Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Robertson 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] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]

Parole revoked for false charges; grievance appeal useless

I have been subjected to delays, unanswered grievances, and harassment. After reading over your United Struggle from Within section I realized that this petition may very well be exactly what these people need. Here in Texas the grievance process is horrible. I'm currently incarcerated at the French Robertson unit, and on this unit all Step 1 grievances come back with the exact same response regardless of what the actual grievance was about. Which clearly shows a violation of the due process rights afforded to us due to the fact that no inquiry or investigation of any sort is being done to validate the response always given. I would like to join the campaign. I am in need of the petition.

I have recently experienced these very tactics with a grievance that I filed on a disciplinary appeal. I had made parole and was supposed to be released but was given a bogus case for fighting an inmate which resulted in injuries beyond first aid even though I wasn't involved in the fight in any way, shape, form, or fashion! To make a long story short for the sake of time: two people that I knew had already fought once in the dayroom and were still heated. I was in the cell. I came out to shower and one of the guys comes and tells me about the situation. I tell him that a fight wouldn't change any one of their minds about the situation (they were fighting about a Euro-Step!) so they should just agree to disagree. They end up fighting anyway. They aren't caught fighting but camera review gets us all locked up. According to them I was seen conversing with the two prior to the incident so I must have been involved. The case says that I engaged in the fight by being a "lookout." Which is total BS due to the fact that I didn't engage in anything nor is being a "lookout" a case anywhere in the TDCJ Handbook.

Of course the case sticks anyway, even though both of the guys admitted and wrote statement professing that they did fight each other and that I had nothing to do with the actual fighting, in fact I was the one who tired to defuse the situation. I still get slammed on the case and lose my parole as well. I file the Step1 grievance and it is returned a month or so later without incident with the pre-meditated response as usual. I file the Step 2 and it disappears. 45 days later it reappears without a response of any kind due to the fact that it hasn't been processed. I resubmit with all the inquiries from me to them questioning the whereabouts of the grievance. The Step 2 is returned to me in 2 weeks stating that the grievable time has expired!

I said all that to say this, comrades I feel your pain and struggle. I've lost my chance at freedom (semi-freedom) over a lying vindictive Lieutenant and a faulty grievance system, well not actually faulty cause faulty would indicate a mistake. This is done with blatant ill intent! I'm not discouraged though, just inspired to speak out on the injustice.

[Abuse] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]

Guards Ignore Rules, Lie with Authority

Would you please send anything you have on the rules the guards must follow? Because they make up the rules as they go, with no regard for what policies states in our (GR-106) or (I-202) handbooks. I was told to take my rule books back to my cell, or get locked up today, after telling and showing CO and Ranking COs Hallway and Chow Hall Rules. I was told that policies don't matter; it's what they say. Yes, I'm writing this up, no need for audio on the cameras, just watch their actions.

I'm asking for tools to work with, because the law library doesn't have what I'm asking for (well that's what I'm told). I'm in there everyday it's open. I'm not allowed no more than 30 min of extra time a day, because of the number of people I'm helping or those helping me. Plus we have to pack our legal work up, and take it with us, every time we have to use the restroom.

When I write said grievances, without prejudice is what I ask and please that my complaint be truthfully and thoroughly investigated as per AD-03.82, due to me being under duress about said issue. Designees/employees are only observing the proper procedure, without honestly giving effort to ensure fair and unbiased treatment towards inmates. Also their actions of collusion by being conclusive, they also have/has malicious intent and their actions are negligent to their legal responsibility and liability, namely TX Gov Code Section 493.001 Department Mission. Their callous disregard to complaints, etc, that I and my family has copies of, that's been filed. This is not providing public safety, or promoting positive change in offenders behavior, or reintegrating offenders into society, or assisting victims of crime.

The question is what does the officers actions show? Yes, they know policies, etc, but do they follow them? Officers lie with authority. Please help in any way you can.

[Control Units] [Robertson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 62]

Solitary Confinement Ongoing in TX Despite Policy Changes

I would like to ask your staff a question. I recently received ULK 60 and it made a statement that solitary confinement was abolished in Texas in 2017. When I seen that, it floored me. I say that because i'm writing this letter FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. So did I miss something? And if so, how can I fight from here to rectify the situation?

I let others read that and we all was stunned. I mean stunned. Are we reading this statement in your newsletter wrong?

Also we would like to know what is the Texas Pack and how can I obtain one? Your newsletter has shed light on a lot of things that are helpful for us in this place, and I just would like to say thank you and keep up the good work.

MIM(Prisons) responds: In September 2017, TDCJ announced it would no longer use solitary confinement for punishment, or as a method to encourage good behavior. It would "only" use "Administrative Segregation" (totally different from solitary confinement, right?) for "gang members, those at risk of escape, and those who are likely to attack other inmates."(1) That month, 4,000 people were still held in isolation on these grounds. Consider that only 75 prisoners were actually released from solitary confinement after this policy change.

We appreciate that this writer spoke up, because this is a very common practice. The Department says "we're not using it for punishment," while holding many, many people in isolation. The claim of gangs and security threats is often cited as the justification for the "exception" to their superficially-humanitarian publicity stunt.

Some examples include the Tier 2 program in Georgia, and the indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons that led to the hunger strikes in 2011-2013 and the Ashker settlement.

No matter what you call it, or what "justifications" are given for why it's used, solitary confinement is always torture, and never necessary. We have no doubts that solitary confinement can and should be ended, for everyone, today.

As for the Texas Pack, we are still updating and mailing this out. It's one of our more expensive projects, so we're asking for subscribers to send a donation of $2.50, or work-trade, to get the Texas Pack. This packet contains all our campaign info relevant to TDCJ, including on the grievance process, medical copay, and indigent mail restrictions. Send your donation to the address on p. 1, and tell us first if you want to send a check or M.O. so we can send instructions.

[Drugs] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]

Texas using drugs to keep prisoners quiet

Here's the thing about the Texas prison system, if you're the one that likes to medicate themselves with K2 or psych drugs then the system is a cake walk. I've been here many times but when I woke up and saw the real picture it was too late. Now I want you to understand that society plays a vital role in this campaign of slavery and drug trafficking. The prisoners these days don't care about nothing but K2 and commissary. The Texas prisoners won't put their foot down for nothing but when the pleasures have been taken from them. The guards bring that shit in here and they're making big money. The powers that be will let just enough drugs in to keep the masses from rioting, as long as the masses think they're being slick by getting drugs in then there won't be any waves. Society is so jacked up with their own problems, and not to mention how the smoke and mirrors are being used by the power that be.

[Abuse] [Robertson Unit] [Texas]

Unsanitary conditions in Texas

I'm a prisoner confined in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I'm launching this complaint concerning the unsanitary conditions of various areas of the French Robertson Unit in Abilene, Texas.

12 Building segregation recreation yard is the second most unsanitary area of the facility. The urinal is seldom cleaned and always seems to be backed up. The stench resulting from this condition is overwhelming and can be smelled at a distance of at least fifty yards. I have informed the security staff, as well as its supervisor, yet the problem remains unattended. The tables and weight case are also unsanitary, covered with bird droppings and littered with trash. This is an atmosphere that is in violation of state health codes.

8 building kitchen is absolutely the worst. On more than one occasion I have spoken to the Lt. and Sgt. about there being roaches in the food carts, food being served on dirty dishes, and food being served cold. Yet the kitchen area itself has not been properly cleaned or disinfected or sanitized.

The dayrooms are never mopped, neither are the runways, and the windows aren't sanitized.

Expose the system!

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