claramente de demarcación entre el enemigo y nosotros. - Mao Zedong. Ser Atacado por el Enemigo no es Algo Malo Sino Algo Bueno (26 de Mayo 1939)

Un indicación del potencial revolucionario de hip hop es la reacción del estado burgués. El verano pasado, policías arrestaron a Paradise Gray del x-clan (clan equis), y el Zulu Nation (Nación de Zulus), quien juego un papel grande en darle forma al hip hop en los primeros años. Arrestaron a Gray mientras que el estaba filmando una demostración contra el alto burguesismo.(2) Paralelizando algunos esfuerzos de Tupac discutidos abajo, Gray esta actualmente trabajando con 1Hood para promover paz entre la nación de juventud oprimida en la ciudad de Pittsburg, PA. No hay nada que el gobierno le tiene más miedo que cuando los oprimidos paran de matarse los unos a los otros.

Mientras que a la cultura popular le gusta ver Reality Rap (Rap en Realidad), ahora conocido como Gangsta Rap (Rap de Gangster), en el comienzo de la corrupción última de hip hop, la verdad es que pioneros Ice-T, NWA, y Tupac estaban desenvueltamente opuestos al estado y recibieron mucho calor por eso. Cancelaron sus conciertos, postergaron sus discos, censuraron sus canciones y se enfrentaron con constante vigilancia y hostigamiento regular.

Mientras que las formas de arte que se originaron en la cultura de hip hop han sido cooptadas por asimilación de los medios de corporaciones para servir al estado mismo, la amenaza potencial de una cultura que se queda con raíces fuertes en las naciones oprimidas sigue. John Potash sacó una documentación con detalles de la historia del estado usando COINTELPRO contra músicos, conectándolos en operaciones contra revolucionarios que precedieron y que frecuentemente los inspiraron. El describe como el NYPD organizó la primera unidad - rap con entrenamientos por COINTELPRO, y luego fueron a entrenar a otros policías metropolitanos por todos lados del país. Su libro se concentra alrededor de la vida y muerte de Tupac Shakur.

El padrastro de Tupac Shakur era, en el pasado, de los Black Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación de los Negros) y médico revolucionario, que se volvió prisionero de guerra, Mutulu Shakur. El era uno del número de ancianos influyentes en la vida de Tupac mientras que el creció que eran parte del movimiento del Black Power (poder de los negros). En las juntas con Tupac el dice que el empujó a Tupac a que cuestionara y definiera a la tal thug Life (Vida Maleante), que, con el tiempo, ellos hicieron juntos un código de 26 puntos que fue aceptado por los Bloods y Crips, y otros más tarde, en la cumbre de la paz en 1992 en la ciudad de Los Angeles.(3) Esto indució a una operación mayor de contraespionaje fijando como objetivo a los involucrados, Mutulu incluido que ha estado enjaulado en un centro de control federal desde entonces.

Sanyika Shakur, un ex-jefe de los Crips (Azules), era uno que estaba inspirado a sostener estos esfuerzos. El también fue objeto para aislamiento en la sistema de prisión en el estado de California dónde es esta sentado actualmente (tal pacificadores son supuestamente "peor de los peores" que llenan estas celdas de tortura). Así como el señalo, el gobierno tenia razón para estar involucrados por los esfuerzos para unir a los jóvenes Negros y Latinos ya que las organizaciones de las calles de South Central estaban reclutando más gente jóvenes cada año que los cuatro fuerzas armados de los estados unidos combinados.(4)

La investigación detallado de John Potash sobre 2Pac y otros músicos y líderes, enseñan, claramente, conexiones entre operaciones negras por el gobierno y la represión de esos que movilizaron gente oprimida. El papel primario que Tupac juego en la enemistad del "East vs. West" (El este contra El oeste) en la escena del hip hop era irónico después de su trabajo para unir grupos guerreando en Los Angeles. Pero Potash pinta un retrato de manipulación mandado por el estado que llevó a Tupac que a jugar en el plan de ellos.

Potash traza el uso de sexo y drogas para manipular a ambos activistas y músicos como se describe en el documento del FBI citado arriba. El cargo de asalto sexual formulado contra Tupac es un ejemplo de esto.(5) Death Row Records, quien el pinta como un frente del FBI, mantuvo a Tupac nadando en bebidas alcohólicas y marihuana, así como el FBI hizo a su madre, cuando el era un niño, usando a un traficante que se hizo muy cercano a ella. Igualmente, Death Row cambio a Dr. Dre, que una vez canto, "Ey, yo no fumo marihuana o sess porque es conocido hacerle daño a los sesos de un hermano," a una publicidad gigante de marihuana con su solo álbum estreno, "The Chronic". En la década que siguió, el uso regular de marihuana fue aumentado significativamente entre jóvenes Negros y Latinos, con problemas grandes de adicción discapacite, quizás sea el incremento de la potencia de la droga.(6) Hoy, marihuana y bebidas alcohólicas están alabados constantemente por los raperos.

En sus últimos días, Pac estaba sobrio, leyendo Mao y piensando en unir a los negros alrededor del país. Pronto lo mataron y nadien fue acusado con el asesinato aunque en ese momento el estaba observado de cerca por multiple agencias del estado, así como Biggie en el tiempo de su asesinato.

Una lección grande para tomar de "la Guerra del FBI contra Tupac y los Líderes Negros" es que el gobierno tiene una estrategia de neutralizar líderes poténcialas que ellos usan una y otra vez. Para contraatacar esto, activistas necesitan que estar cocientes de las estrategias y formar estrategias para contraatacarlos. Como un individuo, Tupac estaba, fácilmente, manipulado, pero hasta un partido disciplinado como las Panderas Negras fueron manipulados participando en una división similar de costas este contra oeste que se pudo haber evitado. En ambos casos, el FBI tomó una ventaja de las contradicciones internas entre la gente involucrada. Bueno, mientras que estudiar tácticas del FBI es una manera provechoso para defendernos mismos, más importante, tenemos que poner políticas en mando para hacer un movimiento que sea difícil hacer caer fuera de curso.

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[Abuse] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]
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Unsanitary conditions in Texas

I'm a prisoner confined in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I'm launching this complaint concerning the unsanitary conditions of various areas of the French Robertson Unit in Abilene, Texas.

12 Building segregation recreation yard is the second most unsanitary area of the facility. The urinal is seldom cleaned and always seems to be backed up. The stench resulting from this condition is overwhelming and can be smelled at a distance of at least fifty yards. I have informed the security staff, as well as its supervisor, yet the problem remains unattended. The tables and weight case are also unsanitary, covered with bird droppings and littered with trash. This is an atmosphere that is in violation of state health codes.

8 building kitchen is absolutely the worst. On more than one occasion I have spoken to the Lt. and Sgt. about there being roaches in the food carts, food being served on dirty dishes, and food being served cold. Yet the kitchen area itself has not been properly cleaned or disinfected or sanitized.

The dayrooms are never mopped, neither are the runways, and the windows aren't sanitized.

Expose the system!

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[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 14]
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Pigs bribe prisoners to snitch

Reading ULK 9, I see the same struggles are at the somewhat same level. Some worse than others. The same tactics these pigs use everywhere. I use the term pig freely because there are prisoner pigs also. Those who deem themselves righteous only to stab you in the back and work with the pigs here in Hughes Unit.

For a time these ranking officers were using what they called a snitch box. This box contained soups, chips, pouches of chili, radios, and hot pots. Word spread around that these items could be yours if the information was useful. The more valuable, the more you got. Then people who never make store started having radios, hot pots, commissary. These pigs sold their souls for more petty shit. This tactic has been used in wars. Those in need were kept away from what's theirs, but given to those who work with the government.

I'm in Administrative Segregation. These people claim that I'm a confirmed member of a Security Threat Group. I won't admit to it and I won't sign up for a program for something I'm not a part of. So here I am. Been here since 2005. This time here I've come to learn about myself and start to take different approaches in everything. These people hate to see smart people use their own system against them. I'm still trying to learn and grow more. What you all send me in this ULK gives me an extra push. So thank you comrades!

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 10]
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Unity fighting for humane living conditions

On behalf of my brothers here at the Michael Unit, Latinos, whites and Blacks have put our differences to the side and come together to speak out at the administration about our living condition here in segregation.

There's no air circulation in the cells. Officers have come to verify this problem, yet administration has yet to respond to our situation. During rainy days our cells flood due to cracks in the walls. This has been written up yet no response. There's no shower crew, and the showers are rat, spider and roach infested. Due to these conditions a lot of us have broken out in rashes and have been bit by spiders. The only thing we are being treated with is hydrocotisone 10% cream and anti-fungal cream.

We are now putting together a file for our verification. We get no response. this task is not easy because we are shaken down every 3 days in the day or night.

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[Medical Care] [Texas] [ULK Issue 10]
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Brutality leads to death

I would like to reach out to my fellow prisoners, by this true and law breaking story. This happened in the wee hours in the morning.

I lived just on the opposite side and above and several doors down from a man who you might call a mentally challenged prisoner. He was heavily medicated since first coming to this wing. Over periods of time, he would have his outbursts, beating, banging on the walls, door, etc. Even at times rubbing feces on and around inside his cell. At times not eating meals.

Late last night this prisoner was brought to a stand up cage made out of fence. It's a 3x3 cage, 7 feet tall. He was brought to this cage because he took abundant amounts of pills. So then a nurse came to speak with him and he was given a cup of charcoal to drink. It coats the stomach and intestines. Several hours later he was moved to a cell unknown exactly to us, but he died.

You must keep in mind that we live on a super-seg prison in TX. One of the most high secured. This is a 24 hour lock-down unit. How did this challenged prisoner get or accumulate these pills that were so detrimental to him? The nursees pass out AM and PM meds. They are supposed to watch each prisoner swallow their meds. They fail doing this, only because they think it's a burden of time on their hands.

Why weren't his vitals taken every 15 minutes to watch for elevating blood pressure? Instead, they stuck him back in a cell and allowed him to slip away into total darkness. Why wasn't he taken to a hospital?

His stay to the guards was only a joke, and in fact a way for them to retaliate and finally get their revenge. They blame him for his mistakes. But really, they are pointing their bloody fingers the wrong way. They knew he was a challenged prisoner. So why allow him to accumulate pills to a detrimental level? Where did these pills come from? Only the inside could let this happen.

When the free world investigator showed up to check his cell, he ignored our calls for help. As we screamed desperately for his help about the murder, he shrugged his shoulders and took a few pictures and was gone in a few moments.

Someone is always dying, being an overdose or suicide. How are these things ongoing? They allow us no rights! Here there are days some prisoners don't get food. My mail is on a constant watch. I will speak out about these criminals.

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[Medical Care] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting for Sanitary Conditions in Texas

Since being at Connally Unit, going on a year since I was released from administrative segregation, I can honestly say that conditions are at their worst. I've submitted grievances and nothing has been done about it. For one, we have five showers to each pod, each pod holds 48 prisoners, each shower has only one shower head, and we are limited by the time we receive during day room, which is less than 2 hours a day. These showers are only opened during that time. If you go out to recreation before or after day room, you are not allowed to shower. These showers are locked most of the time during and after recreation. And to finish that off, the temperature of the water can cook a soup.

I am also concerned about our health and the drinking water in the day room that we don't have, with this hot weather, the hottest in South Texas record. Our water fountain has not produced water since the beginning of the summer. Prisoners here have passed out, dehydrated, and have had bad chest and headaches since this started.

We get our mail stolen from time to time, racist staff employees harass and abuse their power and authority as if they have something to prove to the white man (most employees here on Connally Unit are Latinos and Blacks). They like to see us divided, fighting our own oppressed brothers, they want us blind and confused and then on top of that you have these puppets who cater to their masters, by snitching and who help keep us down.

Our food is not properly washed and cleaned such as our beans and greens. Sometimes I find pieces of rock and dirt mixed in there. Our greens are spoiled and have been for the past six months, our bread most of the time is baked with mildew.

Exterminators for mice and ants and other insects have not done their job. Mice get into our lockers and eat our food, the ant eats what's left from that food. Our hygiene is not properly attended to, such as tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shower slides, etc. Speaking about shower shoes, all this is sold to us through the commissary store, and if you don't receive money from your family, you can't afford to purchase these items because here in Texas you don't get payed for working in prison. In our cell rooms we don't get any kind of chemicals to clean our toilets, sink, floor, walls, bunks, and lockers from germs.

Our showers have fungus on the floor and walls. Just recently they (prisoners working for the system) came with their boss (state employee) and laid down a layer of sand glue to cover up the fungus under it. Just imagine if you have no shower shoes: that causes one to see medical due to foot fungus.

You only have 10 people you can put on your visitation list, and if you receive money from anyone, no matter who that person is, if that person is not on your visitation list and you receive money unauthorized by administration, you can receive, such as I did, a 15.0 trafficking and trading case, which is a major case.

So let us unite our strengths and fight for the oppressed masses, which are many, and not our personal gains and recognition. Let us stand side by side and demonstrate, for a better way of life.

As Mao told us that an army "is powerful because all of its members have a conscious discipline; they...come together and they fight not for the private interests of a few individuals or a narrow clique, but for the interests of the broad masses and of the whole nation."

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[Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 11]
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Response to Legal Help Request

I just got my first issue of Under Lock and Key (July 2009, No 9). Needless to say, I sure appreciated it. The mail room personnel did not censor it, but that does not necessarily mean they won't in the near future. I write to respond to the letter that was written by the Georgia prisoner (Pig Enables Stabbing of Prisoner in Riot, May 2009). Hopefully you will print my letter so our comrade can read it and use the information therein.

First, to our comrade, you've got to file your complaint at the unit level and keep copies of it and any other documents that you file with the administration because you'll need to file a title 42 United States Code Section 1983 lawsuit for a redress of grievances. Write down everything that happened to you, as well as everything else that you have done since to secure medical care, etc., for this will definitely come in handy for your lawsuit. If you've got any witnesses that are willing to help you out by testifying you need to try to keep in contact with them.

Second, you need to do some legal research in the unit's law library to better understand your situation and to go about filing your lawsuit. You can write the district court where the incident occurred and request the necessary forms to file your suit. The district court's address should be in the unit law library (there should be a "venue list" or simply request the address from the unit law library). There's a lot you need to know and do and there's not enough space here to expound.

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[Education] [Texas] [ULK Issue 10]
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Cellies Educating Each Other

Studying in Allred UnitGreetings to all my brothers and sisters and political prisoners. I want to encourage all comrades to promote educational thinking. My cellmate, who is a Crip, took time out of his schedule to teach me how to count. Yes, count. I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade to only have to come to prison and learn math. I'm 37 and my celly is 28. He encouraged me and pushed me to use my mind. We have had our ups and downs inside this cell which is in a high security unit.

The administration does not care if we kill each other, but instead we build each other. He sees my potential and motivated me to use it. Comrades, do not let youth fool you. They look at us as leaders. But if you only want to prove how ignorant and violent you are or "was", they will continue to promote that too.

Failure is falling down and staying there. Get back up! Know thyself.

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[Abuse] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
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Officers Assaulting Prisoners in Texas

I am writing this letter in an attempt to contribute to the truth and show others that they are not alone in this struggle. I was incarcerated on the Beto Unit before they shut down seg and shipped me here to the Allred unit. I came from Beto with a jacket on my back because while in seg an officer (using a sliding shield panel) slammed and cut the tip of my right ring finger off. A mockery of an investigation was said to be in progress for over a year, and it wasn't until I was here on the Allred Unit that i was informed that the officer involved was not at fault nor would be held accountable.

I had watched others on Beto getting physically assaulted and yet when I chose to fight back (both physically and mentally) I was deemed unfit to be released to general population and sent to the Allred Unit with the aggression "threat" to officers jacket on my back. True enough, I will not allow an employee to ever touch me again without just cause, and yet of late (thanks to my jacket) I have been targeted for frivolous disciplinary forms.

I have faced numerous b.s. write ups. When I go before the disciplinary officer during the hearing it is pointless. The counsel substitutes they provide on this unit to assist and defend us do nothing more than ask for lenience on your behalf. You have to gather your own information, witnesses, and evidence on your own. Even when you prove that the officer who wrote you up is wrong, lied, or is without common sense, you are still found guilty. We are told to appeal such hearing decisions and yet that is to no avail.

I recently had an incident where I was accused of "threatening to hurt anyone who came to get me", "slid out of one or both handcuffs" and "disobeyed to come off of the rec yard." When a camera was present that shows I was in handcuffs the whole time, came and was escorted off the rec yard without incident. Even the accusing officer's verbal testimony at the hearing shows he refuted his own written report. When this was brought up during the hearing I was told to file an appeal to the disciplinary hearing. What a crock! Everything written (in policy, procedures and rules) was totally disregarded for this good ol' boy of theirs.

It has gotten worse now that I'm on 12 building. I have seen an utter and complete disregard for humanity. I have witnessed them running into a prisoner's cell after spraying him with chemical agents, slamming him, beating his head into the concrete, poking him in the eye, and kicking him from head to toe the whole time yelling "quit fighting us, stop resisting." Even the nursing staff (present at the time this was happening), when they perform a physical on you (on tape) will simply state "offender complains of this or that and he has sustained such and such injuries due to his resisting or non-compliance during the use of force".

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[Political Repression] [Hughes Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 10]
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Texas Prison Officers Label ULK Recipients Gang Members

Here on Hughes Unit the gang officers put us on file as members of a gang called ULK. A few weeks ago when I was called to the gang offices I was asked a lot of things about your newsletter. I don't see how they can do this when there is no gang called ULK at all. I would like you to let all comrades know about what's going on in Texas and what they do to prisoners who get Under Lock & Key on Alfred Hughes Unit. Once they put us on gang file they can read all mail that comes to us from anyone, and they can withhold mail and send it back to people. Please send me help to fight this.

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