Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Michael Unit - Texas

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? 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.

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Exposing Texas prison violations

ulk clipping
newspaper clip

I'm writing on behalf of my brothers here at the Mark W. Michael Unit. And respectfully request ULK to please convey our cause for unification throughout Texas prison systems. After a review of the May/June issue number 62 Under Lock & Key, I was very inclined to write this letter. Yes it appears that someone has woken up here in the Texas prison system. The old plantation where Texas prison officials is again up to these old tricks. Units are understaffed and overcrowded, being deprived of sleep, extreme heat, poor ventilation, dayroom overcrowded, and not enough available seats, for the offenders assigned to double cells. Here on the Michael Plantation we have so many offenders that we have a lot being housed in high security, and classified as overflow mis-housing offenders assigned to 11 building overflow, transit and mis-housing. And 12 building ad seg A/B pod as well.

So it's apparent and very clear that Texas prison system once again should be placed up under federal control, due to overcrowding and under staff, delayed medical care, and inadequate medical care, unsanitary living conditions, excessive use of force violation by staff, an enormous amount of suicide throughout Texas prisons. Offenders in high security being deprived of basic human needs, food, not receiving showers daily, due to inadequate staff. The Unit being infested with roaches, unsanitary conditions in the offender chowhall. And them not providing a wholesome and nutritious meal. Black mold in the showers, due to there not being cleaned, and prisoners breaking out with rashes due to exposure to such.

These are not just an Eastham problem, it's a statewide problem. And we urge that the taxpayers, as well as Texas prisoners on these plantations to become more involved, and let our legislature members to investigate these allegations and hold these prison officials accountable as well as the ACA. We need to let our voice be heard, and quit remaining silent about the things that effect us and the environment we live in. We will be forwarding legal documents to the federal district court, for the Eastern district of Texas at Tyler.

It's been a long time coming. Texas prison that the men for their effort to slay the devil and his advocates, and it's time that we do the right thing and bring this to the public attention of what's really going on behind prison walls. I remain committed as a voice for the incarcerated men and women of Texas prisons.

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Excessive force in Texas

I am still here in TDCJ doing time. I'm still locked in administrative segregation and the living conditions here are still not good. It's better now in this unit than it was 2 years ago, and I believe this is because we have a new dept. warden here in high security and because of all the inmates filing lawsuits.

The main issue that makes it so hard is the excessiveness of force. The officers are slamming inmates to the floor and beating them senseless for something as small as cussing them out.

Getting medical care is a hard thing to do, because the nurses and doctors won't treat us. Receiving medical care here in TDCJ is not easy to do, it's a system-wide problem for everybody involved.

Everybody that works for TDCJ is corrupt in one way or another, and I believe this corruption goes all the way to the governor of Texas.

[Rhymes/Poetry] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

For That Matter

The free, I see, living and existing, without me
They lock man away in a cage, while the birds fly free & away
In this kennel for days, awaiting my day to escape the chains
a long time coming, awaiting for change
deserted in a dry desert, awaiting the rain
to wash me away, back on my way, where the road is paved
This system can't feel my pain
This system can't understand my brain
My soul, my heart, nor my spirit, or mind for that matter
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Michael Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]


Yesterday, I was a sleeping victim
victimized by class segregation
Yesterday, I was comatose, to
those who inflicted economic degradation
These Imperialist weapon of mass Destruction
is capitalism smoked screened by spiritual materialism
The irony is that of a materialist in prison
Yesterday, I was unconscious, to the drugs
and guns that they sponsored
Yesterday, I was out cold, to the bold
manipulation, out-of-control of my own
Yesterday, I dreamed the Amerikkkan dream
thinking living free, was greed
Today I have awoken, Eyes wide open
Betita, Corky, Che, Zapata, and Poncho have spoken
The spell is broken
[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Demanding legal rights, fighting abuse in Texas

I am an inmate in the Texas department of criminal justice prison system. Have been locked up for going on years and have been on three other units. Why it has taken me so long to write the MIM Under Lock and Key publicaiton to expose some of the fowl stuff that is going on behind these walls is beyond me. My bad please forgive me brothers in white!

I started my time at the Smith Unit in Lamesa TX and did 5.5 years before I got my first case and that got me put in close custody for six months and to top it off it was for a fight that never happened. An inmate got to the unit and didn't want to be on the unit and being that I was the only one he knows by name he said that I assaulted him and the rank on that unit is so corrupt that they accepted the story. And well I ain't been able to bounce back yet and this happened in 2014. Six months later the same captain that ran the case on me got walked off the unit because he was caught with meth in his office and a few cell phones that he was selling to prisoners.

After I got sent to close custody I started my grievances to try to get my case over turned and nothing would come my way that would open any doors. I did my time and got sent to Lynaugh Unit in Fort Stockton, Texas and that unit is no better. I stayed there less than a year and was given 8 or 9 cases by the STG officer over the eyar. And all I could do was put in my grievances and let them work for me but I was still doing something wrong that wasn't getting no kind of justice.

I got into a riot there and not only did I get put back on gang file but I got G5ed again and got shipped to this unit which is the Michal Unit.

I'm having a hard time dealing with all the bullshit they got going here. I got your Texas pack of legal rights that us inmates have and often overlook and get screwed because of it. I sat down and read it from cover to cover and well I want to let you know that even though I can't win them all I have started getting some wins under my belt for a few of my fellow brohers in white because of the Texas pack.

Here on the Michael unit they feed us Johnny Sack meals every chance they get and thse sack lunches have nothing but one peanut butter sandwich and a meal sandwich of some kind. The breakfast Johnny is the one that is the real joke, 2 pancakes that is way below the calorie diet for any human being. When I got here I was weighing about 275. I am 6 feet carry my weight well but have been here about 7 months and well I am down to 220. Yeah for me that is my ideal weight but losing the weight too fast is not good and then they don't give us recreation but maybe once a week if we are lucky.

This unit is way out of line and well I am trying to get some other brothers in white to start pushing the pin with me but a lot of these inmates have it in their head that writing a grievance is snitching. So what can I do for myself? They charged me the $100 fee for medical when they had no reason to and well because of the Texas pack and a little bit of patience I got my money back and now they are retaliating by not answering my sick calls for renewals so I am thinking more of the lines of a 1983 being filed so they can get their hearts right.

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Retaliation for legal work in Texas

I am writing to let you know that I am contributing to the struggle that prisoners face by filing lawsuits and changing policies.

Every day here in Ad Seg I face retaliation from the guards because of the legal work that I am doing. The guards do everything that they can to try to stop people from filing lawsuits. They throw our mail away when it comes in and when we send it out. There is this culture that they follow and live by and it's all about keeping prison systems under their control and they want nothing but bad things for prisoners. If they could give us bad food every day and beat us when they want to they would be happy. The living conditions here in Ad Seg are not too good but they're not the worst possible living conditions. The main thing that I am doing right now to organize against this struggle is to help people do legal work and tell them how to file lawsuits.

I am working with some anarchists to write a book that will tell people how to file a section 1983 lawsuit. This will be later on but when I finish it I will send you a copy so that you can distribute it.

The medical system as a whole is not good. We are not getting the medical care that we need. We can have an obvious and serious medical need and the doctors tell us that nothing is wrong with us. The blood work gets switched out and the paperwork gets switched out. So, we can have a serious problem but they switch out the blood- and paperwork so it shows that nothing is wrong with us. Also the x-rays get switched out all of the time. We can have broken bones and the x-rays will show that there are no broken bones. All of the doctors, nurses and the correctional officers are in this together. They cover up crimes and keep the medical system the way that it is, and when we try to fix it by writing grievances and filing lawsuits, they retaliate.

[Censorship] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Need for Legal Battles

Dir Sir or Madame:

I am ... confined in the Michael Unit of the TDCJ.

On 3/16/17 I received from the Michael Unit mailroom a "Publication Review/Denial Notification" refusing to deliver to me the above-referenced publication based upon a finding that "it contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to achieve the breakdown of prisons through offender disruption such as strikes, riots, or security threat group activity." At the place for Remarks, "Pg. 13 contains info that could cause a prison strike and prison disruption."

Instead of seeking the least restrictive measures of censorship, like, for example, marking out the offensive language, they refused to deliver the publication summarily citing to TDCJ-ID policy and procedure BP-03.91, the same rule used to reject delivery of biblically-based religious materials sent to me by my sister.

I appealed the denial to the Director's Review Committee (DRC) whose address is PO Box 99, Huntsville, TX 77342-0099. On 3/29/17 I received the "DRC Approved/Upheld Denial on 3-28-17." However, that denial was not signed so I have no idea who is personally responsible and accountable or if this is - as commonplace - a summary, arbitrary, and capricious disposition of my appeal, similar to the practices generally experienced when using the TDCJ-ID administrative grievance process required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Nevertheless, I will not be receiving the publication, and, notwithstanding my notice of anticipated litigation to prison authorities, am notified that "the publication will be destroyed within 60 days of the initial denial." And, again, I am not notified of the identity of the person(s) who will engage in this illegally destructive and criminally culpable conduct designed to deny and impede my rights both to the publication and access to the courts. Thus far, my efforts to report the criminal acts and conduct to civilian law enforcement authorities and the State and Federal prosecutors' office under Texas Penal Code, Section 39.04 and Title 18 U.S. Code Section 242, have proven to be futile.

Accordingly, I am asking you to engage your expertise and resources in the litigation of this unlawful censorship to which you have standing to complain and request that you name me as a complaining party litigant. The proper venue is in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas sitting at Tyler, Texas.

I will at all times make myself available to you and to any legal representative whom you choose. I retain all evidence of my claims but, as I'm sure you know, is subject to confiscation, loss and destruction by prison officials and their employees.

In closing, I am reminded of a passage I read somewhere. "Acts without words are open to all kinds of interpretation and words without acts are hollow promises [or just lies]," The ball is now in your park. I need your help. Anxiously awaiting your response.

[Mental Health] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Crazy Making at Michael

I throught it was bad where I was at on the expansion cell block Gib Lewis Unit. I am on a different unit (Michael) where they have 12 buildings that they use to single-house "offenders" that they segregate. I am here to partake in the new program for mental health that's suppose to transition us from seg back to general population. But I'm STG (security threat group) and will still have to go to another program (GRAD) in order to get out of seg. What I'm saying is this: The way building 12 is set up, if you're not a psych patient when you get here, it'll sure test your mental stability.

For one the way it's set up (built/designed) the pods, in order to get a pig's attention you have to bang on the door and yell. It's not me to do that. People do it but others just start fires or flood because these pigs are so lazy that even when you tell them something they just walk off and don't do nothing. So it'll really push your mentality. So many have already broken and I have to deal with it all! But I stay occupied by being practive and fighting back the right way. They have my body locked up. But they will never have my mind!!!

[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Conditions Terrible at Michael Unit

I recently got shipped to the Michael Unit 11/21/16 due to myself being jumped by a white supremacist gang member because I told his people that I messed around with him on 10/7/16. The law library SSI snitched on us. I received a major disciplinary case. On 10/20/16 I was jumped to where I fell and lost my balance. Sgt. Anderson did the OPI and I was placed on D-Line at Eastham 10/25/16 and I went before UCC and Ms. Phillips-classification recommended that I be shipped. During the almost 5 months I was at Eastham, the drinking water was severely contaminated. My stomach was hurting me. Mr. Garrett French Co IV and Mr. Rains didn't bring all my property back on 10/25/16. I filed a step 1 grievance. They failed to provide a notice of extension. My step 1 is due on Jan 2017. D-Line used to be where they placed G4 transit folks waiting a house. They got rid of it and made it into seg.

There is an infestation of flies in the chow hall and outside. They refuse to solve the water crisis. Dayroom was 1-4 7 days a week daytime, except weekends 6-8am. One of the weekends was outside Rec. Mon-Fri 7p 9p dayroom. Restriction was on Wed night.

I arrived on Michael on 11/21/16. 5 of us comrades waited in 7 bldg for over 8 hrs. They placed us in transit housing in 12 bldg which is for level 3 Seg offenders. They treated us like Seg offenders placing us in handcuffs to the showers, and outside Rec. We had a 2 day shakedown Nov 29-Dec 1.

The unit is very disorganized. They installed a lot of security cameras. There was days in 8 bldg where we were given johnnies. The unit is short of staff. I sent sick calls, many don't return until after 48 hrs or so. I am still waiting for Ms. Coburn or whoever from Medical Records to lay me in. The Michael Unit has been opened almost 30 years.

They don't keep a stock of I-60s, grievances (step 1/2), sick calls at the desk. Officers work 12 hr shifts A card (1 card) B card (2 card). They have hospice in 10 bldg. There are comrades that are differently abled that are placed on 3 row instead of being the ground flood. The unit is not ADA compliant.

8 bldg hasn't had outside/inside recreation in over 3 weeks. On 12/29/16, our bldg was denied dayroom however we went to chow in the morning. We had a johnnie at last chow.

On 12/25/16 at 8:30, I dealt with Ms. Charlotte Bussey, Rd. She told me to stop dropping sick calls. My medical care wasn't important. I sent a sick call to Ms. Coburn in Medical Records. No sick call came back. I was told to send a sick call to Ms. Israeli. The Michael Unit Medical Staff is severely disorganized. My claim they are short staff. I question their credentials.

On 8 bldg there is an infestation of roaches all over. They don't supply plenty of pine oil, bleach, etc to keep them from coming. Spiders hang out in the cells. I plan on mailing the petitions to the state reps/senators in Texas as they step into office. All 50 state reps and 31 state senators will receive it. I will let you all know the results of the mailer. We must press the issue also president Donald Trump needs to know what's going on. On 7 bldg, they have general population 64 medium custody mixed in. Michael Unit has a safekeeping wing. They won't allow me to life there because I been in general population over 6 years. The comrades state that it is hard to get into safekeeping.

[Medical Care] [Michael Unit] [Texas]

Approved Sleeping Aid, But Not Allowed to Have It

My health has gotten worse and my breathing as well. The P.A. here, named Schafer, has approved for me to have a pillow to raise my head up in the air, so I am able to breathe. I have a pass for this pillow but the laundry and medical tells me they don't give pillows anymore. So why did the P.A. give me a year pass to have one?? However I still gasp for air and my health is bad. Any way if you can help on this I thank you. I filed a grievance on this, still waiting to hear something on that.

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