Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Allred Unit - Federal

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out

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.

[Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E.] [United Struggle from Within] [Abuse] [Censorship] [Campaigns] [Organizing] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 80]
expand

TDCJ's Repression of it's Political Prisoners Leads to Devastating Effects Among the Wider Prison Population

[UPDATE: In late December we got confirmation that the fees for the suit were paid by a comrade in Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support. We no longer need people to contact the judge, but are still collecting postcard signatures and can use your help.]
[NOTE: At the end of this article the author asks you, the reader, to contact the Judge about the TDCJ blocking court fees for a prisoner’s lawsuit to fight censorship. This is part of an ongoing campaign. We are also asking people to print and gather signatures on postcards that you can download from the campaign page along with fliers to use in outreach around this campaign to oppose political censorship in Texas.]

When i initiated the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative (JFI), and the fliers for that action began to find their way into every prison in Texas, Allred Unit’s Warden Jimmy Smith commanded the unit mailroom supervisor to place me on a ‘watchlist’ – purportedly to provide a greater level of scrutiny to my outgoing mail.

This measure first began to disrupt communication between cadres and myself throughout the state. The state has policies and courts have upheld bans on such communications under the cloak of a fear of gang organizing.

The watchlist measure intensified and all reading materials were made to go through a months long process of scrutiny. Texas has a part of its Mailroom Operations policy that they need not announce to a prisoner when a publication has arrived at the unit, even when it is subject to further review. This results in reading material being sent and one not knowing of its existence until it is officially denied. At the point of denial, We’re supposed to be allowed to appeal through the grievance procedure. What i’ve experienced , however, is that the unit grievance investigators don’t allow me to grieve a Director’s Review Committee decision. My battle with the UGI subsequently slows up the exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Eventually, the watchlist measure intensified to the point that ANY material from MIM(Prisons) was purportedly denied at the command of the DRC in Huntsville. This political police tactic is what led to the state-wide censorship of the Revolutionary 12 Step Program. The 12 steps is an anti-drug abuse and anti-reactionary program that is definitely needed in the Texas prison system. The state has upheld this censorship with the vague statement, ‘may incite inmate disruption’.

In recent times Texas has made national headlines due to the governor’s reactionary policies that repress social and political narratives that counter dominant narratives and positions. This trend, which tarnishes the First Amendment so-called rights, has made its way into the Texas prison system.

To understand how this has occurred one must have knowledge of connection, the family tree of repression if you will, that connects Jimmy Smith(Allred Warden), Brenda Kelley(Allred mailroom supervisor), Tammy Shelby(Mailroom system coordinator’s panel-chair), and the DRC, to Texas’ highest levels of government.

When a governor is elected in Texas they appoint people to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. The TBCJ is charged with making Board policies, revising them, and thus make the overreaching rules and regulation that determine the day-to-day lives of over a hundred thousand captives.

The Governor also appoints the Director’s Review Committee (DRC), which is charged with, among other things, determining the content that can/cannot enter or leave prisons. The DRC is the ultimate authority on matters regarding denials of mail, publication, visitation.

We should be asking the questions: where is the transparency, and democratic decision making in the selection of TBCJ and DRC officials? These positions are handed down to careerist politicians who’ve made their living on the backs and misery of the prisoner class and Our families. In the future comrades must organize an outside force to force Texas to remove the veil between these backdoor chambers of power and the common public. We need readily accessible information on these so called public officials and representatives of the people.

So We have a clearly reactionary governor who’s appointed a clearly reactionary Board and review committee. In Texas the only way to overturn a DRC decision is through litigation, and therefore most censorship bans last indefinitely.

While Jimmy Smith and the other prison careerists play prison politics, in an effort to quell dissenters and self-determination of the prisoners, there is a fatal drug wave crushing Allred Unit. As i write this in late October 2022, 7 prisoners have died this month due to overdose.

The Revolutionary 12 Step Program is currently at the point of training cadres to be able to facilitate the program at their locale. The censorship of this program, in conjunction with the indefinite solitary confinement of many cadres, act to circumvent what could otherwise be a highly effective and influential peoples’ initiative. And therein lays the problem, at least from the administrator’s perspective, they seek to circumvent the rise of any influence among the prison population. Instead of differentiating between types of influence, their practices put a blanket on ALL influence and influential people or initiatives among the prisoners, and seeks to disrupt them.

Of course this can’t be done totally, and what results (as what resulted in previous generations of the Prison Movement) is that the mass influence of the prisons and prisoners falls in the hands of the most reactionary prisoner forces. The admin elects to deal with the lesser of two ‘evils’. It has seen that the reactionary forces are easier to contain, to appease, to divide and conquer, in contrast to an awakened, drug free, unified and determined population.

Active political prisoners and prisoners of war are the exemplary prisoners among the masses. They are leaders. Texas’ desire to conserve ideological, and social hegemony over the population has and will continue to cost people their lives.

In the civil case, Owolabi V. TDCJ Allred Unit, et al., 7;22-cv-00094-0, one such political prisoner has challenged political censorship of the Revolutionary 12 Step Program, and other communist, revolutionary nationalist, anarchist, and abolitionist materials.

The sitting Judge, a George W. Bush appointee, for the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas is Reed O’Conner, who has a reputation as a highly conservative Republican reactionary. O’Conner has moved to dismiss the case, not on the basis of the case alone, but due to prison officials withholding and delaying the processing of the check for court fees. Unit prison officials have ignored the plaintiff’s request to have the check processed. The Plaintiff has informed Judge O’Conner of this problem, and filed a motion for extension. The court has yet to respond to the plaintiff’s motion.

We’re asking all those among the public who have an interest in stopping political censorship in Texas, to contact the Court, inform Judge O’Conner and the Clerk of the Court that the Allred Unit is refusing to process the check for court fees.

Contact info for the court is here: https://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/judge/district-judge-reed-oconnor

chain
[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Political Repression] [Allred Unit] [Hughes Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 79]
expand

Illegal Censorship in TX Persists as Resistance Grows

Biden punishes prisoners for not celebrating Juneteenth

MIM Distributors has confirmed at least 135 pieces of our mail that have been censored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) in 2022. However, the vast majority of our mail goes unaccounted for, so we know that the actual number is in the many hundreds.

Censorship in Texas is not new. The TDCJ banned our book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán for many years. More recently it was brought to our attention that that decision had been reversed and a number of comrades were able to receive the book. However, Allred Unit has censored the book 4 times in 2022. The bourgeois state has always repressed political speech that is opposed to its oppression.

Most of the censorship in 2022 has been triggered by and targeted at organizing efforts around the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative. In particular letters with updates on the campaign and plans to boycott the holiday. The most censored letter actually was mostly reports on censorship by the TDCJ itself.

Many comrades reported that the censorship of the infamous June 8th JFI Campaign Update letter was appealed automatically by the TDCJ. We received dozens of letters stating the censorship was upheld by the Director’s Review Committee(DRC) on appeal because the letter was “inciting a disturbance.” Yet all the letter called for was to boycott the holiday and instead spend it advocating for a list of demands including an end to long-term solitary confinement, censorship and unpaid labor. In other words, peacefully advocating for your rights has been made illegal for Texas prisoners. That is why we say prisoners in this country do not enjoy full citizenship rights.

Meanwhile, of the dozens of notifications that we received, none of them specified what the item was that was being censored, or what about the item was objectionable. When we wrote the DRC to point this out we received no response. Similarly, our letter to Allred Unit warden Jimmy Smith regarding blanket censorship went unanswered. This is a violation of caselaw, such as Crofton v. Roe (9th Cir. 1999) 170 F.3d 957, which concluded:

“Unsupported security claims couldn’t justify infringement on First Amendment rights.”

One comrade in Stevenson Unit who had achieved a reversal after appealing a recent censorship reports:

“I received the enclosed notice that the Director’s Review Committee reversed the unit denial of 5 pages that could incite a disturbance mailed to me from MIM. I am now in possession of your MIM Censorship pack, and I can’t seem to find any mention of riotous propaganda, or anything other than helpful caselaw in the struggle to uphold 1st Amendment rights. Systematic denial by the piggy is surely taking place because they don’t like the expression of political and social views that are protected by the 1st Amendment right against arbitrary government invasion. Oh well, life’s hard. Harder if you’re stupid.”

Another comrade who won an appeal was convinced that our letter contained more contents because all ey got was an Unconfirmed Mail Form listing what we had sent em recently. Nope, that’s all that was in the letter that was originally censored for “containing information to incite a disturbance.” The only appeals that have achieved reversals so far have been for Unconfirmed Mail Forms(UMFs), our censorship pack, and a copy of the Bill of Rights. However, these reversals were not applied consistently, in other instances UMFs and our censorship pack was censored after appeal to the DRC.

While most of our censored mail was destroyed, one comrade in Allred had there’s sent back to us. In the letter “An Address to Tx USW, All TeamOne Committees, and Tx inmates”, the TDCJ seems to have highlighted where the letter mentions the “Juneteenth Freedom Initiative.” Specifically it is the sentence that calls for filing complaints and petitions to the DOJ. We mailed out copies of such a petition with ULK 78. This is the type of activity the TDCJ is calling “inciting a disturbance” in order to censor our communications.

While Under Lock & Key 78 seems to have reached many in Texas, we are still seeing an almost complete censorship of mail from MIM Distributors in prisons like Allred Unit and Hughes Unit. We’ve been told there is a whole shelf for mail from MIM Distributors in the Allred mailroom now.

Earlier this year, we reported on egregious censorship of a 12 step rehabilitation program and the TDCJ’s own Grievance Operations Manual.(1)

MIM Distributors and our subscribers within the TDCJ have exhausted all administrative remedies with our appeals, letters and grievances. The TDCJ is not interested in following the law on it’s own accord. Therefore we have begun to step up outside pressure on two fronts.

  1. the legal front by filing a lawsuit
  2. the public opinion front via our postcard campaign

Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support(AIPS) has been reaching out on the streets of Texas and elsewhere to bring this story to the masses and gather signatures on postcards we are sending to the TDCJs DRC to voice opposition to this illegal practice of handling our mail and communications.

One comrade observed:

“Going to the masses with these postcards was very eye opening. Conceptually I knew many of the theories of how different classes of the oppressed nations react to building revolution differently, but to see how that plays out with my own eyes was something else. For example, many of the petty-bourgeois student types were more likely to scoff at or dismiss prisoner organizing out of defeatist attitudes at best (such as how censorship/repression is so big in prisons therefore we shouldn’t try at all) or take up bourgeois ethics and “justice” at worst (believing many prisoners “deserve” to be there). Many of the common labor aristocrat types tended to be more supportive, but also was discouraged in not being able to see the movement in Texas prisons right in front of them – expressed in attitudes of “what do they have to do with us here?” The oppressed nation lumpen (homeless, lumpen organization members, etc.) on the other hand were much more eager to sign the postcards in support of the comrades in Texas despite them being in another state. They knew how repressive the inju$tice system was in either out of personal experience or through their close friends’ personal experiences; and many expressed how even if all of our comrades in Texas was 100% guilty of the most heinous of crimes that the imperialists had no right to judge them expressed through sayings of “cops are the real criminals.”

“Going through these personal experiences with the different types of masses can become pragmatism itself on this comrade’s part, which can become dangerous, so we should remind ourselves of the whole picture of what Chairman Mao said in eir essays”On Practice" and “On Contradiction.”

Yes, mass work like this is how we learn how the masses will respond and engage in different campaigns, but we shouldn’t be too quick to draw broad conclusions based on a little persynal experience. Another comrade reported:

"There’s so many people from all nations who are personally oppressed by the Texa$ Criminal Injustice system, who with the right political education will be prepared to join the movement. There’s no doubt in my mind as a supporter from the outside myself that there will be many more ready to put in the work, in the near, near future. The reception to the Allred censorship campaign has been nearly all positive so far, and many people of the oppressed nations here have told me persynally that they’ve been looking for something just like Under Lock & Key to educate and organize the people.

"Keep on the pressure from the inside, you have millions more to come and push from the outside, we just have to keep our heads on tight, stay determined, and struggle on.

“ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”

For the voices of the oppressed inside to be heard, we must increase the voices of support on the outside. We call on our readers outside to print out some postcards and fliers, and copies of this article and hit the streets today.

You can view the growing list of confirmed censorship in Texas on our website.

Notes:
1. MIM(Prisons), April 2022, TDCJ Upholds Censorship of their own Grievance Manual, Under Lock & Key 77

chain
[Control Units] [Censorship] [Organizing] [Campaigns] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
expand

Juneteenth Freedom Initiative Phase 2

Texas and Cali prisoners unite

On 19 June 2022, prisoners across Texas abstained from celebrating the federal Juneteenth holiday until real freedom is attained by the oppressed in this country. Instead they organized, studied and made their voices heard for the demands of the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative, including:

  • End Solitary Confinement! End Restrictive Housing Units(RHU)!
  • End Mass Incarceration!
  • Stop Mail Censorship!
  • Transform the prisons to cadre schools! Transform ourselves into NEW PEOPLE!

Updates Since Juneteenth

The response from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) was swift and coordinated. MIM(Prisons) sent hundreds of update letters to comrades in Texas during the month of June, and almost all of them appear to have been censored.

Prisons where our letters were censored for “inciting a disturbance” or “riot” include:

  • Allred Unit
  • Beto I Unit
  • Boyd Unit
  • Christina Melton Crain Unit
  • Estelle High Security Unit
  • Estelle 2
  • Ferguson Unit
  • Gist
  • Hughes Unit
  • McConnell Unit
  • Mountain View Unit
  • Stevenson Unit
  • Telford Unit
  • Terrell Unit
  • Wallace Unit
  • Wynne Unit

We are still receiving and compiling censorship notices from June. Needless to say, there was a coordinated effort to block our letters across the state, and they were really worried about the Juneteenth boycott. Of course, there was nothing about organizing a riot in our letters. But the imperialists will consider a boycott a “disturbance” worthy of violating Constitutional rights. Biden said we must celebrate Juneteenth, so now we face the consequences of his goons in the TDCJ.

The censorship at Allred Unit had been going on for months prior. This is the worst RHU in the state, where a lot of the JFI organizing began. Therefore we began a postcard campaign to protest the political targeting of mail and of certain prisoners at Allred. One comrade there received 22 mail denial notices in one day in May! Another comrade in Allred wrote:

“I been denied 2 newsletters & 1 letter that ya’ll sent my way. [everything we’ve sent this comrade] I highly appreciate ya’ll. I’ve sent them home. This only confirms that Texas don’t want us to know. Your news letters were denied for tha reason of ‘inciting a disturbance’.”

“I asked the mail room lady if anything sent from this address will be denied and she said, ‘Yes.’ Just like that, freedom of speech denied.”

This campaign is ongoing, as the censorship continues, and we ask outside supporters to get involved. Mail from prisoners in Allred is often delayed a month or more, so updates on the launch of the JFI have not yet come in from some of the organizers.

Outreach during June included flyering and postcards on the streets, hundreds of update letters sent to TX prisoners and radio interviews in Texas and on Free Aztlán on 96.1 KEXU in Oakland.

One Texas comrade reported:

“The Juneteenth Freedom Initiative flyer was displayed for several weeks here. On Juneteenth, no movement due to low staff and no special holiday meal. The officers dining room had ribs, BBQ chicken and brisquet with all the fixins, and these were supposed to be delivered to each officer on duty. However, most were stolen en route. The warden and kitchen captain were pissed.”

The JFI was initiated by TX T.E.A.M. O.N.E who has continued to lead organizing efforts inside. Others, including Prison Lives Matter, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Local 613 #1, the Texas Liberation Collective, and United Struggle from Within cells, have joined the call. On the outside, MIM(Prisons), Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support, and the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement have been providing support.

Phase 2

Per the plan below, laid out by TX T.E.A.M. O.N.E. the next phase of the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative for prisoners is to file petitions with the Department of Justice. If you need a sample petition, write us to get a copy. This petition is not specific to Texas.

Prisoners in long-term solitary confinement in Texas can also join the Dillard lawsuit against the TDCJ. If you need a copy of the motion to join, write us.

Outside supporters can best assist organizers inside by joining our campaign against censorship. We want to continue to let the TDCJ know that people outside are paying attention and not willing to accept this political repression. We will be following up with a lawsuit on behalf of an affected party in Allred and MIM Distributors. You can help in the following ways:

  • calling or writing letters to the TDCJ, and to Allred Unit in particular
  • getting others to sign postcards protesting the censorship
  • contribute to the legal fund to fight censorship

For more information go to: prisoncensorship.info and go to the Campaigns page and Boycott Juneteenth. For info on how to donate click the “Do Something” link.

Background on JFI

As you may know, Juneteenth has now been made a federal holiday in amerika. On this day many will sing the praises of Our oppressors or otherwise negate the reality of the lumpen (economically alienated class), that according to amerika’s 13th amendment We are STILL SLAVES. While We do not wish to nullify the intensity of the exploitation and oppression that New Afrikan people held in chattel slavery faced, We must pinpoint to the general public, those upcoming generations of youngsters looking to follow Our footsteps, that to be held in captivity by the state or feds is not only to be frowned upon but is part and parcel with the intentions of this amerikan government, and its capitalist-imperialist rulers. We say NO CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH until the relation of people holding others in captivity is fully abolished!!

Comrades have been organizing around the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative(JFI) for almost a year now, and we just completed phase 1. Prisoners in Texas and North Carolina took up the campaign. Instead of celebrating Juneteenth, boycotters worked to get out the voice of the incarcerated in TX and NC.

Previous campaign materials include more demands and more details. Add your own demands that speak to your local conditions and make the JFI demands heard by the masses and the oppressors. Don’t just boycott, organize.

The Boycott is just the first phase and launch of this campaign by and for all Texas prisoners.

  1. Juneteenth boycott and voice demands starting 19 June 2022
  2. present petition to the Department of Justice Special Litigation division (write in to get a copy if you still need one) – everyone should mail copies of their own signed petition to the DOJ following Juneteenth 2022
  3. if (2) fails to bring proper response, we will petition the United Nations – date To Be Determined – watch for announcement in Under Lock & Key, we will be requesting testimonials and collecting statistics to back up our arguments on each campaign position and submit them as evidence to bolster the recent guilty verdict of the We Still Charge Genocide, International Tribunal 2021 where mass incarceration and solitary confinement were ruled to be vital tools in the U.S. campaign of genocide for centuries against Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples of this continent.
chain
[Religious Repression] [Abuse] [Censorship] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
expand

Targetted Censorship & Abuse with Impunity

Hey fellas,

I got a correspondence letter from y’all a couple of weeks ago that was denied for “contents which would incite a disturbance”. First, I asked if the letter was “Media Correspondence” and the chick said “yeah”. So I’m like “Who denied it and why was it opened without my presence?” Of course, she didn’t want to give no name – neither hers or of whoever denied it. So I refused to sign. I did try to appeal, but after refusing to sign I’m sure they just threw it away. So I don’t know if you’re acknowledged as a media correspondent or not, or if they got you some kind of watch list. I know what policy says and if they do it again I’ll grieve that ass hard. I’m sure you been banned ever since you got those Texas Pack’s out. They won’t let that in, or any regular mail you send. But it’s too late.

I did all I could and spread the word in the Allred law library – shit was a hit. They (TDCJ) call it inciting a disturbance, but we all know that it’s all the information we should be entitled to have to fight the negligence, abuse, and misinterpretation of state and federal laws. This unit has a loooong history of violating its own policy and civil rights with impunity. The grievance department, to medical and everything in between, is set up this way. People like me who are in the know and work to expose the corruption are either shipped elsewhere, or if they don’t have outside help, are “rolled” off the unit with an ass whoopin and/or false charges. They do this to protect the “overall safety and security of the institution” that they have going.

I’ve only been here since February 2022 and have been either a witness or victim of every violation but murder. My biggest gripes were that the P4s (safe keeping G4) are religiously discriminated on and refused worship services unless they are of the mainstream faith. The trans-women have no privacy screens to cover their breast in the shower areas. Exposing them to voyeurism when there is no “exigent circumstance”. P4s are stuck in the cell during the peak heat of the day, even the hottest of days, everyday. Respite, and respite showers do not exist during such times. Cold water is only offered if they are lucky enough to have a janitor there to pass it out. The cops sure as hell ain’t doing it. It’s fucked up. I just got off that custody but I still feel for ’em and want to help cause I’ve never seen such animosity and neglect towards a population. There are only a little over 30 P4s on the unit, almost 1/2 are trans women. They should be protected, but instead are targeted. That’s bout all I got for now.

Please hit me back when you can.

chain
[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Racism] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
expand

Racist Double-Standards and Censorship in the Allred RHU Mailroom

Dear MIM:

Your last three mailings were denied by the mail room. The Last one, received on 5/25/22 stated “Denied: one letter. Content inciting a disturbance. DRC – non appealable list (offender cannot appeal).” The next two denials arrived on the same day (6/6/22): “One newsletter and one packet. Contains content inciting a disturbance.” I did appeal these last two decisions.

Apparently, when a prisoner attempts to assert his rights, the mail room calls it “inciting a disturbance!?” These are the same racist dogs who can get away with denying me a photograph of my ten-year old nephew who was innocently posing while making some silly hand signs, calling that “gang related.” The kids are being kids and their hand signs have absolutely nothing to do with gangs! Had it been white kids posing in similar fashion, instead of calling it “gang-related,” these racist mail room employees would’ve called the photograph “cute.”

These are the same racist muthafuckers who loved it – and applauded – when that comic figure (D. Trump) was separating all the kids from their parents at the border, you know, that as long as it is not their kids who are being treated so inhumanely, they obviously do not care about our kids, right!? And what’s so fucked up is that when the white ‘lady’ who delivers the denial papers arrives to our cell, she pretends like she’s really upset that I would even want to receive these MIM publications. She practically turns her back on me as if I were being so un-American, or something!

But I have news for her, and anyone else of her ilk. I don’t want part of any system that snatches babies out of the arms of their mothers, or a system that allows their police forces to murder people of color with impunity, while these same fuckin’ cowards refuse to enter a school where kids are being massacred! And while the trigger-happy cowards are quick to murder unarmed civilians, none of the recent sick and deranged school shooters (or other mass murderers) have been killed by police! Why not? Because the cowardly police officers were “too scared” and chickenshit to engage the “active shooters.” Plain and simple. And each time these police officers take the stand at someone’s trial, where they will lie and perjure themselves (as they are wont to do), they will recite their “highly trained” credentials, but where are all these “highly trained” credentials when the little kids in a school are being massacred and need help?

And their “exceptional training,” without fail, goes out the window when these same police officers take the stand, not only do they (conveniently) “forget” vital details during vital parts of their trial testimony, they lie about who handled what piece of evidence, whether or not they used gloves to handle the evidence un-dated and un-sworn “supplemental reports” appear out of nowhere to “assist” these liars and “refreshen their memories” etc. And as the famous attorney Gerry Spence once remarked (an attorney who has practiced law for over 50 years), he has never been involved in a case where police did not lie or plant evidence, or engage in some other illegalities, in other words, like me, he has never met an honest cop! And like me, he’s not saying they’re not out there, I just haven’t ever met one.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Outside supporters, please join our campaign to protest censorship in Allred RHU. This censorship has ramped up in response to prisoner organizing. This is politically-motivated repression and it is illegal. You can call, write a letter, or better yet print out our postcards and get others to sign them to let them know what’s going on in Texas prisons!

In the week following Juneteenth we have received letters from all across Texas reporting on similar censorship of our mail. We need your help combat these attacks on prisoner organizing and basic rights to communication and affiliation.

chain
[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
expand

More Evidence of Allred Mail Tampering; Grievances Disappeared

As prisoners across Texas prepare to have their voices heard this Juneteenth, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) has launched an onerous censorship campaign against some prisoners, including many held in the Allred Restricted Housing Unit(RHU). The RHU is a torture unit where people are held in isolation for years, even decades, at a time.

Recently a comrade in Allred reported not receiving the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán. Ey filed a grievance and the grievance just disappeared as if no book was ever sent or censored. MIM Distributors did not receive notification of this censorship either.

In an effort to establish what was going on, MIM Distributors sent a list of mail sent to this comrade on 10 February 2022. It took a month for the letter to arrive. The comrade mailed eir response on 9 March 2022. The letter was received in late May, stamped 23 May 2022! It took TDCJ 2.5 months to mail this comrade’s letter to us. And all it contained was a short note about what mail ey had received.

This is the type of behavior we are calling out in our campaign to stop censorship in Allred. In addition to the [email protected] Power book, we’ve posted reports on censorship of our Revolutionary 12 Steps pamphlet, and the TDCJ’s very own Grievance Operations Manual. We ask people on the outside to write or call to protest, you can use these examples to explain what is going on. If you really want to get involved, download our anti-censorship postcards and start collecting signatures in your area to protest this violation of basic rights.

chain
[Abuse] [Control Units] [Clemens Unit] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
expand

Counselor Pigs Exploit Mental Health Programs for Profit in TDCJ

To MIM(Prisons),

I would like to tell you a problem I am having with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) between Allred Unit and now at Clemens Unit. I’ll start in May of 2021, when I was talking to a Ms. Carter at Allred who was a mental health counselor. I’ve been a G-5 since August of 2020 and I wanted my G-2 so bad that I asked Ms. Carter about Program Pamio which is a 6 month program where once completed you will get your G-2 and skip the G-4.

When you get a G-5 you have to do a year, then you see UCC and you go to G-4. Well Ms. Carter told me about a program called CMI and she told me it was the same program as Pamio; but she couldn’t tell me nothing else about CMI. I told her I will come up for my G-2 in 6 months and I will be able to to go to the law library and move around. She straight up lied to me and told me yes. Then on 24 November 2021 I made my G-4 at Allred and I have my freedom to move around again after 15 months in solitary confinement. I seen Ms. Carter again in November after I made by G-4 and I told Ms. Carter that I didn’t want to go to CMI, and I wanted to sign a refusal note. Ms. Carter told me all I had to do was tell the guard when I’m called on chain to leave that I wanted to sign a refusal note.

So on 12 December 2021, I seen Ms. Carter again and told her again that I didn’t want to leave Allred and to let me sign a refusal note. She told me the same thing: just tell the guard.

Well on 29 December 2021 I was called on chain to go to the CMI, so I told the guards and they wouldn’t do nothing about signing a refusal. So I sat down and Allred ran a team on me and made me get on that bus.

So let me tell you what I learn about CMI and Pamio program. Both programs are federally funded programs and the state get two checks for each prisoner in the program. Well I learn CMI stands for Chronic Mentally Ill treatment program. But let me tell you the criteria of the program: (A) Offender must be male (B) Custody classification of Restricted Housing (i.e. Administrative segregation, or G-5).

CMI’s purpose is to provide a structured, multidisciplinary treatment program specific for the offender in Restricted Housing (RH) and G-5 custody who require close monitoring due to their chronic mental illness.

You see, when an offender sign for the CMI program the offender is to be moved to the program within 1 month after he signs. So I signed in May of 2021 and in November of 2021 I made my G-4 and December 2021 I was called to the CMI – well that’s when I found out I wasn’t going to be admitted into CMI.

So I arrive at Clemens on 4 January 2022 and I learn CMI was a MH program, and that we’re to be locked in a cell 24/7. Look, if Ms. Carter would have not lied and told me that CMI was a MH program in Restricted Housing – I waited 15 months to get my G-4, do you think I would have signed it? All these rules about the CMI program is in A-08.8 CMI. Now remember what I told you about being a federally funded program: well Ms. Carter already got her bonus for me to sign and didn’t let me sign the refusal note. So on 6 January 2022 they run UCC classification and a Major Sutton, Lt. Garcia, and J. Bristow improperly classified me as CMI L-3/MH which they did just so Warden Gonzales could collect for TDCJ the federal money for me. But here’s the thing: on 7 January 2022, a Dr. Marchant came to my cell and told me I was not admitted into the CMI because I was a G-4, so if I wasn’t admitted how could they classify me as MH?

So anyways Clemens put me into the CMI pod called A-Pod and I was held with nothing but segregated prisoners who were insane and there was not one night I didn’t fear for my life.

Here’s another policy I read on AD-03.50: It is policy of the TDCJ to provide a non-punitive status involving the separation of an offender, which these people have me mixed in with all segregated/CMI prisoners. These prisoners have to complete this program to go back to general population. But I am general population and under safety policy of the AD-03.50 these officials have placed my safety at risk. There is no justification for Clemens to violate TDCJ-ID policy and procedures. It clearly says that Administrative Segregation was only designed for punitive status prisoners. But they only changed the name over to Restricted Housing, which is predominately the same name for segregation.

I have repeatedly requested to be moved to medium custody off this building but all official repeatedly ignore all of my request including this unit head warden and all assistant wardens.

Assistant warden’s name is Ms. Teresa S. Martinez. The Head Warden’s name is Adam R. Gonzales.

This information is also under the Texas penal code 39.04 the violation of the civil rights of a person in custody.

So months pass and I’m still in CMI pod and 30 April 2022 a special classification review comes from Huntsville and see over 200 prisoners that have been in the CMI, but discharged over 2 years and no less than a year. Well I’m discharged, and I go see SCC which is the committee that classifies prisoners. Well I was given my G-2 and told I was to be moved off Clemens the next week. Well between May 2nd through 7th, they moved over 200 prisoners and they were segregated and G-5 and G-4. But since I only had 5 months here they didn’t move me and left me in seg which is CMI. So on 31 May 2022 I go see UCC and they promoted me to line class 1, which is best and G-2 is best just above G-1.

chain
[Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Legal] [Telford Unit] [Allred Unit] [Michael Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
expand

JFI: More Join Lawsuit to End RHU Torture in Texas

Organizing is spreading around the Dillard v. Davis, et al. Civil Action No. 7:19-cv-0081-M-BP lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s use of long-term solitary confinement. Prisoners held in Allred Unit, ground zero for the Restrictive Housing Unit, and Michael Unit have filed motions to join the class action suit.

A comrade in Stevenson Unit wrote to say that there are only 12 restrictive housing cells there and they are only used very short-term. But ey is sharing the motion and other campaign materials with contacts inside and outside to support those in RHU fighting for their humyn rights.

Shutting down long-term solitary confinement is one of the key campaign demands of the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative, calling for a boycott of Juneteenth until real freedom is attained in this country. The lawsuit points to the irreparable harm on mental health caused by long-term solitary.

Anyone who is in a Restricted Housing Unit in Texas can use the linked example motion to join this lawsuit. The motion should be sent to all three addresses listed at the end of the attached PDF. Please download and distribute to those you know in Texas torture chambers!

28 May 2022 UPDATE from Tx TEAM ONE member - Telford Unit: I have submitted my interest in becoming a co-plaintiff to all inhumane conditions in all Ad-Seg/RHU buildings, especially on this unit, and the inhumane/treatment and living conditions endured by all alleged STG prisoners. Because for almost forty (40) years, those of Us that are considered STG’s have been in these living conditions.

I have already written to the Eastern and Northern Districts, United States District Courts. And I have also written to the United States Department of Justice.

chain
[COVID-19] [Censorship] [Political Repression] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
expand

Covid Outbreaks & Repression on Allred

i am taking the time to write this because i would like the readership to know the truth about what’s been going on recently at the TDCJ Allred unit in regards to COVID-19 and targeted repression of socio-political leaders.

Many of you reading this are already aware of the spike in COVID infections related to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Here at Allred, particularly in the restrictive housing unit, which houses some six hundred plus people in conditions internationally recognized as inhumane, there has been a dangerous and life threatening pattern of administrative negligence in regards to the effort (lack thereof) to quell the spread of this aggressive virus.

Back in August of 2021, captive persyns held on the Allred RHU and other units held a hunger-strike protest. One of the issues raised and forwarded to unit, regional, and state level administrators was, ‘#10- follow all CDC COVID-19 protocols’. Even after people have literally starved themselves, the unit administration still has refused, and neglected to implement, and re-implement basic CDC COVID guidelines.

On January 6th, Comrade Ozomatli, co-founder, and key figure of the TX TeamOne organization, was strategically targeted for harassment, by way of an unlawful search and seizure, and purposely exposed to COVID-19. On the above date Ozomatli was taken from his cell and placed in a holding cage in the building’s main hallway for five hours!

i am not too good with math and measurements, but i know the cage in question is absolutely too small to place a full grown human in for that amount of time. There is no where to relieve ones self, not anywhere to comfort ones self. Regardless, Ozomatli remained in this holding cage while a multitude of agents of repression searched his usual abode. i raise the question, what possibly could they be looking for, and not find if it were there, in such a small space, for such an extended period of time?

To even begin to analyze this question We must first point out that the incident on January 6th was the second such incident targeting this same comrade in the last few months. Previously the only thing confiscated were the comrade’s contact information written down on various papers and inside books. On January 6th, the comrade’s entire cache of persynal property was confiscated, and he would remain property-less for a week.

During this ordeal, Ozomatli was placed in danger, recklessly, of catching COVID-19. Agents of repression who escorted him from and returned him to his cell weren’t following proper COVID guidelines. Afterwards, in the matter of days, a new COVID outbreak ensued on the RHU building, and unsurprisingly the outbreak has been largely centered on the pod which Ozomatli inhabits. When other prisoners on other pods show symptoms they’re re-housed on the same pod as Ozomatli. Furthermore, prisoners are being constantly moved around, leaving and being brought to the unit and thus constantly exposing more and spreading more and more COVID. Daily so-called ‘integrity checks’ are still in operation, along with unnecessary cell extractions, and are also inducing the spread of COVID.

Administrators are refusing to test or even symptom check prisoners, as was done in the mid 2020 days of the pandemic. There’s this untrue belief that the pandemic is over, despite the fact that less than 70% of people (prisoners & guards combined) are vaccinated. An untold number of prisoners have mass filed grievances, but of course appealing to the same source of Our predicament has rendered little to no results.

i would be remiss if i didn’t acknowledge the underlying political undertones of Ozomatli’s being harassed, and also pinpoint other similar patterns adhered to by the unit administration sometimes at the behest of the state level agents of repression.

Ozomatli, as i have said, is a leader with the Texas TeamOne Organization. TeamOne is an organization of politicized prisoners dedicated to politicizing prisoners and consolidating those in TX into a class that can actively struggle for its interests, as well as, and more importantly, reinsert people into the larger society as assets to communities which are all too often neglected in the realms of social, political and economic development.

Ozomatli is an abolitionist, a [email protected], and a leader that leads by example. Thus it goes without saying that Ozomatli’s very existence as a [email protected] revolutionary imprisoned in tekkk$a$‘s gulags, is seen as a threat to the enemy-state and the prison administration, and this is the underlying politics of his harassment. Ozomatli has recently been working with other comrades and formations, independent of his work with TeamOne, in mobilizing a Texas prisoners’ political action committee, it is during the time span of this work in that sphere that the administration has targeted him.

The clearly politically motivated repression tactics, in a supposedly ‘free’ country, do not stop there. i myself have been a constant target for similar tactics of intimidation, and retaliation. i have been ‘sentenced’ essentially to LIFE in TDCJ’s RHU. This repression came on the immediate back of Our collective hunger-strike effort in August (thru September 9th). i was seen in absentia by the State Classification Committee four days later. i was denied release to general population, after having been without any disciplinary incident in over four years time. The reasons given for this miscarriage of justice was that i am staff assaultive, and prone to possess weapons, and the main one, written in large bold letters, was the fact that i am currently serving an unjust sentence of Life Without Parole. The third reason was provided as the main reason for my denial of release. The catch is that i can not, on my own accord, alter my sentence therefore this decision summarily acts to confine me in isolation for the remainder of my sentence (life).

Of course the timing and the fact that these issues have never been previously brought up at these hearings, testifies to the fact that the decision is a retaliatory measure being used to quell the momentum being built up among the captives here and around the state. IT WILL NOT WORK!

Other measures of retaliation such as illegal mail tampering/disappearance are common place. Outgoing letters of even a neutral nature take up to two months to even leave the unit, and incoming mail, including books and other packages have the same waiting time. The former mailroom supervisor was made to resign for ‘undisclosed reasons’, yet mailroom negligence, and deliberate tampering continues even under the watchful eyes of one, Major Murdock, whose been made to keep eyes on mailroom staff.

By no means is this all the repressive tactics utilized by administrators, nor is it only TeamOne affiliates, or political prisoners. For the sake of time however We will hold these slights as a small example. it is important i say that none of this is meant to discourage activism and justified rebellion. In fact the contrary is the intent. i assert here that if more of the captive populace took liberatory ideals and practices more seriously We could actually begin to pose a threat, not only to the prison institution, but the established order as We know it. As George said:

“If we can reach each other through all of this, fences, fear, concrete, steel, barbed wire, guns, the hystory will commend us for a great victory won…” - Soledad Brother

As a sign of solidarity, We call on the public to report the administrative negligence surrounding Allred’s handling of COVID-19 to the following; (prisoners should write complaints regarding their own units):

Dept. of Health & Human Services, region6, regional director
Marjorie McColl Petty
1301 Young St. ste#1124
Dallas, Tx 75202
or call 214-767-3301

Also, outside supporters should be sure to make a report to the following:

David Blackwell, regional director-region 5 @ 806-296-4500(ext 400)

chain
[Gender] [Abuse] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
expand

A Lifer of Texas Abuse: Sexual Assault and Cover Up at Allred

I have survived the ongoing mental, physical and sexual abuse first in Texas CPS state schools, state hospital and in Texas state prison. Most recently I have endured beatings by James V Allred Unit guards and gangs, as well as sexual assault, extortion of personal property and threat of physical and sexual assault. The Allred Unit has covered up for their administration and guards.

Sgt. Taylor and CO Surny stomped me, then tried to press charges on me. Then officer Rachal sexually assaulted me in a pat search. It was covered up by internal affairs at Allred Unit.

Then officer Odum threatened to stick his dick down my throat then told me he will stomp my queer ass. I reported him only to be retaliated on by his two ranking uncles: Major Stewart and the other Stewart, by having cases written on me and getting guards to jump me and extort me out of legal work.

Help.

chain
Go to Page 1 [2] [3] [4]