Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Telford 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] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Telford gives arbitrary riot cases after peaceful protest

On the 9th of Feb a peaceful protest (sit in) was staged to protest early "rack up" because TDCJ was short staffed. The unit has been short staffed for awhile. So some prisoners protested, and TDCJ officers responded by "tear gasing" the whole pod. Thoses who were in their cells were gassed as well as the "sit in" group. They put the peaceful, non-violent protest group away in their cells.

The next few weeks some people received riot cases and some didn't. My cell mate was in the cell with me. He received a riot case. We thought that once they checked the cameras he would be shown not guilty. Well that was wrong. He got a case for rioting and we all got a case for rioting, because... well I don't know why. Just a report from Telford Unit.

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Telford Unit Warden Denying all Grievances

I am seeking first the grievance petition for the state of Texas. Why? Well here in Texas it seems that every complaint on the unit goes to the Warden, at which time he will make sure that every one of them is denied. Even when you have proof of the events.

Here we have two main problems I would like to run by you to see if you can point in the right direction. One is that the mail room here holds mail for two working days, before it is mailed out. At times this will cause a delay in legal stuff going out. Or if you get mail on Monday and you mail out on Tuesday, it will not go out until Thursday. I have proof of this in writing and thru phone calls from my wife and daughter.

Next if we file on any of this we get a denial on the step one. When we file the step two it will sometimes get delayed so that the time has ran out. Next the officers who you wrote the step one on will be able to read it. And then come to work and do the following. Shake down your cell, trash your living space. This is all on video.

Also our mail will be left inside the staff bathroom for days at a time without being turned back in. At times it will get trashed, and when a complaint is made it is denied by the warden here. Even with proof that it is going on. We need some help here in more than one way. I have a step one where an officer lost my photos of family, then come to find out they where given to another offender. At which time it was on video and a statement was written. This was denied as well.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Choking by Guards

The other day I was attacked by this white boy guard, and he choked me until I passed out. They have it all on camera so I'm going to try to sue this fucked up place.

But the thing is I'm broke and I don't really have much experience on this or where to start. I really need a dictionary so my spelling will be alright. I was wondering you guys can help me? And if you have any other info that might be of use.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Telford Unit Health Dangers and Other Abuses

This is just an attachment to give you a slightly more detailed update of some of the conditions we experience here on Telford Unit in Ad-Seg.

1. Lack of access to the law library. We are able to request material 3 days a week but during any lockdown and the duration thereof, all access is suspended and non-existent.

2. The indigent mail program. Not only are we now limited to 5 letters a month but our mailroom here has taken these limitations even further at various times. Example: If a prisoner only uses 4 of his indigent letters in a month, then he is denied the full 5 envelopes the following month. Prisoners are required to "justify" all requests of carbon paper, which must also be returned upon receiving new ones. All of these mail restrictions are clear attempts at silencing prisoners and limiting their socialization with the outside world.

3. We have a major rat infestation. Literally, so many rats running around that they are visible at almost any given time. They leave trails of feces and this includes inside our cells if the bottom of our cell doors are not blocked. They are also known to cause damage to personal property. Rats are carriers of various organisms and disease that cause health problems. This is clearly an indication of unsanitary and inhumane conditions.

4. Many of our cells are less than fully functioning. Water buttons not fully functional, and even sometimes not at all for long periods of time. Cell lights are not fully functional, causing eyesight problems and not being able to read and write at night time.

5. Serving us spoiled food on a regular basis with no attempt whatsoever to rectify the situation. This is undeserved and unjust deprivation.

6. We also experience the "torturous methods" used as described by the brother at Pelican Bay in California in ULK 47. All movement is supposed to stop at 10 p.m. But they do their "security checks" by entering the pod through crash gates, crossover doors, shining flashlights in on us, and asking us to move around to "show we are alive."

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[Campaigns] [Telford Unit] [Gib Lewis Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 32]
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Fighting for Food in Texas: Grievance Strategy Response to ULK 31

In Under Lock & Key 31, a comrade from Lewis H/S here in Texas wrote about being fed two small corndogs and five prunes for lunch. Here at the Telford unit in Texas we are on unit lockdown at the time, and matter of fact today we were fed two small corndogs and a very small portion of raisins. But this is quite common during lockdown on all units. To our comrade at Lewis H/S, if it's a regular meal you were referring to, then a grievance will work just right. But like a grievance officer here once told us: "You file one or two grievances and they will not do nothing. But get people together and file fifteen or more, and you will get some action."

Here we were having problems with our regular and diet meals. Well a fellow prisoner stepped up and filed a grievance on both regular and diet meals. As we can see, he was willing to fight not only for himself, but for others as well. He needed some signatures. Many in Ad-Seg openly admitted being afraid of retaliation. We still got 46 strong to sign, but only after argument among ourselves. Two weeks later our portions were doubled. But that was only on the pod that filed the grievance.

I don't remember exactly, but according to the grievance we are supposed to be fed a certain amount of calories each meal. Which means that all that is served on our trays has to be measured by weight. Maybe there is a comrade out there somewhere who knows the right amount and can tell us.

Administration does get scared when a large group joins hands. And as we know, there are several organizations out there that will not file a lawsuit for only an individual prisoner. But when a large group joins hands, these organizations will take the case and file for prisoners. We need to file, file, and file. Don't be afraid of retaliation. If the pigs retaliate, add them to your lawsuit. If they deny your grievances, don't stop there, file a lawsuit. How will the state look with all these lawsuits coming from prisoners. We need to stick together brothers. Together we stand, divided we fall.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting Inadequate Food in Texas

I'm writing to you to report about the food kitchen meals now being given to us prisoners here in Texas at the Barry S. Telford Unit, even here in Ad-Seg. It is beyond cruelty, and passed unusual. This is punishment with the intent to kill. There are many of us here of both level 3 and level 2 who cannot read or write successfully, who have raised the most hell by protesting the meals on each trays. The grievance department workers state they are doing all they can to get the trays to their proper balanced-diet meals. I have yet to see a balanced meal. This started in 2010! And now on the weekend, the trays are so poor that many have said they can barely stand to eat it. The Johnnies are worst, but they are only cold, not hot meals. Sadder still, the ranking officials, and the on-pod security rovers on the floor refuse to correct meals.

We have been told it's the budget cut passed for Texas prisons. There has been a cut of all carton milk, and powdered milk is now given as a substitute. Coffee has been cut off, given only seven days per month. We hear rumors now that other units are suffering worse still than ours. The rumor is they are receiving a breakfast meal, one lunch, and one johnny sack on last chow meals.

Those who get put on food loaf and think they like it better than the trays have changed their tunes all the way around. The food loaves are the size of a slice of bread, and only as large as a honey bun. And get this, there's nothing but bread in them; no vegetables, no beans, no meat, not even any fruits!!! At breakfast they might put cheerios on top of them, and the guards laugh and joke about it. But it's sad a thing to endure for 7, or sometimes 14 days.

I have been helping many write up each meal, but the only time we get a decent meal is when a holiday comes along, or when an outside prison or government agent is here visiting, and trays are heaped up so high there's extra everything. Then even the snacks get a slice of bologna and cheese, or peanut butter with jelly.

Here on Ad-Seg the prisoners are not even up during the daytime or to go out to recreation due to weaknesses and waves of nausea.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We've been hearing a lot lately about budget cuts at prisons leading to cuts in the already insufficient food that prisoners receive. This is a serious matter as prisoners become weak and sick, while staff continue to bring home fat paychecks. Grieving the inadequate food is a good first step to get organized around this battle. For those in Texas whose grievances are ignored, contact us for a copy of our grievance petition demanding that our grievances be heard.

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