Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Michael 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] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting Suicide and Drug Abuse in TDCJ

I am bringing you an update from inside this Texas Gulag or should I just say Konzentration Kamp, to be exact.

I received my last package from you: the writing tips, more about MIM, how to start a Study Group and the material for the study group I just enrolled in. As I look over all the material, I already started scoping out cadres I will offer the Study Group to. But I want to first build a curriculum before I actually start this group. I have pulled two soldiers to the side, teaching them with what I got. And as we advance in our study group, I will offer my comrades to be a part of the positive peaceful movement I want to establish within this battlefield with the sole purpose of eradicating the criminal mentality and promoting a revolutionary state of mind which will help bring both Unity and Change within our prison conditions. The Militia, a group of conscious, mature-minded men. So stay tuned on updates of the building of this brotherhood of leaders.

In other news, the suicide rate in TDCJ was up 40% in 2018. Yearly suicide attempts have nearly tripled since 2009 going from 700 to 2,000. This is due to the lack of rehabilitation if you ask me: Texas has more prisoners than any other state yet they offer no counseling. I see a lot of suicide attempts; a lot because of the Slave Job (Texas Prisoners still don't get paid for work). No good time, work time, nothing. But they are making a killing through TCI. Here on the Michaels Unit, we teamed up with Administration to start a Suicide Prevention Squad which allows us to offer the people an ear to talk to and even a voice to give feedback.

K-2 is like crack now. If they give us K-2 and flood the inmate general population that will give us more to fight about while distracting us from what's important. Like issues stemming from over-crowding, or how we are still battling inhumane conditions due to the torching heat. When we ask for respite in designated areas, it's still too crowded. They already got down on some of those brothers under the Heat Lawsuit that was won. TDCJ was supposed to Air Condition certain units, they did, but are already having issues with the cooling system. It's still hot as hell with no solution to this issue. Then to top it off, a lot of brothers under the Lawsuit were shipped to other units. I thought they were protected under the Lawsuit.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Spoiled Food at Michael Unit

Just recently on my unit we had an outbreak of spoiled chicken. The unit got quarantined until the lab results came back. A lot of people got sick, they shut the kitchen down and gave us Johnnies (sack lunches) for a week and a half straight. During that time we ran into the same problem: spoiled beef links in the Johnnies. Everyone then wanted to speak. It took them six more hours to feed us but they gave us two peanut butter sandwiches. Come on! where they do that at?!

Then the next day they pacified us by giving the unit four movies for showing throughout the unit and good sack lunches (Johnnies) but the sad part is that everything that happened prior to that went for nothing. The kitchen is nasty as hell: roaches and all that. Every time the ACA comes is the only major clean up, painting and roach bombing and still no one cares to do nothing about it. They are too busy chasing a high from K-Z or being in someone else's business instead of investigating these folks for the torture they inflict upon us.

Bringing people together is hard here but with the commitment I am standing on, when they knock me down I will get back up. So please understand I am committed to this struggle and ready to organize and put in the work. Take out the old and bring in the new.

Thank you for your time. Please get back with me on the requested items. I am planning on building a treasury to help with future material but it's hard now. It will only get worse if we don't stand up. I also plan on writing an article on Growth.

Once again Thank you for all MIM stands for. It helps us unite.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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Rotten Food in Texas Michael Unit

I personally said that to do some time in any Texas State prison is to do time in one of the nastiest and scariest places. I am not talking about gang affiliation, I am talking about the condition that we are living in and how we get treated worse than animals. I was on a farm that was infested real bad with rats and mice. Then a few years later, I got transferred to a nastier, dirtier unit infested with roaches and ants. We eat ice-cold food. They are supposed to feed us a hot tray, no no no, like I just told you, ice-cold food and beans or corn. And the vegetables are always spoiled. I have complained many, many times. I have had to tell inmates what is going on. Why we let them feed us like animals, but I came to find out that this is a program for inmates with mental problems. So now I know how they don't care about us; feeding us and treating us that way.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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
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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Michael Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]
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Yesterday

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
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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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.

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[Abuse] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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.

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[Censorship] [Michael Unit] [Texas]
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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.

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