Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Coffield Unit - Federal

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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.

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[Abuse] [Deaths in Custody] [Drugs] [Prison Food] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Coffield Unit: Drugs, Murder and Mail Delays Here Too

Dear Friends,

Howdy from Texas! I have just read the Winter 2024 issue of Under Lock & Key provided to me by a friend. I’d like to be added to your mailing list.

Several articles caught my eye, most especially those focused on conditions within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). One Texas prisoner wrote the bulk of your article on the ULK 83 Correction regarding drugs, murder, and the statewide lockdown imposed by TDCJ. His statements were quite accurate. At the H. H. Coffield unit, we also saw prisoner-on-prisoner murder. Two of them were very close to my housing. We were locked down in totality for 40 days in our 5x9 cells and fed a starvation diet of sack meals.

The TDCJ Digital Mail initiative article was quite good as well. My own postal mail has been averaging 3 months for receipt since the implementation of the program. Even our Securus e-mail at my unit has been taking up to 3 or 4 weeks to be received – both incoming and outgoing.

But at least we are now drug-free, right? Not hardly! Those who choose to use have seen no shortage of supply. Personally I believe the only way to supply that volume of drugs to this 4000 man unit is via the officer and staff.

The K-2 epidemic is alive and well in Texas as well as Nevada and inmates are choosing to be brain-dead as their primary coping mechanism. Inmates under the influence are generally ignored by officers and officials and the issue is very divisive among the prison population. After all, no one in their right mind wants a cellie or a neighbor who is a strung-out deadbeat who would rob their mama to get another stick.

Anyway, I could go on for days about TDCJ incompetency, prison conditions, housing, food, etc. but I’ve said enough for now. I’ll be looking forward to receiving your publication.

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[Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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A Petition to End the Horrific Conditions in the Coffield Unit!

IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL WE ARE HUMAN TOO!

Please accept this as a call to all GOD-FEARING PEOPLE to call on the Texas Legislature to convene a Special Session to correct a potentially vital situation here on the Coffield Unity.

The following is a brief narrative of what is taking place. The Coffield Unity was initially designed to house 2,000 men, however, at last count there was 4,300. Consequently, staff is daily operating at 31% to 21% capacity. This creates an environment of absolute chaos. Prisoners are crowded into dayrooms for hours at a time (after meals and showers) without adequate access to toilet facilities. The dayrooms are equipped with only urinals. This has resulted in men defecating on themselves, or defecating in sacks or on paper or other items of discarded clothing etc., then throwing it out the window.

Another issue is sleep deprivation. Due to the constant slamming of doors, count times, showers, and other penal activities it is impossible to get a decent nights rest. Also the dining hall is a powder keg. It is often filled to max capacity (without any observable security), with men jumping line, purchasing contraband food, and conducting all types of side deals. Outside recreation is nearly non-existent. The overcrowded showers, dayrooms, and dining hall would be unbelievable to the average observer. Whenever there are important visitors to the unit it is guaranteed the unit will be placed on limited movement, suspended activity, or full lockdown in order to conceal the chaotic nature of daily operations. There is a sophisticated camera system installed in the unit that would verify the truth of all of these claims.

Another extreme situation is the heart, which is exacerbated by the unjust section lockdowns. To explain, due to the age of Coffield and the fact that it is in disrepair, prisoners have figured out how to manipulate the locking mechanisms on the cell doors. Because security staff cannot stop this from happening, they will retaliate by placing those sections on lockdown for several days and subjecting them to the extreme heat, sack-meals, and extreme cell searches.

This is an extreme security risk, which could easily lead to a massive riot, which the “shortage of staff” will not be able to maintain. This is not to mention the extreme and oppressive conditions the men in Ad Seg, or “Restricted Housing”, experience on a daily basis. It is common for these prisoners to go days on end without showers or recreation. They are frequently denied drinks with their meals. Their manner of being fed is totally against policy and food service standards. For example the SSI’s (i.e. the janitor prisoners) are allowed to feed them without security staff present. This means that those prisoners whose food tray slots are not open or rigged must receive their food trays underneath the rusted and corroded cell doors. It is common for fires to burn and smolder on the run for hours at a time without any attempt at putting them out, and still yet unsuccessful at gaining the attention of the security staff. The manipulating the locking mechanisms are also a phenomenon in Restricted Housing. There have been recent incidents of prisoners popping out of their cells stabbing prisoners, dashing other prisoners with feces & urine. There was recently a prisoner who got out of his cell and hit an officer in the head with a fan motor, causing him to be sent out in an ambulance.

As a propose solution, we duly implore you to convene a Special Session to reduce the Coffield population by releasing those prisoners with 20-years or more completed on their sentence (who have received more than one parole set off). This will aid in making the unit in a Single-cell unit as it is being reported to be. The living conditions here on the Coffield unit is unconstitutional and in total violation of the 8th Amendment. The SPCA would not allow dogs to be housed as we are here on the Coffield Unit. We implore you to come and see for yourselves!

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[Prison Labor] [Abuse] [Beto I Unit] [Ellis Unit] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 82]
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Rewinding Time: The State Of Texas Prisons

Observing the day-to-day operations within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), it’s as if someone hit the rewind button on the worst movie ever made. A half century ago David Ruiz, then a TDC captive, filed a civil lawsuit against the state agency while suffering in one of TDC’s many solitary torture chambers (cells). That humble complaint, after being joined with others’ suits, became the widely known Ruiz v. Estelle litigation, which initiated over 25 years of litigation, scrutiny, federal oversight, and reform in prison policies.

One of the many aims of the Ruiz litigation was the destruction of the internal, neo-colonial structure, known then as the Building Tender System (BTS). In summary, the BTS was a mechanism designed by the state to handpick certain inmates, then utilize them to maintain order and control among the masses of prisoners. Compensation of these hand-picked inmates services came in the form of ultimate power and authority in the prison, as well as extra work time and goods, in a time when these things meant something. This allowed them to go home faster. Furthermore, BT’s, with the complicity of the state, were allowed to make slaves (male sex slaves referred to as ‘punks’) of other inmates on a whim.

The BT’s were an essential part of the prison economy because their presence and services allowed the agency to cut costs and limit its budget by not having to pay as many guards as other states. As such, Texas had the lowest budget for any state prison system throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.

Today the state does not boast the lowest budget. Despite this and multiple pay raises, TDCJ can not maintain a necessary number of staff members to adequately run and operate its institutions. This reality is currently creating the foundation of conditions similar to the Ruiz days BT system.

Case in point, reports from Coffield, Ellis, and Beto Units narrate how prisoners have complete control of the unit. Prisoners conduct counts, feed, clothe, discipline, and even act as suicide watch for other inmates. Some prisoners reading this may say ‘that doesn’t sound bad’, and on the surface that may even be correct. However, the sad truth is that most prisoners are still operating with corrupt intentions. As such, when corrupt people are placed in positions of authority and responsibility it is the most marginalized and oppressed people who suffer at the hands of a corrupt power structure. This was true in the days of Ruiz, and it is true today, as it is also true in neo-colonies around the globe.

Under pressure from inmate litigation, over fifty years ago, Texas legislatures, enacted the following law:

Tex.Gov.Code Paragraph 500.001

Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority of Inmates

"(a) An inmate housed in a facility operated by the department or under contact with the department may not act in a supervisory or administrative capacity over another inmate.

  1. An inmate housed in a facility operated by the department or under contract with the department may not administer disciplinary action over another inmate."

Despite enacting this law, state officials didn’t initially, and still don’t, abide by it. Only the most recent example is the wide-spread use of life coaches as suicide watch sentry. Despite their best intentions, life coaches aren’t equipped to deal with a serious suicide attempt, and neither are correctional staff, if we’re being honest. Instead of channeling their budget towards more and better medical and psychiatric personnel, or releasing more people, TDCJ’s executive director Brian Collier has begun to implement a portion of his so-called 2030 plan. The portion important to this topic is his professed desire to initiate ‘new positions’ for inmates, so that they can allow this institution to function smoothly, ‘with less dependency on correctional staff’.

Since I’ve been released from solitary, and been housed on Ellis Unit’s CTIP, I’ve witnessed and experienced the new wave BT system up close and personal. Here inmates operate in-and-outs, feed, and other duties reserved for paid officers. As you can imagine, this situation causes tensions among the hand-picked, and the masses of prisoners. These tensions have their fall-outs and all this is instigated by the illegal policies and practices of the state. In 2023, we’re still being (neo)colonized and enslaved in Texas.

All too often, horrific incidents have to occur, lives have to be lost and tarnished before the public and people in positions to alter things begin take notice. If the incidents of 50 years ago are any indication we cannot afford to lose so many lives, for any more people to be physically violated, before we begin to bring these conditions to the attention of the public, and simultaneously organize liberation armies behind the walls to combat what will ultimately become a battle of control and influence between reactionary and revolutionary power.

DARE TO INVENT THE FUTURE


MIM(Prisons) adds:This comrade notes the very relevant history of the BTS in Texas and how those conditions are being repeated today. But there is other history to look at, like the 1973 takeover of Walpole prison in Massachusetts. Guards went on strike and the prisoner union took over running things smoothly and peacefully. This was only possible however because prisoners had spent years organizing into a union. As staff shortages seem widespread in prison systems across the country, opportunities for organizing can arise. But it will take preparation, education and organization to properly seize such opportunities.

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[Censorship] [Legal] [Michael Unit] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Suggestions for Challenging BP-03.91 and Beyond

Dear Comrades, I have read updates, in the ULK winter 2021, No. 75, and feel the need to clarify things. The nomenclature used in BP-03.91, and the definitions provided within it, are being bent and ambiguously used by both prisoner and TDCJ staff alike. The policy itself is so ambiguous, one would have to guess at how to uniformally enforce it.

The only difference made in the new policy is how ‘sexually explicit’ is defined. I am enclosing a verbatim copy of BP 03.91 as it is currently worded on this date. I witnessed an arbitrary enforcement of this policy on the Michael Unit and have even heard improper incorrect references, by mail staff on the Coffield Unit of what was ‘sexually explicit’. This shows me that even TDCJ staff are ill-informed about what the policy is and its purpose. I had written the Texas Board of Criminal Justice a few months back and they referred my letter to the, now in-house, Ombudsman office. I would encourage all ‘brothers in white’ to familiarize themselves with the policy by reading it themselves in the unit Law Library. (as well as reading ALL of the policies that are currently in place. Simply request the ‘Index of current TDJC policies’).

The injunctions that I have knowledge of, filed against the BP-03.91, argued on the ambiguous nature and verbage of the policy. Images that cause ‘sexual arousal’ are inherently broad. (Hell, I had caught a girlfriend of mine, masturbating to Metalacolypse!)

While arguing the ambiguity of the policy is one undeniable argument, I suggested to a team of litigants to also attack the apparent objective of the policy. To curb anything that ‘sexually arouses’, well, anyone! Banning officers from ‘outrageous’ or ‘extreme’ hairdos, make-up, jewelry, etc. tight pants, or even suggesting that female officers not work in male prisons (no male officers in the female prisons) but even then you would not be able to curb even same sex arousal. It is in applying this argument that we see just how illogical it is to curb ‘sexual arousal’. Exacerbating the ridiculousness of the argument will force them to define and refine the definition of the policy and there is no way that you would be able to legally define ‘cleavage’ as censorable under the First Amendment.

While these are my own thoughts and opinions, I do hope to help as many comrades in their legal efforts. This isn’t something that a phone call will fix but we can change things with well-thought-out litigation. It takes time, but most of us have nothing but time. Intellectuals fight with their words. Learn to use them and wield them with effective effort.

At the current moment i am not involved in any active litigation as my time and energy is currently invested in criminal matters, however, I try to keep up with what is going on to know our environment. I want to thank ALL of you who keep us connected through organization, correspondence, etc. Without you we would most likely be more lost to the cause than anyone could imagine. The support you provide is priceless.

Nothing worth fighting for is ever easily won. Policies are a fraction of the fight. Laws are another. But the biggest fight we face is ignorance. Our own and of the population. This is readily apparent in the policies and laws we find ourselves fighting against. It is a reason for the mission of MIM.

Always onward with more audacity!

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[Censorship] [Grievance Process] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 77]
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Criminal Gangs Controlling Mail and Punishing Grievers in TX

Quick update on BP 03.91 – Yesterday, while at the law library, one prisoner recently received an order of photos that had been previously banned. This happened months after our legal group filed injunctions in relation to BP 03.91 and how it arbitrary enforcement wasn’t congruent with its parameters. What is even more eye opening is how staff and administration keep taking (and breaking) property. All grievances come back with “your allegations could not be substantiated.”

Some are fighting back small. Dragging the administration through many small litigation claims will weaken their resolve on bigger ones. The grievance system is a joke. While staff continue to bully prisoners around, by throwing away their property in the shakedown, confiscating their religious items, and cutting down their eating, showering, and dayroom times. Texas prisons are becoming more and more run by inmates who utilize drug connections with officers. Recently I had a sergeant who tried to intimidate me into recanting a grievance which I wrote about prisoners passing out mail (a new “hustle” some STG’s have turned up on by holding certain mail “hostage”). When I didn’t relent, he sent one of the gang members to talk to me. How do you threaten the life of a lifer? SMH These kids don’t get get it.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As staff shortages become the excuse to abuse and deny prisoners basic necessities, we are receiving reports of prisoners being used in this manner to deliver mail, do counts, even utilizing department walky-talkies to assist staff. In the short-term this is being used to further divide the prisoner population by granting some the role of the slave catcher and granting them benefits. But this also indicates a crisis in the TDCJ that will create new opportunities as the state loses control over day-to-day operations.

The police state may prove to be over-extended if they cannot get enough Amerikans to run the machine. With pigs dying from covid-19 at higher rates due to their bad hygiene, retiring faster, and refusing to go to work in the biggest prison systems in the world, we will certainly be seeing shifts in the near future in the terrain of the U.$. criminal injustice system.

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[Drugs] [Political Repression] [Coffield Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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Retaliation for Writing On Drug Smuggling

police sell drugs to prisoners

Greetings & Respects Comrades,

I been wanting to write this letter for about a year now. Society needs to be aware of what’s really going on behind the walls of prison. On March of 2020 I wrote an article that was printed on the pages of your newsletter. It was called ‘TDCJ: Your staff are bringing in the drugs, and it must stop’(see ULK 73). Since the print of the article, I’ve become a target of harassment and retaliation. Administration and C/O’s here at Coffield Unit are a part of a Good Ol’ boy system that use these types of methods, to make the prisoner pay when the truth is being exposed.

A shakedown team was put together by Warden Garcia. When the team comes across a prisoner, who refuses to be extorted for information (something that can place the prisoner’s life in danger), they will harass/retaliate, even falsify government records, in order to place the prisoner in the worst part of the prison as a form of punishment for not cooperating. It happened to me, and I will go into detail later in the letter.

There wouldn’t be drugs or cellphones in prison, if corrupt C/O’s didn’t bring them. Can prisoners just walk out of prison, score drugs, take a detour by Wal-Mart, pick up a couple of cellphones, then return to prison? How is it that this type of contraband finds itself inside prisons? Governor Greg Abbott needs to answer these questions. Since the last article, nothing has changed. A constant flow of K2 (a drug laced with roach spray), Meth, Cocaine, Heroin, pills and cellphones, flow through the prison. In 29 years of my confinement, I’ve seen my share of things but nothing like whats going on today, in the prison system.

Eighty percent (80%) of young people in prison are terribly addicted to drugs, that C/O’s bring in. The only difference between correctional officers and prisoners is the uniform. They themselves are criminals. This type of thing needs to be brought up next time some politician out there screams “We need more prisons”. ‘Go to Texas prison with a bad drug habit, leave worse when you get out’. That should be the politicians slogan.

TDCJ proudly states “We are an agency of rehabilitation and positive change”, the best lie being sold to the public. The only thing TDCJ higher-ups care about, is that government funding. At the moment Coffield has a sky high suicide rate due to all the drugs. This place is completely out of compliance and under-staffed. Prisoners are left in dayrooms (that have no toilets) for hours and have to use the restroom on shifts because there’s no one to let them in the cell to use the restroom.

Hours pass with no security checks, a clear breach of security. A few days ago there was an audit on the unit, C/Os from other units were called in, so they could pass the inspection. As soon as the inspectors left, the C/Os from other units left behind them. There’s no outside recreation, the water is getting prisoners sick, but plenty of K2 to keep the prisoners “Dumbed down”, so there won’t be complaints.

Society needs to realize that prisoners will return to neighborhoods out there. How can prisoners, whom are sent to prison to rehabilitate themselves, accomplish that goal, when the good law-abiding correctional officers, bring poison, to make them worse? These same prisoners will be released, will reoffend, commit worse crimes, due to a drug problem that got worse in prison. How many crooked C/Os have been indicted, for the victims of suicide and drug overdoses, that have died in Coffield, due to the drugs these C/Os bring in? This system and its C/Os are the problem, something people in high places, refuse to admit to the public.

For years our families got blamed for the drug flow coming into prison. When COVID-19 arrived, visitations got shut down and the truth was exposed, as to who really brought the dope in. Over a year, no visitations yet the dope was delivered on time. The truth is K2 is sprayed on just about anything, or brought in liquid forms. Meth, heroin, cocaine and pills can easily be hidden on C/Os that bring it for a nice hefty price. A $20 cellphone now goes for $2000 OR $2500 each.

So let’s put this together: the proposed solution is a pig team that goes after prisoners who PURCHASE contraband from C/Os. This helps the Warden shift the blame and cover who the real crooks are, and everything’s blamed on the prisoners. This way the truth is not exposed and questions never need to be answered.

For my writing about this type of corruption, I am now under fire by the warden and administration. Enclosed are copies of complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s office due to harassment/retaliation against me. The Ombudsman’s office claims to be an independent entity, that investigates family complaints against TDCJ officials - (NOT TRUE). In reality, they work hand-in-hand with TDCJ officials.

“Due to a lack of evidence, your allegations could not be substantiated.” (Lack of evidence? There are cameras all over the unit, that record video) If Ms. Melodee Blalock would have performed a proper investigation of the date and time the incidents occurred, she could have retrieved video that would have placed C/O Brewer at my cubicle/cell destroying my property. She just wouldn’t go against the Good Ol’ boy system.

Violations of misconduct by staff, when confirmed (Notice the words “When confirmed”) are addressed in accordance with established administrative procedures. Such decisions are considered confidential (Notice the word ‘Confidential’) and not released to the general public. TDCJ and Ombudsman both work as the outside cops. When a C/O has violated policy or harassed a prisoner, a wall of silence instantly goes up and things are quietly swept under the rug.

The reply my sister received means: Even if C/O Brewer is guilty, it will be covered up by the good ol’ boy system that’s designed to never admit wrong. I was housed at the dorm area from 2017 till 2021 with no altercations of this sort. After I wrote the first article, full retaliation was enforced. When it got really bad, my sister filed the complaint. 46 days after filing, the same C/O Brewer, who the complaint was filed against, showed up at my cubicle with his supervisor SGT Hom, to place me in handcuffs.

I was escorted to a segregation cage, which had no restroom or running water. I was stripped searched and left in those conditions, under extreme heat without relief (water, fan, restroom break), on a hot July day. I was there from 9 am till 4:30 pm. I was denied water and was forced to urinate in bottles that an SSI had to sneak to me.

Just one example of the injustice prisoners have to endure at the hands of the oppressors. Which politician, with a nice desk, watches over the oppressors, who enjoy violating prisoners rights and get off on abusing their power? I will continue to expose a corrupt system that’s in real need of prison reform. And to accomplish that goal, the prison reform needs to start with its own C/Os.

I see parole March of 2022, after 2 three year set-offs. If something happens to me, comrades the answer as to why, is in your hands. Thanks to each of you. May God walk with each of you.

Respectfully Always,

“End the Prison System”

“Give Power to the people”

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[COVID-19] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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COVID-19 Explodes at Coffield in June, 80% non-symptomatic

My unit has been on lockdown for 41 days as of this day, 27 July 2020. We all was tested on 2 June 2020 with all negative results. But on the 16th of June prisoners started to get sick so we went on lockdown. The out breka caused a second testing for COVID-19, which at this time about 1000+ cases came back positive. Of those, 800+ with no symptoms and about 200 with symptoms so that what going on on the Coffield Unit.

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[Campaigns] [Medical Care] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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TDCJ Shifting Policies, Still Gouging Prisoners and Families

Included with this letter is a clipping from The Echo, TDCJ’s prison newspaper. The clipping shows how TDCJ and the Texas Board of Criminal (In)justice is continuing to try and bill us inmates and our families for the services they have the constitutional obligation to provide.

As you can read in the article, they are going to charge inmates $13.55 per inmate-initiated visit, not to exceed $94.85 ([we used to be charged $100 annually on medical visits, so] we save $5.15 a year). What a deal! NOT!

The TDCJ is trying to save money by using this method to discourage offenders from using medical services. On my unit, H.H. Coffield in Tennessee Colony, TX, our medical services are severely inadequate, often requiring months of wait just to see a provider. This is a unit with over 5,000 prisoners and the medical staff and MHMA staff are present in severely insufficient numbers. Correctional officers are short-staffed too, operating at only 66%. The unit is also over-populated, which causes inmates to suffer the effects of extreme heat. What is more, they are putting two inmates in cells designed for only one person (45 sq. ft. of space – even though TDCJ lost a lawsuit requiring them to provide the federally-mandated minimum of 60 sq. ft. per offender).

Some of us are fighting in courts but lack support from the outside as well as support from our brothers on the inside. It’s as though they like having their rights trampled and being servants to an abusive master.

Please update your Texas Pack to include this information. I also have a copy of the Pack Unit lawsuit about the extreme heat that could be helpful to our comrades in TDCJ, which is available for free from Texas Prisons Air-Conditioning Advocates, P.O. Box 9624, Longview, TX 75608.

TDCJ and the State of Texas insures inmates at $10 million each; so when we die in here, they collect that money. The Trust Fund is an interest-bearing trust account. TDCJ and the State of Texas collect that interest and pocket it. They say our families can take a tax deduction for donating money to our trust-fund accounts, but by IRS tax law, that money cannot be treated as taxable income, because only non-profit organizations can receive money and offer their IRS tax-exempt code to donors. My family has tried to use it, only to be rejected because TDCJ is listed as a “for profit” institution.

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[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Disunity Failing to Fight Unhealthy Food and Lockdown

I'm in the Tx Prison system and we have the worst of everything. We don't get paid; we're supposed to get work time, good time and flat time as credit to our sentence. It's suppose to stand in place of payment and to help us get parole and put us back on the streets. However, if the parole board doesn't feel as though they should let you go they won't. Besides, if you have aggravated time that means it doesn't even count for you or towards your sentence. So some of us are just here until whatever.

The sad part is we as inmates have all the power in the world to better our situation and force TDCJ to improve the system for the better. Unfortunately, TDCJ inmates won't come together for anything unless a certain race feels disrespected. Then you have a lot of drama over something as childish as a seat, bench, table, or TV and it will be an all out riot because a black guy does something to a Mexican or vice versa. But what I don't understand is when a CO will straight up disrespect an inmate in his face several times a day and the only thing that inmate will do is mumble under his breath because he is afraid to get a case. But they're willing to put everything else on the line because they feel disrespected by another inmate, a person in the same screwed-up situation they're in. That's the number one reason we, as TDCJ offenders, are stuck: we on some racial b.s.

Another thing is commissary, that's all that seems to matter when do we go to the store. We can go to commissary today, and tomorrow guys are looking at the schedule to see when we go again. The commissary is so deplorable anyway at least on the Coffield Unit. It never has everything you need and all the items are generic. You have a few exceptions: snickers, twix, m&ms, coca cola, kitkat, chico sticks, lemonbreads, toaster pops, dr. pepper, big red, fanta, bark's root beer. The food items and hygiene items are generic but you get charged name brand prices. And you get treated bad while you're in line trying to purchase the items you need. Because on Coffield the only time you get any items that you need is on Thursdays: you get 1 toilet paper roll, 5 bars of soap the size of matchboxes and then every 3rd of 4th Thursday you will get toothpaste and a toothbrush.

I didn't mention any other hygiene products because the only time you get that type of stuff is when the holiday season comes around and the Kairos people come and pass out those items or when Mike Barker comes and does a show.

Now, onto a problem that needs immediate attention. In TDCJ we go on lock-down at least twice a year because of the TX 7. You may have heard of these stupid dudes. They broke out of prison just to go to Colorado to have a prayer meeting. They had the opportunity to shine a light on what's going on in TDCJ but their agenda was on something else and because of them we go on lock-down which means you're in the cell 24/7 unless you have what is called a key-in and you have a visit. The biggest problem with lock-down is the food, it's totally unhealthy. They may be supplying the calories we need, but none of the nutrition. The "Johnny" sack-lunches will consist of the following:

Breakfast:
3 pancakes with peanut butter (no syrup) OR 2 fried eggs and 2 biscuits OR 2 French toasts
1 small cereal/milk (if COs pass it out)
15 to 20 raisins or 5 to 10 prunes (maybe)

Lunch or dinner:
Always a peanut butter sandwich with either:
white or red mystery meat, a bean burrito, a piece of chicken, two corn dogs, a beef link or a wiener, and maybe a half potato
If the CO feels like it, we may get water, or watered-down punch or tea

As you can see we get no vegetables or fruits and we can be on lock-down from 18 to 31 days. I know this is a health concern. The only reason I can't fault the system is because we as TDCJ inmates don't say anything to the administration but we will complain amongst each other. We have a real problem in TDCJ and it's not getting any better.

I'm hoping that I can get your newsletter to show these inmates that we can make a change but we got to start somewhere. These guys don't believe grievances work and I know that they do; of course they don't if you don't file them. I always hear guys say they don't know how to fill them out and I always tell them you didn't know how to fill out no commissary slip to order your items but you figured that out! I'm asking Under Lock & Key to print cases where grievances made a difference.

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