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)

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)

[Control Units] [Texas]
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Unlock the Box survey

Concerning the Control Units, the designated cells are called Administrative Segregation. Depending on who the Warden, Major, and other low ranking supervisors are, all or different types of abuses take place within these housing areas. Ranging from unlawful denial of special privileges and rights, to physical abuse and food tampering. You are confined to these cells 22 or more hours a day and eat inside the cell, limited recreation, and virtually no programs for prisoners. It can be a very depressing and non-rehabilitative atmosphere. Over half of Texas Prisons house inmates in Administrative Segregation. And the mistreatment varies, so I will only speak on what unites I know of from experience.

Hughes Unit, Route 2 Box 4400, Gatesville, TX 76597. I was housed in Ad Seg from 10/2003 until 03/2008. There are approximately 500 beds in these buildings. One prisoner per cell/bed. The whole unit does not fall under the definition, only "12 Bldg" is where Ad Seg prisoners are confined, controlled and monitored daily. The racial makeup of the population is majority Hispanic, then Black, then white. Most prisoners are placed in Ad Seg for being part of a Security Threat Group, or assault towards staff and prisoners. Most situations aren't as serious as the administration makes it seem. These Control Units began opening in the late 80s and early 90s, and four of them were expanded and opened in 1999, adding 660 cells labeled as "High Security." I have no knowledge whether the state plans to open any others. Here are the addresses to the other three units that have been expanded:
Allred Unit, 2101 FM 369 North, Iowa Park, TX 76367
Lewis Unit, PO Box 9000, Woodville, TX 75990
Smith Unit, HCR7, Box 187A, Lamesa, TX 79331

Prior to being transfered from the Huges Unit in March 2008, there were several prisoners complaining about food tampering in 12 Bldg. The tampering didn't start until 2006. The substance being used attacked the immune system, causing severe headaches and drowsiness, heart trouble, high blood pressure, loss of energy, etc. I noticed the difference in my body and energy level once I got transferred and the food got out of my system.

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[Control Units] [Texas]
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Administrative Segregation in Texas

I have been in administrative segregation on two different types of units. On the Ferguson Unit, 12120 Savage Dr, and the Connally Unit I am presently housed in at 899 FM 632. On the Ferguson, it is three tiers with 24 cells on each row in one straight line, with a shower at the front of each row. Recreation areas are cages fit for one person with a pull up bar and a basketball goal and basketball. We got one hour recreation a day or two hours every other day.

The feeding practices are such that food carts are brought to the block and the trays are prepared right there on the run in front of the cells. Only the prisoners right in front of the cart can see their trays being made. All food trays are prepared by the same adseg prison guards who work the blocks for that day. The mail is also gathered up and distributed by the security adseg correctional officers so there is no way for a prisoner to know if his mail was actually sent to the mail room to be mailed or thrown away, nor is there any way of knowing whether the incoming mail was actually given to the prisoner.

I had difficulties on the Ferguson Unit adseg because the prison guards were harassing a lot of different people and claimed that I was snitching on them. They also put chemicals and infected blood in my food from prisoners who thought I was snitching on them. They conned these dudes into believing I'm an informant then give them my food tray and allow them to do whatever they wanted to it. Then the prison guard would bring me the trays to eat. Before I found out what was happening, my eyes and skin turned yellow and I started vomiting up blood and getting real sick. I have permanent liver damage right now and I think I have hepatitis but the medical department have been told not to diagnose me with any type of disorder or disease so I haven't received any treatment.

Here on Connally Unit there are only two rows with a picket in the middle and the cells arranged to form a U around the picket to allow the prison guards to see any one of the cells at any given moment. The recreation consists of only two cages fit for one person with a basketball goal and ball, a set of weights, a water fountain and urinal. We are allowed to recreate one hour a day on the rec yard or day rooms which consist of a table and pull up bar.

Just like in Ferguson, all our mail is gathered up and passed out by the security correctional officers. The feeding practices are a little different even though we are still fed individually in our cells. All of the food trays are prepared in another section of the unit and placed in a hot box and brought to the pods. Once there, trays are put on tray carries and brought to each prisoner. No one is able to see their trays being prepared. Whenever prisoners get into confrontations with the adseg guards, they regularly taint food trays with an array of unknown substances because we have to rely upon security to feed u. As a result, thousands of prisoners in adseg suffer just as I do from liver/kidney damage.

Most prisoners are aware of what is happening and refuse to file any type of complaint or grievance against prison guards for fear of being retaliated against as I have. And a number of prisoners have virtually lost their sanity and committed suicide because it is virtually impossible to prove that these practices are happening.

I've been trying and am presently in the 5th circuit court waiting on a ruling, but I can already predict the outcome. These prison guards developed a form of neo-police brutality that is being upheld by federal courts merely because prisoners are not in position to prove that our food is being tainted. Many prisoners back here, mainly on level 3, throw urine and feces on the guards, spear them with shanks on the tip of poles made of news papers, curse them out regularly, and tension between the prison guards and prisoners is just as natural as the conflict between cats and dogs. Yet in adseg we must rely on these same guards to prepare our foods trays outside our presence, to distribute all our incoming and outgoing mail, and to provide us with grievances to make complaints against them. And sometimes even to investigate those same complaints.

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[Organizing] [Theory] [Texas]
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Turn negative pressure to postive, fight imperialism from behind the bars

MIM, my utmost respects and appreciation for your dedication and publication from Under Lock and Key, 2008 June issue. To all who submit and share time and thought with the masses, my love and respects.

We are all in this struggle together in one form or another, even when one does not know or acknowledge it. This is why I have taken the time today to share with you thoughts, from a prisoners point of view, seen through my eyes. We all have different experiences and pains but one thing we have in common is the struggle.

I would imagine that different situations for a prisoner would make him or her act out against pressure in many different ways. Some positive, some negative. We have positive pressure, meaning the type of pressure that family and friends and comrades give us: encouragement! Then there’s negative pressure, meaning the type we feel from an outside force who makes us or tries to make us submit, against our will: capitalism and imperialism!

See, these pressures one can direct, if only we can identify them. Some people don’t know how and so they turn their anger and confusion on the masses and the people they love. Becoming destructive and careless to the environment and world around them. Fighting fire with fire! But fire is put out with water!

Practicing how to control your emotions and attitude can strengthen your vision and your direction, which in turn will give you patience and a clear view of what is ahead. A lot of us react on the spot towards situations without giving them proper consideration/self-criticism. This will turn destructive!

I hear it all the time how people are proud of being Latino or Black, but then turn right around and cause harm and pain to the same people they say they are proud of being or trying to protect. I mean it the way I am saying it!

I mean, we down other people so much that we can’t even overcome the smallest things which are within us: confusion and anger! In order to establish the kingdom of freedom in the world, it must first be established in the hearts of men. This is the biggest problem we have today in the world, not establishing it within us first. Freedom from self-hate, crime, senseless violence, drugs, prison, poverty etc etc. Identifying the roots of the problem will always give us a more clear view to what and how to liberate the light that is trapped within that negative pressure, or knowing how to proceed with the positive pressure.

There is a theory that I have and I would like feedback on if possible. Negative pressure will always turn into a positive outcome if one knows how to be self-controlling and patient. Example: the people who are under repression know that repression will breed resistance. The type of resistance I am speaking about must be positive thinking. You can’t and must not lower your moral values to that of the oppressors’ because once you do lower your moral values to that of the oppressor, you have then become defeated without even knowing it.

Haven’t we all heard that the one that knows you best is you? If you allow yourself to succumb to defeat, you must learn from that once you have acknowledged it as a learning experience and practice a new method. Fighting fire with fire has shown us that we won’t win in a strong imperialist government. This is why I am inspired by MIM’s theory about fighting them with pen and paper. Through grievances and bringing awareness to the masses inside and outside prison. So let us put it out with water. Being determined comes from wanting to do something that is or may seem doable, and everything is doable once you have found yourself. Finding yourself comes from self-criticism! You must analyze everything and don’t stop trying to find out the facts. Facts about yourself because your worst enemy is you! You betray yourself and allow yourself to be captured (mentally) and conquered, only when you stop fighting the good fight. Through legal and other means.

Self-determination is what stimulates dedication because its through practice that one builds leadership and we are all leaders, its our destiny to lead rather than to be led. How else did Mao, Che, Lenin, etc achieve such success if it were not for their dedication.

They acknowledged what was wrong and chose to dedicate their life to mobilize the masses to go against that force. Apply their spirit and do as learned, the material that we need to have and it’s the facts that surround us every day. The enemy is exposing himself or better said themselves everyday.

One thing that I am trying to convey is that when we are in a stronghold (prison) and don’t have the proper reading material to help illuminate strategies and tactics, per se, we must not be afraid to go to its rawest form which is the reality that we see, perceive and observe everyday. Who else would know prison life better if it were not the prisoner? We live here and we should be encouraging one another to expose that negative pressure and build toward what can help us positively.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Texas] [ULK Issue 4]
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Under Lock and Key

As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are under lock and key.
For hundreds of years
Behind "Justice" as an illusion,
Blindfolded by "Liberty" 2 cause confusion.
Founded by forefathers who slaughtered our mothers,
Established by "men" who slayed our brothers,
Our true names covered and denied,
Lashes handed 2 those who tried.
Something needs 2 be done,
2 change history about those who won,
Determination, Dedication, Revolution
in my eyes,
From the roots 2 the crest
Still I rise,
As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are "under lock and key."

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[National Oppression] [Texas]
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Amerikkkan justice for Blacks means death

Why are we afraid to call it what it is in Texas concerning capital punishment: the death penalty. It's murder, plain and simple. Texas, the state with the highest execution rate in these United Snakes, since the death penalty was put back in effect in 1977. Texas, the republic so bent on killing prisoners that it remains one of two states refusing to place a moratorium on the death penalty from concerns over whether lethal injection is cruel and unnecessary pain on a prisoner before s/he dies. State governor Rick Perry's spokesperson says "executions will continue" unless the supreme court rules otherwise.

This "will continue" mentality of Perry's is the same mentality of the ruling class that has executed a disproportionately large number of Blacks and other oppressed nationalities. How does this matter? When you look at statistics of the Justice Department and see the higher rate of execution of Blacks vs. whites for the same offense, this leads you to draw a long line connecting slavery to the period of reconstruction to the present day, right here in good 'ole amerika.

The decision that the Supreme Court must make is how to administer a better method for execution. For public relation purposes. Their intent is to kill any who stand in the way of their hold on power. This is a tactic of social control as well as instilling fear and punishment in those who would disagree with amerikan politics. It should be said the entirety of the justice system is an arm of the state that functions to oppress the people. So the saving of comrade Kenneth Foster's life from execution on August 30th should be applauded just for this comrade's life being spared, but it does not change the mentality of our oppressors or change this justice system. Only revolution will do that.

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[Elections] [Texas]
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Barack Obama the movement: a race issue

When I read the words of Huey P. Newton it motivates me. When I read the words of George Jackson it motivates me. When I read the works of Lenin and Mao Zedong it also motivates me. Most definitely when I read the words of Asstat Shakur and know to this day she still stands strong in the face of imperialism it motivates me. It also tells me I am not wrong in my analysis of Amerika and what I see on a daily basis. These previous freedom fighters for the people went thru the same things we did plus much more. So it shouldn't be too hard to differentiate between those who move for the people from those who move for imperialism.

No matter how you slice it or how much he moves you, Barack Obama is not for the people, he's another in a long line of bourgeois blacks trying to gain fame in this oppressive system by showing Amerikkka non-whites can lead imperialism too. Let's look at this in concrete terms. Reality. What has Obama said or for that matter done to show he will change or overthrow this system and uplift the masses? You don't overthrow imperialism simply by defeating another imperialist rival in an election. Although the ruling class would have you believe this as they continue in their attempt to assassinate the character of Obama thru his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

But has Obama or any other candidate discussed the growing prison population in Amerika which leads the entire world and what we are going to do to stop its expansion? He talks about education but is he going to legislate law to change the curriculum that indoctrinates students on what to think and believe into how to think and create. Obama doesn't plan on nationalizing health care as it should be but instead offers a package similar to the other candidates but with a few more benefits.

Barack Obama states his intentions are to withdraw the troops from Iraq as soon as possible upon entering office. Now what about withdrawing the troops in Afghanistan, Asia, Europe and from around parts of Africa. Oh, I forgot, stop funding Zionism in Israel. Try to see what you can do about halting Amerikan military aggression against weaker nations. will Obama do any of these things? Hell, no! See Obama tries to play this game of what we call playing both ends to the middle. By knowing what the oppressed nationalities and Amerika as a whole needs he offers the best reform package while at the same time catering to Amerikan interest in global domination. That's bourgeois politics.

That's exactly why we who call ourselves progressives, revolutionaries, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist or socialist stick to political line. And smash all reactionary politics and thought. If we really support the uplifting of the people. As we move forward in this contest of personalities to decide the democratic representative of the party and ultimately the presidency it has become ever so clear that race and popularity is still used as a huge role in who we decide are our leaders. But don't be moved from hearing the words change, be moved by politics in demand. The attack on Obama's well mannered personality to make the masses believe that he may be too compromising with foreign leaders or not be bloodthirsty enough to declare war on some small country. Neither candidate democrat or republican could handle a phone call at 3 in the morning if they didn't have Amerika's military might to back up their war monger mentality. Knowing some Blacks will support Obama by blind nationalism the media still uses the divide and conquer strategy.

This is the time we show our distinction and development in building public awareness to reveal this nation's structured racism. While at the same time putting forth the political line of the imbalance in the voting system showing the people how their vote really doesn't count. This process as it stands now is a method to determine the mind state of affairs through out the nation. As if putting a Black man in the race for the White House means freedom will ring. Freedom will only ring when we overthrow capitalism and its many tentacles of oppression. I would go so far as to state that if Malcolm X would have become president of these united snakes, it still would not make a difference. And I would call Malcolm a sell out.

Barack Obama is right when he says it is fear mongering that the media is spreading from his associations with Rev. Wright. But Obama it is also your fear to not publicly denounce imperialism. When, after denouncing Farrakhan and statements made by Rev. Wright, the media and talk show mouth pieces play reverse psychology by placing you in the same group that publicly lynches Black leaders. This is done to break up and destroy your base of support among Blacks and the youth. It's spun in the media that those who supported your speech in Philadelphia on March 18 also support Rev. Wright, so says right wing parrots as Laura Ingram. What these critics fail to mention is the disenchantment that the masses have with Amerika's politics, the reason for Obama's popularity. Not to mention that Bill and Hillary do have a lot of enemies and they're not all on the "right." But the good ole boy mentality in Bill "Clyde" Clinton and his "bonnie" Hillary refuse to lay it down, even going so far as using the race card in S. Carolina then turn around and brown nose to the Black bourgeoisie by attending the premier Black church in Atlanta.

For a moment the right was at a cross road between their dislike of Hillary and the realization that a Black man may actually become a democratic presidential candidate. So they killed two birds with many votes by Republican voters actually crossing the line and voting for Hillary to win over Barack in Ohio and Texas. To ensure McCain doesn't go up against the Obama movement too soon or not at all so he can have an easy road to the white house and continued war on Iraq.

Sources:
Amarillo Globe News, March 9 and 10, 2008
Newsweek, March 10 and 17, 2008

MIM(Prisons) responds: For the MIM(Prisons) analysis of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, check out our article:
Election roundup - Democratic party expands the game beyond white men, but remains imperialist in the end

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[Political Repression] [Texas]
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America: Behind Bars

The latest article from mainstream media reports that at the start of 2008 america had a prison population of 2.3 million. 1 out of every 99.1 adults are locked behind bars, more than any other country in the world. In 2007 alone America spent more than 49 billion on its vast prison system, at a time when the justice department reported that crime as a whole was down, as was violent crime. So why is everybody getting put on lock down? Well, in a nation that stays at war with foreign countries to advance imperialism, it spends its money for war and profit. Compound that with its war at home under the disguise of Homeland Security, Amerika locks up dissenters against the war along with social criminals. Social Control.

So instead of America using funds for programs for rehabilitation and other social services to stop the rate of growth of incarceration, they simply lock the people up and throw away the key. But what the justice system didn't account for was the lack of prison guards. So which will give? An increase in pay and better benefits to recruit more guards, a reduction in prisons being built across america, better social programs to stop recidivism or every prisoner being locked in cells 23 hours a day because of a shortage of staff.

Source: USA Today, February 29, 2008

MIM(Prisons) responds: In the past the government has made a clear choice to continue funding prisons and guards in order to keep expanding the prison population. This comrade is right that Amerika has no interest in rehabilitation and isn't using prisons to stop crime. Prisons in Amerika are a tool of social control. And they also provide a nice economic boost to rural white communities where guards can make good salaries while helping to perpetuate this system of national oppression and social control. We see no reason to expect this to change in 2008.

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[Abuse] [Texas]
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Another senseless death in Texas

Call it senseless, call it tragic, call it what you will, it's death suffered again at the hands of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), in Huntsville, Texas.

You would probably think that I was referring to an execution, considering the infamous Execution Chambers TDCJ operates in Huntsville that has contributed to the death of over 400 humans in the last 30 years. However, this death took place at an area located outside another TDCJ prison called the Wynne Unit, that's located about 10 minutes from the Death Chambers which are at the Walls Unit.

On September 24, 2007, inmates John Ray Falk and Jerry Martin, were escorted out the back gate of the Wynne unit to perform their job assignments as members of the "Hoe Squad." this particular Squad received its name from the gardening tool that's assigned to each inmate as they exit the back gate; it is commonly called a "Hoe". Duties of the Hoe Squad are best described as what most people would probably call a "Chain Gang," except in Texas there's no chains. Each inmate is assigned a garden tool and ushered to an isolated field that typically is located not too far from the prison grounds. Once everyone arrives at the field, the inmates are lined up in several rows and forced to chop grass or turn dirt at the pace of a numbered-paced song, that's normally chanted by a few designated inmates.

Depending on the size of the Hoe Squad you will have 6-10 armed officers mounted on horseback to supervise the working inmates. These officers are known for their Ten-Gallon hats that are exclusively made as part of their TDCJ-issued uniform. No other officers in TDCJ are permitted to wear such a Cowboy hat; only the Field Officers. This is one of the many things that separate the officers assigned to work inside the prison and those who work out in what is called the "fields" with the Hoe Squad. Susan Canfield, age 59, was one of the Field Officers on the Wynne Unit, and was assigned to supervise the Hoe Squad that Falk and Martin were assigned to.

Falk was serving a Life Sentence for a 1986 murder conviction. Martin had just completed his 10th year of a 50-year sentence for two counts of attempted Capital Murder. At 10:10am they decided to overpower Officer Canfield and another officer, and took their weapons. After a brief shootout with some other officers, Martin and Falk fled to a nearby parking lot and stole a Huntsville city truck and ran over Officer Canfield who was trying to stop them while they were making their escape. Shortly afterwards Officer Canfield died.

Death is what the TDC has been known for, mainly because of their brutal and extremely active Execution Chamber. However, many people who have had direct experience with TDCJ know that TDCJ has long maintained a culture of death. The inhumane and barbaric conditions TDCJ prides itself on have contributed to the death of many staff people who have worked for TDCJ as well as people who have been held as prisoners within its system. The TDCJ allows their punitive laws and policies to take precedence over rehabilitation for prisoners and safety for everyone, including their officers.

TDCJ directors have no qualms or reservations about placing their officers in high risk situations in order to obtain their goals of dehumanizing, harassing, and severely punishing all prisoners within their system on a daily basis. They feel as if it is their moral obligation to ensure that every day is a living hell for those who have been found guilty of committing a crime in free society, even at the cost of the safety of their own officers.

This is why Falk and Martin were assigned to work in the Hoe Squad despite their lengthy sentences, and Officer Canfield placed in a very risky position that would ultimately cost her the loss of her life. TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons has made many reports to the media outlets that alludes to the decision that was made, that permitted Falk and Martin to work outside the prison gates in the fields under supervision, was related to Falk and Martin's clean disciplinary records, and their minimum security classification levels. It is Ms. Lyon's intent to give the general public the impression that being assigned to work outside the prison grounds in the Hoe Squad, is some prestigious award allotted to inmates for good behavior, which is absolutely false and extremely misleading.

As a person who has spent the last decade in the TDCJ, and has been assigned to the Hoe Squad, I can positively assure you that the Hoe Squad is the most dreadful and despised job assignment in TDCJ. Upon entering TDCJ I was assigned to work in the Hoe Squad by the TDCJ Classification Committee. I was told by this committee that it's TDCJ's practice to make all incoming inmates start at the bottom (Hoe Squad) and work their way up to a job in food service or a job as a porter. However, the moment that you received a disciplinary case or rub someone the wrong way after working your way up, you will be instantly sent back to the Hoe Squad. The Hoe Squad is one of the many vehicles TDCJ utilizes as a form of punishment for delinquents and to ensure none of their rules are violated.

No one volunteers to work in the Hoe Squad, it's the most brutal job ever! Mr. Falk, who had been in prison for 21 years, and Mr. Martin, who had been in prison over ten years, were not assigned to the Hoe Squad for being model prisoners, they were assigned to the Hoe Squad as a form of punishment, despite what Ms. Lyons would like the public to believe. As a result, Office Canfield was placed in an unsafe environment that allowed these idiots to kill her.

This is a tragic and senseless death at the hands of the TDCJ. This is their culture. The usage of Hoe Squads has long been suspended in every prison system in the United States, except Texas. What did the TDC official expect out of Falk and Martin? TDCJ is just as much responsible for Officer Canfield's death as Falk and Martin.

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[National Oppression] [Texas]
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Life struggle of migrant worker

I would like to give a salute to thank you MIM for the MT and its many issues. Due to it and it's very meaning, I was brought back to the experienced life I was given, or forced to live (better said). I want to express myself on this issue.

My struggle, as I came to live it, was through many twists and turns in life. I was born in 1979 in Wichita, Kansas to poorly educated migrant working parents. My father was born and raised in Puerto Rico and migrated to the U$ in the 60s to find a better life and hoping one day to build a family. The poverty-stricken conditions on the island forced him to the U$A. My mother was born in Texas in one of the country's poverty stricken regions in the Rio Grand Valley. Her parents migrated to the U$ from Mexico to find the so-called "American Dream".

To these two courageous parents, four boys and two girls were born into the struggle in different parts of the U$, some in Michigan, some in Florida, and me, Kansas. I was born into the revolution, my physical presence as a kid in the field under the hot and endless days brought rebellion into me. Throughout the eighties and early nineties I experienced pain, hate, anger, racism, confusion, puzzlement, stress, oppression, etc.

This rebellion grew in me due to my surroundings and seeing my people oppressed and stigmatized. For me to see how my parents, who I love, would suffer due to the cruel and unequal government and its corporate allies. I remember waking up at 5 or 6am to go to work at the age of 9 or 10 years old until the sun seemed to sit behind the dark blue sky with its shadowy background. This would happen during the summertime when school was out and it was not cold. When it did get cold in the winter we would travel from Michigan to Florida and start all over again. This would keep me from advancing in school and so everyone else seemed to be getting a good and healthy education.

The moral of my life story goes that the economy and the government does not give a damn who it hurts. I came to Texas when I was in second grade and to my surprise I was brought back to first grade because the Michigan educational system was not meeting the Texas educational standard. I was 10 years old and in first grade. Crazy right?!

Did I choose this life? No! This life chose me and I became a revolutionary from birth. I was born in the fields, I was born to know no other life but blood, sweat and tears. I have the understanding now of who I am. I became a part of a movement that stresses the importance of unity and communication to build and sustain a strong front: internationalism and to becoming the vanguard. To help teach our people to become leaders and not followers, in all that we do we represent one another. We must educate and prepare ourselves, for that day is near.

I am presently witnessing my parents suffering from their labor and the pesticide that was routine and sprayed on those fields. Since their births over 60 years ago they were migrant working people and contributed their energy to provide food for those upper class and rich bourgeoisie. My mother suffers from numbness over her body and this I think is due to the chemicals that were sprayed over those fields. My parents receive a monthly so-called support check. Between both of them they receive $600 dollars a month. Honestly, this is not much because the gas has gone up, and property taxes are not far behind. My parents barely can come to see and visit with me and my younger brother who is doing two life sentences. Texas is a big state and we both are up by Dallas while our parents are at the border between Mexico and Texas.

This is my struggle and my way of learning who I am and why I am and why I became who I am.

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[Abuse] [Texas] [ULK Issue 3]
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Brutality and medical neglect lead to death in Texas prison

I would like to give a brief synopsis of a matter that took place about a year ago in Huntsville TX prison, but somehow is just now surfacing in the public (prison) eye. A prisoner by the name of Larry Cox died due to medical shortage of staff in 2007, but the thing is not as it seems to appear. 48-year-old Larry Cox should not have been left to deteriorate on his prison cell floor, with a broken back and in his own waste, for two days last year, before being sent to the hospital to die.

This clearly shows the negligence of the prison officers as much as the prison nurses, who have no concern what so ever for a prisoner who disrupts the institution. In testimony before the Senate criminal justice committee Dr. Ben Raimer and a colleague, Glenda Adams - both with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - suggested a mix of factors led to Cox's death, including the prisoner's poor health due to negligence of the medical office on the unit, his tendency to malinger, and his "violent behavior."

See, that violent behavior is what caused his death. Reason being, once you interfere with the rules and regulations of the institution, you create a reputation where these guards hold anger and frustration toward you to the point, as in this case, where they will allow others or even themselves kill you. How else would he have gotten a broken back? Assistance did not come to him until after the fact of negligence by nurses, doctors and the guards.

Two days is a long time on the floor. I mean, these guards passed out chow, mail, and did head count for over two days. They, as much as the nurses, are at fault. I know they saw him there on the floor asking for help. It was an easy task for one of those guards to have gone and advised his supervisors.

Later, Raimer and Adams both indicated that the death of the prisoner from Houston may have been aggravated by a shortage in medical staff, including a 50% shortage of doctors, 18% shortage in registered nurses. How about the guards and their evil ways? It all revolves around the same thing, a man's death. Cox died two weeks after he had a scuffle with the prison guards at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville Texas.

The prison's independent inspector general, John Moriatry, who is in charge of monitoring the prison system, told lawmakers that on four occasions prison medical staff did not administer Cox's prescribed medication, even when he told them he was paralyzed and could not get it himself. A physician care assistant recorded that as a "Refusal to take medication."

Moriarty defended his guards stating that they hand-fed Cox painkillers, and one supposedly alerted medical supervisors that the prisoner needed to be transferred to a hospital. By then, however, it was too late. For two days Cox was left on a mattress on his cell floor, dying in his own waste.

No one was ever held criminally responsible. The two prosecutors involved, one with the Walker County District Attorney's office and the other assigned to the state's prison prosecutor's unit, recommended that "no criminal charges be filed," Despite the medical examiner's report and Moriarty's conclusion that criminal charges should be brought against at least five medical employees. But what about the guards at the Estelle unit?

This is some of what happens behind these walls of silence. We as comrades need to break this silence by using common sense and observation. We must mobilize the masses to go against this in prison and expose the corruption of this capitalist and imperialist government.

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