Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Clemens Unit - Federal

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. 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] [Campaigns] [Clemens Unit] [Texas]

Clemens Grievance System Fails but TDCJ Headquarters Investigates Complaints

As far as your comment about the Grievance System, well, I gave up on the system a while back. What I do is I will write a letter and address it to Brad Livingston, Executive Director of TDCJ, or Ombudsman, etc. whomever I need it to go to, then I will mail it to my family members and have them email or fax a copy of the letter to whomeever I addressed. That way I get a chance to explain my problem myself. Thus far, it appears that Huntsville (headquarters for TDCJ) has investigated each complaint that I have sent in. I know that not everyone is able to do this, because not everyone has someone on the outside.

Here at the Clemens Unit, some of the problems that I have been working on are:

  1. The state will not treat me for periodontal disease
  2. The laundry department here will not give us clean clothes (uniforms) on the weekends, or on holidays. This time of year, we sweat through our uniform every time we go to the chow hall. After sweating in the same clothes for three days, they smell pretty bad. However, Capt. Teenha Walls would rather not let us have clean clothes, and save the state a few dollars.
  3. There are not enough fans in the chow hall, or in the day room.
  4. The maximum capacity for our day room is 64 people, but there is between 82 to 92 people in our section. So every time that we have lunch, supper, or church, or commissary, our day room is so over crowded that the rank will rack us up because people do not have anywhere to sit.
  5. We have antique doors here that roll manually. People are always getting caught in the doors. People have lost limbs, because the state is too cheap to install the conversion kit simply because it is safer.
  6. TDCJ staff is notorious for not giving us our engress and egress that policy says that we are supposed to get. The standard operating procedure here is to falsify state records.
  7. The light fixture in my cell has not worked for three months, but maintenance will not fix it.
  8. We are supposed to get rec three times a day, but we are lucky to get it once. Then most of the rec equipment is broken, but rank here will not fix it.
  9. We are allowed to go to commissary once every two weeks and spend $95, but we are supposed to put all of our property in a two cubic foot locker. It is impossible to put $35 worth of commissary in that space, much less $95, and all of our other property. Insufficient storage space.
  10. The other day two inmates got into a fight. They were put in lock-up, and the whole wing got locked down. The guys were fighting in the chow hall. Why did the wing get locked down? We didn’t have anything to do with it. The state uses blanket punishment to promote inmate on inmate conflict.
  11. The rank here runs showers starting at about 5:45am. Then we are not allowed to shower after we go to rec.
  12. In the chow hall our trays, cups and spoons are filthy with food residue from previous use.
  13. We have officers that assault inmates then the rank covers it up.
  14. When we get johnnies, we get two sandwiches. One of them has a tablespoon of some kind of meat. The other has a tablespoon of peanut butter and jelly mixed. That is not enough food for a grown adult.
  15. By policy, we are supposed to get twenty minutes to eat, but the staff here barely gives us three minutes.

These are problems that I continue to write Brad Livingston about. Sometimes it takes a while to get something done, but you just have to keep on.

[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Medical Care] [Clemens Unit] [Texas]

Clemens Unit Complaints

Grievance Petition Update

I have been filing numerous grievances since I last wrote in. I also used the grievance petition to my advantage. Below is an update of people I have contacted about the grievance petition, when, and the result.

I received a memo from the TDCJ Ombudsman office after mailing a petition to Governor Greg Abbotts's office 13 April 2015 stating "Your correspondence was forwarded to this office by the office of the Governor. The Governor's office does not respond to prisoner complaints or requests."

I wrote to...
... Scott Medlock of the Texas Civil Rights Project at his new address. It is 1101 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702. I wrote to him on 19 May 2015, and have not received any response.
... Senator Jean Huffman on 23 February 2015, with no response.
... FBI Houston 15 June 2015, with no response.
... Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on 26 May 2015, with no response.
... Region 3 Director Leonard Echessa on 3 July 2015.

I would like to receive 50 petitions so that I can mail to district attorneys in the surrounding counties. I took it upon myself to participate in this campaign because there needs to be accountability.

Obstruction of Grievance Process

CO II Okonknoo called me a "troublemaker" and made a comment stating something like "I have received a lot of grievances [on my misconduct]. The grievances help promote me. Every grievance that is written on me states that I am doing my job. Let me do my job."

Grievance Investigator II Anna Rodriguez fails to answer questions in regard to grievance numbers. She asks me why I need these numbers, and states that she doesn't know the pigs who receive the Step 2 grievances in Huntsville, Texas.

Every Step 2 medical grievance sent comes back with a rubber stamp. Myra Walker was usually the one that signs off on step 2 medical grievances.

Rat and Roach Infestation, Rotten Food

I live in a dorm with 53 other comrades where rats tear up soups in lockers, and roaches are all over. Comrades leave cups and spoons all over the floor. The dishwasher is always messed up. Therefore we comrades get dirty spoons, cups, and plates.

They undercook food. I can't even eat greasy food in prison like I used to: chili, mac, beef noodle casserole. Most of it is pork. The diet for health trays contains pork. We are eating bananas and cucumbers, some of which are rotten.

Unkept Facilities and Supplies

I have been constantly sneezing and coughing up mucus. It is overly dusty here. Urinals and plumbing is filthy rotten. There are shower heads that are out. I press some of them and every now and then they work. They need maintenance. Maintenance never comes in to inspect and fix the drainage issues.

We haven't received any cleaning supplies in a long time. At my last unit and other units we get cleaning supplies each week. This unit doesn't care about cleanliness.

We are only allowed one pair of boxers, one top, one bottom, and one pair of socks. We exchange daily. At other units (Robertson/Roach), you keep two pairs of each. Pigs trip about having more than one pair of boxers. The boxers are torn up. They expect us comrades to wear these torn up boxers. The laundry department refuses to repair them. This also goes for the shirts. They never replace missing pockets in the shirts or the pants.

They do not change the water coolers every hour throughout the day/night like they are supposed to. There is a lot of heat exhaustion. This is an older unit. I feel that they need to shut down this unit.

Guards and Medical

The majority of staff at the unit are Afrikan nationals who treat comrades as trash. They bring their bad attitudes to the prison and unleash it on comrades. Most of the pigs don't wear their nametags which is a violation.

I had a lot of problems showering at night because pigs want to screw comrades of showers when they work 1st shift/go to school. Every comrade should be afforded a shower.

The medical department is bad. The lighting in the dayroom at nighttime is too bright and it has hurt my vision severely. I was diagnosed with lattice degeneration and dot hemorrhage (thinning of retina). Medical doesn't do a lot for comrades.

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