Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Dalhart Unit - Texas

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]
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Grievance investigators protect staff at Dalhart

I would like to address the illegal acts by the grievance investigator Ms. Andersen at Dalhart Unit. I have written a grievance on a staff member here for discrimination and then I added three witnesses that saw and heard the incident to my grievance. I never mentioned to any of my witnesses that I put them down as witnesses. The reason behind this was so that it was clear it was not a plan nor did I coach them or inform them to say untrue things. So none of my witnesses knew that they were going to be called a witness.

When the grievance investigator, Ms. Andersen, called them in one by one, she never mentioned anything to any one of the witnesses about when the incident took place. Who put them down as witnesses, what they were witness too. All they knew is they were witness to an incident and could they think of anything. Only one of my witnesses had a clue, but was not 100% sure it was me. The other two had no clue on what incident the investigator was talking about because she said nothing more than "can you think of an incident". Because the investigator, Ms. Andersen, did not disclose to my witnesses anything only that they were put down as witnesses to an incident and could they think of an incident.

She interfered with the investigation to help her coworker out. I was made aware of this by my witnesses when I ask them have they been called as witnesses yet? But all of them stated what I stated above and the two that didn't give both stated "That was you that added me as a witness? Had I known I would have given a statement of what I saw and heard."

This is why most offender's grievances get shot down even when you have proof of discrimination or any other violation by a staff member. Because the person doing the investigation is most likely going to be biased or unfair in their finding or investigation when it comes to "coworkers" and "friends" they work with. This is nothing compared to what I saw and heard when it comes to the investigator who investigate the grievances written by offenders. I can only pray that God will bring things like this to the light to stop this unfair grievance procedure. I think this could be why I've been set off on parole four times already. All because I choose to fight them over the past 7 1/2 years.

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[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]
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No Bathroom for Jailhouse Lawyers in Texas

I would like you to know, not to long ago this unit stopped offenders from being able to use the restroom during our session. I am in the law library every day up to 3 hour a day M-F without being able to use the restroom. But in this same building they allow offenders from GED, Cognitive Intervention, and Changes to be able to use the restroom. Its not right when you have offenders in the law library fighting criminal appeals, civil cases, grievances etc. and not able to use the same restroom the other offenders use who are not in the law library. Would you know if there anything that I could do to be able to get this unit to allow us to use the restroom without them ending our session?

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[Dalhart Unit] [Texas]
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Officers Boast About Death of Prisoner

I'm writing in regard to the article in ULK 39, "Demand Justice for Prisoner Death in Texas." All officers mentioned in this article are still employed here except for Gambriel and Jackson. The other officers continue to boast about the incident that occurred.

On another note. If we grieve a staff member, say for example staff use of slurs/hostile epithets, if the staff member states the incident did not occur, then the grievance is not referred. This exact statement is in our grievance manual, Section V.9.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is updating us on a murder committed by Texas guards, for which they still go unpunished. The Texas prison administration ignores grievances against staff when the staff denies something happened, effectively eliminated prisoners' ability to lodge complaints against the staff. The guards are policing themselves and prisoners are often left helpless to challenge abuse.

This is one of the reasons we encourage Texas prisoners to join the campaign to demand our grievances be addressed. While having our grievances addressed will not fundamentally change the injustice of the Amerikan prison system, we may save a few lives and fight for better conditions. At the same time we can use the campaign to educate others about the need to organize for fundamental change to our society. Write to us for a copy of the guide to filing grievances in Texas. Share it with others, and build a broader anti-imperialist movement to shut down the criminal injustice system.

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[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 39]
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Demand Justice for Prisoner Death in Texas

On June 3 of last year a young Black man named Maynard Brumsey was killed at the Dalhart Unit in Texas due to excessive use of force. As a result of constant urging by comrades and their families calling for justice, several of the top officials were removed. It's more likely than not that they were just placed at other units in similar fashion to what the Catholics did in recent years with pedophiles within their ranks. Nor was their removal likely officially directly related to Brumsey's death. So, we are a far cry from exacting anything like justice upon the offender officers whose actions caused that man to die. Officers Hay, Verlardi, Marquez, Jackson, Crawford, and Gambriel killed this man through excessive force and in failing to take him to medical after they brutalized him, even as he complained of having trouble breathing. They need to answer for that. Those officials who failed to investigate this matter correctly and according to procedure and/or who covered this thing up need to face criminal sanctions. We don't let the Brumsey matter die until that happens.

This is the nature of our revolutionary struggle in the United States at present. What happens in prisons is just one aspect of it. We need to be vigilant in making the connections clear between prisons and hoods, especially the projects to prisons pipeline that uses public schools as a conduit. We need to understand the relationship between these phenomena and political disengagement and economic disempowerment. In clearly defining the nature of our social predicament, we are more competent in our struggles' strategic development.

Consistent and sustained vehicles of information and resource exchange are paramount. I recently received literature from MIM(Prisons) under the banner of our United Struggle from Within which outlined several procedural codes of compliance that can be used effectively against officers and administration. In our past three years of development we have reached nearly 5,000 men with our advocating for our "Triple C Core Concepts." Each of those men should have such material to fight with. So I praise MIM(Prisons) and the collective efforts of our USW comrades for that.

This article referenced in:
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[Organizing] [United Front] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 34]
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Laying the Groundwork for Revolutionary Organizing in Texas

We've had a recent death here due to use of excessive force. We've been dealing with that, getting outside sources to reach out to and filing complaints on the inside. I've had only one response from outside: the Houston Police Department's internal affairs. They've told us that our complaint has been sent to the state Inspector General's office. I was told yesterday that 20 or so men who filed complaints have been given some sort of case for filing. I have to look into that.

Our close comrades have been busy coordinating weightlifting and basketball events. These events allow us to increase our profile and spread our message of unitary conduct. This also encourages others to adopt the principles which make us comrades. So, maintaining that as a sustained front has been a priority. This is how we are able to locate minds who are receptive to USW literature and who are prepared to come into greater degrees of organizing. We're finishing up our basketball season this week. We are signing up rosters for a soccer tournament which will begin next week. And we are beginning to coordinate our 3rd annual unit-wide collective fellowship meal, which has always been a powerful way of advocating for unity across ethnic and racial boundaries.

So, in addition to writing to you and four other outside groups united in our struggle, I need to, today, brief 5 other comrades who want to coordinate functions of their own under our banner. I mentor a young development of 2 others who are new to our collective. And I need to get at least 10 others some recent commentary to keep them in the loop. I absolutely need to delegate more. But even that is a process in itself in this environment.

While all of this is going on, I've had to mediate a situation where a young comrade had a conflict with a white guy. Because the white guy was so much bigger and older, Black families were upset. Because Blacks got involved and the white guy used to be associated, white families are upset. So, you try to keep the peace while pride and ego come into play. The whole time understanding the stakes involved, the potential for escalation, and knowing that the Mexicans are watching Triple C closely right now, judging how I conduct myself in the affair.

I realize always that lives are on the line. I do the work so that these men and their children can gain more power to determine their economic, political, and social condition. So much of that work involves meeting cats where they are at, and working to provide solutions to immediate needs; doing that while communicating one big picture, and while demonstrating methods of achieving evolved conditions of living.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is a good example of the day-to-day ground work that revolutionaries engage in to build the movement against imperialism. While exercise, in and of itself, may appear unrelated to anti-imperialism, this is something that can be turned into a solidarity activity, especially in prison where even such basic activities are greatly restricted. We have reported on similar organizing in California prisons. This comrade is part of an organization that is in the United Front for Peace in Prisons which is focused on building peace and unity within the prison population. Wherever we can break down divisions between groups and build unity to fight our common oppressor we will contribute to a stronger anti-imperialist movement overall.

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[Abuse] [Dalhart Unit] [Texas]
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Prisoner Killed by Officers in Texas: Protest Needed

We lost a comrade yesterday. It's been a little over 24 hours since it went down. Some men are angry, some are confused, not knowing what to do. Some are afraid, with no hope that anything can be done. The worst thing I've heard was when a coward stated that the man who six officers jumped on, gassed, and slammed on the concrete floor, creating a gash in his head and causing him to die "put himself in that position." I don't care how good you are at humbling yourself, suspending your manhood and dignity and staying out of these crooked officers way, as long as you are in white uniform you are in that position. Your turn just hasn't come around yet.

All of the facts are not out. Supposedly, officers Hay, Velardi, Marquez, Jackson, Crawford, and Gabriel exerted excessive force against this man, who was known to have mental and physical disabilities. The man has asthma, and was recently on suicide watch. Knowing this, they suited up and gassed this man in the chow hall, slamming him to the floor. And instead of taking him directly to medical facilities, they took him to an administration building, where he took his final breath.

The way I understand it, this comrade died because he would not move from his seat in the chow hall and sit in another place. I had no idea that was a crime, let alone that such a crime would bring the death penalty. Nor was I aware that these six officers were judge, jury and executioner. But, the worst part may well be the flagrance of the administration in response to this incident. Supposedly Officer Alvarez simply erased the camera footage, and they have more or less gone on running the unit business as usual, certain that we are so "humbled" that we won't do anything. Well, we will do something.

I don't care if you saw the incident or not, file a Step 1 complaint stating what you have heard about what happened and ask for an investigation. Ask that the video of the incident be reviewed. When they send you a bullshit response, file your step 2. This is just due diligence. That is what movement and struggle is about, working the process. Create a paper trail and documented accounts that will no doubt differ from the cover-up they will try to do by calling it an accident, which disrespects that man whose life was taken, his family, and it disrespects all of us. Call your family and have them call the ombudsman. We need calls and emails and letters about this to go out to other state and federal offices. Write to newsletters, newspapers and others about this tragedy and be prepared to stay as is until something gets done. This man lost his life. If this life doesn't mean anything, neither does ours. For those of you who are afraid of what they will do to you if you file or make noise, they took that man's life, so what can they do to you that is worse?

But, we have to realize that our struggle cannot always be in reaction and on the defensive. We need a solid offensive. It is a power struggle. I'm reminded of what the honorable comrade Frederick Douglass said: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." By now, we should be able to demand that there are cameras all over prisons without blind spots except for restrooms, showers and sleeping areas. Those video and audio feeds should go directly online where a community oversight committee can have 24/7 access to what is happening in prisons in real time. The same committee should have punitive authority over these officers, the committee members themselves being comprised of both crime victims and of the family members of incarcerated persons. Had we had this in place yesterday, I'm certain it would have saved a man's life. The only thing preventing us from having the capacity to make such a demand is our willingness and determination to continue to organize ourselves in unity which is operational, which strengthens our collective leverage. This is our power base.

Hip hop pioneer KRS-One asked the question of crooked cops: "You were sent here to protect us, but who protects us from you?" What we saw in the 80s and early 90s is no different than what we see in today's criminal justice system. What we have to finally realize is that it is the one who holds the power who determines who the criminal is. If these officers killed this man in the way it is coming out, then they are no doubt criminal in their conduct. If justice is to be had it is up to us. Contrary to popular notions justice is not blind, nor do we want her to be. We want her to see clearly what predicament we are in, and we want her to do right by us. Our struggle must seek to subdue and to dominate her, rather than to petition for any favor from her. The longer we wait to stand and do what we must do, the more of these injustices we will endure.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We agree with this comrade's assessment that "justice" serves those in power. In the world today this is the imperialists and their criminal injustice system. They call it justice when they provide military aid to corrupt regimes that brutalize and kill their people. They call it justice when they kill or imprison people for trying to cross the border into the United $tates to seek a way out of imperialist-imposed poverty in their home country. They call it justice when they lock people up in long-term isolation cells, proven to call irreparable physical and mental damage, to stop them from educating and helping other prisoners. We fight for a justice of the people. A justice that will put an end to the global domination of a few, the capitalists, at the expense of the majority. Communist justice will liberate the world's people and punish and re-educate the oppressors so that they can become truly productive members of society.

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