Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Ferguson 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.

[Control Units] [Gang Validation] [Campaigns] [Peace in Prisons] [Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E.] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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Path to Redemption Needed in Texas

I have to praise my fellow prisoners at the Allred Unit for challenging the injustices that have been happening to all alleged/suspected STG’s. I have been unjustly confirmed as a member of the “Mexican Mafia of Texas” since 1986. But, was suspected prior to that year. And all, because I was one of the few prisoners that got tired of correctional administrators in the 1980’s using some prisoners to conduct their dirty work for them. This is where, I believe, that I became suspected as an STG member. Which is why I have a lot of respect for my fellow prisoners that stood their grounds along with me at the Ferguson Unit in 1983, until I was shipped in 1985.

Back then I was a young person. So fighting was my type of show, my true colors. But now as an older adult I have a different mindset. Don’t get me wrong I can still get my boxing game on, only if I have to defend myself. But now I believe that a pen and paper is mightier than a sword.

This is why I believe that the only way that we’ll end all types of violence or hostile activities is for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Institutions Division(TDCJ-CID) to be open to “STG” prisoners being released to the general population with unit level agreements between all “STG” members of different groups.

At this moment there are two types of renouncement programs. The first is known as Reg. GRAD for ex-members that enrolled not considering that the form they signed is unconstitutional because those individuals incriminate themselves and probably others. The second renouncement program is called “Population Release - GRAD.” And they have to allegedly incriminate themselves and others, and renounce all gang activities. But, I believe, that if the two types of GRAD groups are combined together that would open up the other STEP DOWN the prison violence by releasing “STG”s with a different kind of mindset. Because the majority of these two GRAD programs at present time are full of young set-minded street gang individuals.

I believe I am being set up by someone in the Unit’s “Security Threat Group Management Office”, with ex-members of different groups that have enjoyed “general population” for decades. They target those who don’t believe in the constitutionality of the now existing renouncement programs due to 2 reasons:

  1. the incrimination of each enrollee and the incrimination of others; and
  2. the “waiver of liability” for the TDCJ-CID

These are two serious violations of the 1st, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 19 of the Texas Constitution.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is a familiar story for those of us who were part of the struggles against SHU and validation in California over the last decade. We encourage the comrades in Texas to study the lessons from that struggle and develop proper leadership so that the masses are not led into the same dead ends as they were in California where SHU still exists and the list of STGs was greatly expanded.

Ultimately, making organizations of the oppressed illegal is reflective of the class nature of the state. It is only by replacing the current bourgeois state with a proletarian one that we will see the oppressed allowed a true path to redemption. It is only in a proletarian state that the oppressors and exploiters will be seen as the criminals rather than the poor and struggling. We must keep this goal in mind as we organize for the state to recognize basic bourgeois rights to free speech and association.

There are no rights, only power struggles. The second the oppressed let up as they did in California, the oppressor is there ready to tighten the screws back down. That is why we must build strong, independent organizations and not put all our energy into short-term battles.

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[COVID-19] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 71]
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Mishandling of COVID-19 in Texas Prisons

I am writing to inform you of the Ferguson Unit’s mishandling of COVID-19, which is common throughout the state of Texas. One unit (Pack Unit) has a lawsuit on it already in court as I write this. I’m trying to get in contact with that lawyer to take my case too.

My cellie was the first one to test positive on July 6th. They came and moved him to solitary per policy. While the guards dressed in full PPE waited for him, I stood next to him in only boxers. When I asked, “what about me?” I was ignored. Do you think they moved me? Do you think they tested me? Do you think they even gave me a bar of soap to clean the infected cell with? No, to all. I filed a Step 1 grievance on it and you can guess how it came back.

To make it worse, they moved him into the cell with me after only 12 days of being quarantined. I filed a Step 1 on this – no response yet. I filed a Step 2 on the first part when I got a copy of the rules that they are suppose to be following: CMHC Infection Control Manual B-14.52.

“Offenders that are close contacts of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases should be placed in medical restriction.”

“Thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases spent time.”

“Offenders should be kept in medical isolation until at least 3 days (72 hrs) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and at least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.”

You can see for yourself how they broke the rules. They didn’t stop there. They did a mass test of the unit, which is about 2,500 prisoners. Around 380 positives came back. They didn’t know what to do, so they cleared one row out here on B-block and housed some of them there with two and three row not having COVID! The block is already infested with rats and roaches. I mean, I got roaches crawling on me at night – it’s not a clean environment to begin with. I filed a Step 1 on all that too.

I’m not letting this pass. I’ve wrote the media, ACLU, and advocacy groups. The public needs to know how we are mistreated in here! Any help or ideas are welcome.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Sadistic and Disrespectful Guards at Ferguson Texas

Guards are sadistic & disrespectful to you. They beat you up & write bogus cases on you like threatening staff & staff assault. They do not file paperwork & investigations accurately & truthfully. Food is cold & they serve you half scoops of main/sides & lots of times it's watery. No seasoning or salt/pepper. We are not given clean towels, boxers, socks everyday when we shower. Most cells do no have lights installed! Guards do not like to do their job & don't pass out enough cold water & there is excessive heat. We are not given cleaning supplies for our cells or indigent hygiene items.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Agribusiness Abuses

I haven't wrote in a few. I wanted you to know I'm still here. So much has went on at this unit. We're strugglin with no one sticking together. I am part of a agribusiness work crew. I have never been so abused in all my life as at Ferguson Unit. Fed so small amounts of food, us that are indigent are doing really bad.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Grievance Malpractice at Ferguson

I'm sorry but I just now received your other paperwork; my unit had been keeping it with the STG (Security Threat Group). I would like to continue receiving information on this "so-called" prison system that's here not to help us Inmates or Convicts out. I've been reading and it's a shame how our family doesn't know what's going on. See I have it a lil harder because I'm a Freemason in the 3° and I've been traveling for 13 yrs and some of my Brethren that work in TDCJ look down at me and I'm only here for capital murder.

I write grievances every week and out of 123 I've written for myself only 2 came back undenied; and only 3 out of the 200+ I've written for other inmates. This Grievance System is nefarious and the officers' malpractice here is opprobrious; the officers walk around here with no repercussions for their atrocious conduct. The crazy part is that we have security cameras up everywhere (no sound); but even though it's all caught on film, there still is no action taken.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Punished for Reporting Abuses at Ferguson

I am at a really bad unit named Ferguson Unit at midway Texas, about 20 miles from Huntsville, TX. At this unit I have shown the rules, policies, procedures, practices, of T.D.C.J. with other offenders saying, "Oh well, we have been punished for made up rules, given cases, violating our rights in every way. Grievances do no good even the bosses tell the others who, what, when, on them." Yeah it causes many problems for me. The pigs get away with so much that the oh well offenders (OW) let them talk them up. At an inspection, a group asked if we seen any roaches, rats. We said no. But this one guy said there was. The inspector said "oh that's why they only wanted to show this dorm." The L.T. here stated "oh yeah tomorrow you're on lock down." We are. The food is all mush soups. Types of food portions so small that I see us that do not have commissary, are about sick. One hot dog, one sandwich, food unprepared or clean.

Here is a kicker. I came here to repair equipment because I am an equip mec for 30 years, professional. I seen a lot that this farm shop was selling parts to equip that it was not put on, or put in trash. I wrote the main O.I.G. (Offender Inspector General). It was all turned on being my fault, and to mind my business. Wow, I was talked to really bad still watching them break the laws.

I did everything I could to be sent to a different work camp. We are abused, fed mediocre food. They strip us out multiple times going out to work. Search us multiple times, the bad is other (oh wells) oh drown us. Us that would file grievances, or lawsuits they try to beat us up.

They see I don't back down, I seem to not get it through their heads if the unit don't get stopped from violating their rules, policies, the more they are restricted from little freedoms. They are blind.

I've spoke to many about this with same issue, no one wants to stand in unity. This is the worst unit I have been on.

Here's the problem. The unit has all kids with few older guys. The kids are doing so much stealing from kitchen doing this and that! Going dorm to dorm. Really doing free will. Without realizing if it was not for someone like me they would not have any type of T.V., radio, so much as their house. What am I to do? No talking to them.

We spoke to a SGT Andrew Sey about why we're on lock down and made to get up at 6AM on our day off to clean a dorm that has SSI. "Because if someone tells Huntsville inspectors B.S. on us, you can't write grievances on us because we can lock the dorm down for not being clean." Our Dorm is the cleanest I've seen. This unit that abuses us in ways that they believe we can't do anything about. The kitchen C/O Stubble Field has these same guys feed us so they give 3/4 scoops of portions. Pans are not on a warmer, uncooked, nasty to eat.

The pigs use things like "this is a disciplinary unit". I said what did I do to be put on disciplinary? I've seen nothing about some sidewalk rules in no T.D.C. It's just this unit. How can I get help? I've written every rights group there is with no help or any reply.

I am forced to repair the equipment, threatened by them. They do it in ways that shoulder the policy. How can I fight this unit's every grievance, every I60, they use other offenders against me for doing it.

I'm asking you for help! Any new forms I could use to guide me to file them, I can't seem to word them well. The food, the abuse, at the end of everything I've done nothing works.

We are made to get up at 4AM lights on, say name, number and then at other counts the dorm C/O wakes you up. Then cross count also. These C/Os enforce rules that do not exist. The inmates follow them like dogs, they let them put things in their ear.

Do you in any way have forms for me to copy on my own as in about abuse, food, C/Os, I need help wording how to write it legal, I want to file a suit. Last year during shakedown they burnt us up in the sun naked out of spite for hours.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Bogus searches and threats at Ferguson Unit

I am a 30 yr equipment mechanic. I was placed at Ellis far shop as a trusty S2. There were rows of equipment to fix. I did so. Even going through all the drama. I was sent to other units equipment to fix. On 7/16/18 I was told I had Ellis equipment under control and I am being sent to Ferguson unit farm shop to repair equipment. After arriving at Ferguson Unit I have been subject to multiple property searches within an hours time. One property search from security threat group STG has taken property that has nothing to do with STG. They dumped it all out without even looking at letters, so on. Then they made threats of off the wall things. I am stunned by the things they say. Not one thing had to do with security. At Trusty camp you walk hand behind back, small portions of food. COs still talk bad and say things that is none of their business. They use excuses like "This is a youngster unit" if you find anything on this unit I could help with I'm here.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Grievances Ignored, bribes demanded in Texas

I wrote a grievance on the warden of my unit for bribery. I alerted him of my life being threatened and he took that opportunity to coerse a bribe instead of doing his actual job. When I wrote in to inquire what's come of that grievance I was told by my unit's grievance investigator it was sent back and deemed redundant but I never received it back, nor have I received the emergency grievance I wrote due to me having a feeling they would do this. There's grievances that the units saying were lost but I know it was thrown away due to answer in response to the grievance being able to cause trouble.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Ferguson Prison: Brutality and other Abuse

Here's some conditions I and others go through around here. When asking for a ranking officer, we are denied. Mostly when we ask for grievances on the block, they have none, or lie and say they don't. Inmate brutality, guards using unnecessary force always, putting their hands on us. They don't give us cleaning products to clean the cells or toilets. They make us buy them off commissary. I hardly ever go to the store, so I can't. We hardly ever go to the Rec Yard. I know they are violating our rights and its not right.

They also pass out mail without checking inmate IDs, & other people get our mail. I just got a grievance back from the warden on the subject. He don't even care. I also need anything else you have that will help me in TX prisons.

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[Abuse] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas]
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Ferguson, a Condemned Unit

I've told every CO or ranking officer about my sink not working. I haven't had any drinking water in almost a month. I've been in this cell without a light for about 3 months. They are lazy and won't do anything unless they have to. This unit should have been closed down years ago. The plumbing sucks everywhere. The medium custody blocks are always dirty with discarded food, trash, bird crap and so on. The environment we live in is completely nasty.

I used to write grievances and found out real quick they don't work at this unit. The COs and ranking officers and wardens come together and tell their stories and everyone believes them. The grievance people believe every word they say and don't do any other investigation. It's not right. People give up writing them cause they get discouraged. I know cause I'm one of them. But I'm sick of them always winning even when they are in the wrong. I would like some help and advice on how to write them up. Please help me?

I also just found out that our property has been in the gym since 2 July and people's property was stolen. That's why we haven't got our property back. The windows on C-block where I live are broken and left there in the frames, putting us at risk of being cut.

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