Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out 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.

[Civil Liberties] [Abuse] [Billy Moore Correctional Center] [Texas]

Prisoner Beaten in Texas for Long Rastafarian Hair


I am writing this scribe from segregation (SMA), the reason being because I will not cut my hair. I am practicing Rastafarianism and as of September 1st, 2019, Amerikkka’s legislature passed laws contenting to hair growth of 9 inches as long as your travel card reflects Native American, (as if that represents a religion and not a nation) or “Rastafarian.” My card has reflected “Rasta” since August. It was previously “Nation of Gods and Earths” (NGE) But Texas’ private facility Billy Moore(MTC) does not accommodate so I switched to another that I knew they wouldn’t understand let alone provide for.

My calculations were correct, all I had to do now was wait and see which little piggy would be so much of a control freak that they take “lawfully sanctioned” religious expression as a personal challenge and seek to champion a crusade. I caught a big one. I won’t go too much in detail because if they weren’t reading previous kites, they are definitely tuned in now. It ended with me being assaulted and sprayed with chemical agents and no one can explain how and why it escalated in the first place. The pigs tried to draw me off sides through intimidation, harassment, and after I filed grievances behind cases that I was told, by my prized stuck pig I would get. But due to well written grievances, I never did, nor did I get the grievance response retaliation. They couldn’t win, and I had the unit laughing at them, so they geared up for a final showdown. I admire Malcolm more than Martin, but I respect them both. I am the dream and the hope of the slave, as Maya would say, so you must know when to incorporate strategies against our oppressors.

[Campaigns] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas]

Laws Exploit Loopholes in Grievance Procedure

The issue that I'm working on here at the Clements Unit is what the laws here call "time out." By the way, I received the Texas Pack and it has been a huge help. I can't thank you enough.

Anyways, when a law decides to harass an inmate, and gets a response he don't like, they place you in restraints and escort you do the Administration building, and put you in a holding cell with no restroom. There ain't no PHD(?) cells on that building. And they leave you in there for hours.

So while you're gone, your property is just wide open for grabs. Officers hate to inventory property but they quick to lock you up. So when you file a grievance, grievance staff try to save these laws by screening the complaint, and putting the wrong grievance code. So the objective is to stop all that deliberate indifference, and stop the due process violations and make it better for the next man. And the Texas Pack is one of the tools I needed to get me started.

If officers put as much effort into inventorying your property as they do locking you up on PHD, we wouldn't have to file property claims. But no, they use your property loss as a retaliation act.

So what I did is, on my complain (I-127), my opening statement made it clear that I was filing on the guidelines outlined under grievance code #515 (property lost/missing/stolen/damaged). Because if you don't state the grievance code, the investigator may put a different code. Grievance codes 512 through 515 consist of issues about property here in Texas.

Also, I was going through my past complaints (I-127s) and the action you request to resolve your situation could change the grievance code number. So be careful, and make sure your resolution request runs consistent with your statement of complaint. Because if you file a harassment complaint, and you request that a case be overturned, the grievance will be graded as "improper." "Staff harassment" is grievance code #812, but if you mention that you want the case he wrote you to be overturned, then it changes the issue. Then the complaint conflicts with the resolution, so therefore the grievance becomes "improper."

And I'm sure that is mentioned in the grievance manual that Texas hides. So inmates become frustrated because they don't understand and give up. Then the law wins again. Much love to MIMP and all my fellow inmates.

[Hunger Strike] [Campaigns] [Hughes Unit] [Texas]

Initiated Hunger Strike on Tuesday November 19, 2019

I have exhausted myself mentally and physically, trying to exhaust my remedies by forms of letters, requests, verbally and grievances. All my efforts have failed due to corruption within the system, my unit, and those who don't respond to any forms of correspondence.

On 31 October 2019, we were placed on annual lockdown. On 19 November 2019 shakedown made it to our building and section. The officers came in to [my row] and took [my row and section] to the gym to be searched of their properties and person. They were allowed to be present during the search of their properties.

Once they were returned to [my row] and secured, rank and officers changed procedures and pulled all inmates from their cells to the passive rec yard. This left officers and rank to toss cells and property without the inmates present. All other cells were allowed to return to their houses, leaving me in the rec yard 1 hour longer than others.

Once I was allowed to return to my cell, I realized they went through all my legal documents, taking more of my legal and my used typewriter ribbons I was saving as proof of all my legal work, grievances, I-60s, appeals, court filings, letters to everyone.

I called for rank all day and have been refused this request now for 4 days. I told officers on the floor in detail of the illegal theft by shakedown staff. The shakedown crew gave me no confiscation papers, which is theft and against my 5th and 6th Amendment rights of "due process."

All this occurred after I sent out 3 withdrawal slips to file against the unit in the U.S. District Courts. On 11 August 2019, officers had once again robbed my legal documents, legal mail, grievances, new typewriter, family photos, commissary, etc. Again not allowing inventory papers nor confiscation papers. I have been filing Step 1s and Step 2s, only to be given non-conclusive answers, or not given the grievances back in return, unattaching evidence and claiming nothing was attached, etc. You know what they do to us.

At the same time, the law library is denying/ignoring our requests to access any legal materials. Another incident occurred of theft by officers on 24 July 2018, which was the same. They took some of my legal documents, family photos, medications, etc. Long of the short I have gotten nowhere by following procedures, policies, grievances, etc.

I have no choice but to take this stand to my hunger strike. Every time they rob my legal transcripts, free world documents, grievance copies, family photos, typewriter, etc. this affects my fight for freedom, my constitutional rights, civil rights, etc. My state of mind is being driven to a state of depression. This hunger strike is taking its toll as of day 4. Today I sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott about my hunger strike and reasons. If I don't make it through this peaceful stand, please make sure others don't give up the fight. Thank you for your continued support.

[Control Units] [Eastham Unit] [Texas]

Ad-Seg "Changed" to "Restricted Housing"

I'm writing because I just got your mag, but the mailroom takes its time in getting our mail around to us, especially to us in Ad-Seg. Or wait, they changed the name. It's called "Restricted Housing" (R.H.). Yet, nothing's changed, it's still the same.

It used to be for all STG-gangs, but here in Texas they just put anyone back here, so this place is now full of people that get into fights, don't want to work, or people who do minor stuff out there in G.P., and once here they take years to let them back out.

So because of this, they have changed so much for people like me who has been back here since 88, because I was a gang member (Mexican Mafia). So every time I come back into the system I get put back here. But since 05 I left the gang and have been trying to get into a program called GRAD (Gang Renunciation and Dissociation).

I want out of this "R.H." because there's nothing back here for me. I want to get out to G.P. where I can do something instead of just sitting here doing nothing. Hell, ever since this year started we haven't been given our recreation like we should get, in their Ad-Seg plan. Since the start of this year we've gotten rec once or twice each month!

What sucks is we have no unity here to try and get this back to how it should be, one line might bang and any other ways to get this rank to come talk to us, but all they do is put us on a 24 hr lockdown type of thing (since we're already in lock up) and feed us Johnnies.

I tried going with the grievance, Steps One and Two, but was told we were given the chance to go to rec, and if we don't go that's on us. But how is that since they KNOW Ad-Seg guys can't just walk out of our cells like guys in G.P.?

[Abuse] [Ellis Unit] [Texas]

Suicide, Lockdown and Threats at Ellis Unit

I am going through a lot, I been placed in segregation for no reason. They are extending my stay under false policies. I did no wrong. I look forward to Under Lock and Key, I have received all issues.

A kid killed himself here so we are on lockdown. What these wards are doing is wrong. I have done no wrong. We live in fear here. They use the rules as loop holes to harm us. Falsely file forms to hide their actions. I fear to say too much. I am trying for transfer then you will get the full story.

In fear,

Huntsville TX 77343

[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]

Hobby Unit not Run by TDCJ Rules

Can you please send me a Texas Pack 2019? I am at Hobby Unit and things here are in very bad shape. Guards doing what they want to inmates. Pulling our property to the day room and letting other offenders have what they want. Officer hitting inmates for no reason. Our grievances not getting answered.No water, no in and outs for water.

This place is not run by TDCJ rules. Please help me with sending me the Texas Pack so I can write someone for help. Thank you.

[Medical Care] [Terrell Unit] [Texas]

Forgery of Grievance and Denial of the Right to Grievance

To Whom it May Concern:

Greetings, I am writing in hopes you may be able to help and/or advise me. It is my intention to file suit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) director and employees concerning TDCJ failure to address grievance issues such as:

  1. Denial of insulin to insulin dependent diabetic

Transport Officer Mr. Ballew stated in the court hearing on 30 January 2019 that I must provide my own insulin during transport. I filed grievance #9019034096 on 6 February 2019 concerning this issue and unit grievance office claims to have closed this grievance on 1 January 2019. I must pay for a copy if I want to see the response given. (How is it possible to close grievance before it’s filed?)

  1. When I was released from the UTMB hospital and transferred to this (the Terrell Unit) I requested my property from the Carole Young infirmary unit be sent to me. I was told it was sent to the Byrd Unit and to date I have not received any property from the Byrd or Carole Young Units and my grievances step two, dated 12 April 2019, has been completely forged including the signing of my name to the document as if I wrote it.

It is my intentions to bring suit under violation of government code S.504 rehabilitation act for the following reasons:

I am denied to participate in TDCJ and UTMB programs and services or the benefit of those services provided to all other prisoners.

UTMB Galveston hospital orders that I take insulin three times a day. Note: I am not a type one or type two diabetic. I do not have a pancreas after it was surgically removed leaving me a severe diabetic with an auto-immune deficiency. My life depends on insulin and when I am not receiving insulin as ordered I am denied the right to complain through the TDCJ grievance program.

I request you send me the additional resource application to the federal courts and a copy of TDCJ grievance codes manual and any additional advice or information you may provide will be helpful. Also know that I talked with the Terrell Unit Assistant Warden Mr. Antony Patrict about these issues and he said “Sue me!” And the grievance office refused to allow me to complain about the forged grievance from 12 April 2019.

[Release] [Texas]

Paroling to Private Facility, Can't Work

I'm writing this that I need help. I'm at a Geo Inc / TDCJ contract facility. They are violating my freedom for I made parole and can't get my SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) while I'm here at this halfway house / prison. Forcing us to do labor and not paying us, while we are on parole. Plesae help me, to see what I can do. Thank you.

[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]

Dangerous Heat, Electrical Problems, and Medical Neglect at Talford Unit

I was in I Pod in a cell that ended up having an electrical problem, which is a Facility Maintenance issue and should have been fixed A.S.A.P. Whenever the floor officer would come around for count and the picket boss would turn on the cell lights, it was knocking my power out. And not only mine but 3 other's beside mine. There are two people to each cell and no power means no fan; and it doesn't take long to start overheating in a prison cell in the Texas heat!

When it first happened, me and my celly along with the occupants of one other cell refused to go back into the cell when they put everyone up at night. So 4 of us sacked the day-room. The officers and Sgt understood, and got our power back on after about 30 minutes. So we went back in. There was a note put in the picket to not flick cell lights on. But every day, whoever was in the cell during count was stuck with no power because they would turn cell lights on despite the note. Sometimes the power would be returned relatively fast, about 10 minutes. But more often than not, the COs would finish count, which meant the power would not return for another hour or two.

I have cardiovascular disease and am on a *heat restriction*: I cannot be housed on 3rd Row because of this. I seen nothing was being done about the power outages so I wrote an I-60 to the warden which got put in the mail early Friday morning. The following Monday I was moved out of the Faith Based Pod and to another Pod, which caused another issue because I was put on a top bunk which is a risk because of the fainting I sometimes experience due to my heart condition. I told Medical; they said my bottom bunk restriction expired. I explained to the nurse the heart condition and symptoms. The nurses can issue a 3 day pass plus a follow-up with DA. But instead she was negligent and said there was nothing she could do and gave me a sick call request. I turned that in a week ago and am still on the top bunk.

Since I've been in this new pod I found out they still haven't fixed the maintenance problem of the previous one. There was a 57 year old American Citizen from Pakistan there in the cell next to mine and his cell was also affected by the power outages. He was on psych meds and heat restriction. He had an anxiety attack when the power was knocked out and was locked up for threatening to kill the CO. In my eyes, this was really a provoked issue because the safety and health hazard arose from a failure to properly maintain the facility. This could have been, or still may be, fatal to someone.

It is very hot 24/7 in TX prisons in summertime. A few months ago, a 29 year old inmate at the Robinson Unit died of heat stroke. This seems to happen every year during summer. At what point is it considered homicide? Murder? To me that's exactly what it is.

I've been spending a lot of time in the Law Library. I plan to write grievances on these issues.

[Medical Care] [Telford Unit] [Texas]

Medical Neglect at Telford Unit

I hope this letter finds you all in the best of health & spirits. As for myself, I'm not doing too good! I am in a great deal of pain in my back and testicles due to nerve pain. I was seen on 7-31-19, I believe, and a non-formulary [drug] was requested but denied. I was told by the provider that if I didn't receive the pain medication in a few days to send an I-60 (Request to Officials) to be seen again. I did so on the fourth of August; I still have not been seen. I've also filed grievances and sick calls. It is the prison's policy as well as UTMB (contracted medical care), for inmates to be seen within 10 days of being evaluated by a sick call nurse. I've seen the sick call nurse 3 times already. I turned in my carpel tunnel splint because it was sabotaged when I forgot it on rec. yard. Medical still hasn't provided a replacement even though they have them in their supply stock.

I'm sending you this letter because I wanted to see if you can contact Health Services in Huntsville, Texas (936-437-3618) and report this for me. There should be at least one medical practice manager on this unit, but there isn't and as a result I'm being denied medical care. I'm also in need of the book Protect your Health & Safety or something like that; an inmate told me about it a while back, but since I'm indigent and halfway through my sentence I was hoping I wouldn't need it. I was mistaken.

They allowed my jailhouse lawyer's manual and Texas supplement issue to be stolen last year when I was raped and they lied to me saying it was in my property and I signed the property papers only to find out it was not in there. Can you please help me with the protect your health and safety book ro refer me to someone who may be able to help me?