Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Connally 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.

[First Nations] [Religious Repression] [Medical Care] [Political Repression] [Civil Liberties] [Legal] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 79]
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Native Religious Rights and Cool Housing Struggles in TX

I’m attacking the “Heat Sensitivity Scoring (HSS).”

We feel that being classified as “Heat Sensitive”, which requires a cool-bed housing assignment, is a medical treatment and a medical diagnosis. A diagnosis that you should be able to choose if you want the “treatment” or not. We have a right to refuse medical treatment but they will not let us opt out of this “classification” and will not explain how this “Heat Score” was calculated.

The best information I’ve gotten on the Cool-bed litigation came from Nell Gaither at the Trans Pride Initiative PO Box 3982, Dallas, TX 75208 (214) 449-1439, tpride.org. She copied and pasted Document 59-2 from Sain v. Collier 4:18-CV-4412 and I had her letter entered in my case. It is a 4 page letter and you can buy it for $0.50 per page from the Clerk in the Western District, Austin Division @ 501 W. 5th St., Suite 1100, Austin, TX 78701.

TDCJ makes First Nation practitioners take a religious knowledge test before they will approve them for a Designated Native American Unit and if you can’t pass the test you can’t meet with clergy or attend ceremonies, etc.

I was shipped off of my Designated Unit and put in High Security in Allred because I was “Heat Sensitive.” SO they denied me of my religion due to my health conditions and wouldn’t tell me I had to re-take the test to re-apply for a Designated Unit (which is unconstitutional). Anyway, what they’re really doing is shipping [lawsuit/paperwork] filers off to high security claiming they are “Heat Sensitive.”

If this happens to others, all they need to do is contact the Chaplain and apply for a transfer to a Designated Unit again. They will have to take the test again as is TDCJ Religious Policy AD-07.30 policy number 09.02(rev3)p.1 &2 and policy 09.02(rev2) Attachment A.

We are looking to do away with this unconstitutional religious discrimination and teach our own religion. TDCJ’s text is based on Lakota religion and there are no Lakota tribes in Texas, so it is difficult to get Native Chaplains willing to teach a religion that is not their own.

People are fired up about ULK 78! I’m going to be ordering all of my grievances to send to TX Prison Reform. Thank you Triumphant of T.E.A.M. O.N.E.! for the good info. I’ve already ordered my grievances, I have 56! You can purchase them from the law library for $0.10 each.

Note to my Connally Unit comrades: As of 1 August 2022, TDCJ will no longer make legal copies, which is fucked up! I’m having to send my original documents through the mail to the court and hope they don’t steal my mail. Warden Rayford has banned inmate-to-inmate legal visits and there is no drinking water in the Law Library and no bathroom breaks. If you need to go to the pisser, your session is over.

No legal copies and legal visits hinders our access to courts, but I suggest sending an I-60 in and getting a denial on paper even if you don’t need a jailhouse lawyer. Then, if you loose your case you can say this was because you didn’t have your “helper.” Johnson v. Avery, 393 U.S. 483, 490(1969) says you have a right to get legal help from other prisoners unless the prison “provides some reasonable alternative to assist inmates in the preparation of petitions.” And if they are still retaliating after that, make sure you got a lot of witnesses. It is a federal crime for state actors (the prison officials) to threaten or assault witnesses in federal litigation 18 U.S.C.§1512(a)(2).

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[Religious Repression] [Civil Liberties] [Grievance Process] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 78]
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Grievance Tips & New Grooming Policy in TX

In ULK 76 you printed an article by the Connally Committee of Texas T.E.A.M. O.N.E. titled “Connally Unit Denying Grievances & Retaliating”. I cannot vouch for the retaliation from here in High Security, but as for not responding to grievances and being chronically understaffed, I can vouch for.

I filed 2 grievances back in early April and have had zero response to them. I found a good cite in Prison Legal News June 2022 edition. It says, “A prisoner’s administrative remedies are exhausted when prison officials fail to timely respond to a properly filed grievance.” (Haight v. Thompson 763 F. 3d 554 (6th Cir 2014)) According to this, if they do not respond to our grievances we can go on to a §1983 Civil Action.

My suggestion to TEAM ONE here at Connally is to go ahead and file §1983 Lawsuits with hand-written copies of your Step 1’s and try to file a Step 2. But your remedies are exhausted when TDCJ fails to respond to your grievances. They have 40 days to respond to a Step 1 or file an extension. If it has been more than 40 days and you have no answer, your administrative remedies are exhausted. I’m sending a handwritten copy of my Step 1 into the District Court this week. They will file, stamp it and assign it a document number and I’ll use it as evidence in my case.

As far as being understaffed, I can certainly agree with the writers of that article. Every end of the month into the first of the month this place is a ghost town. We are locked in our cells and fed sack lunches.

We did recently win a small victory as far as the grooming policy goes. AD-03.83 & SM-06.16 (Rev5) were updated on 10 May 2022 to allow male prisoners to grow long hair and wear pony tails. There were a lot of §1983 lawsuits pending on this subject. I’m still not totally satisfied with the updated policy because TDCJ reserves the right to force cut our hair for disciplinary reasons and they do not do this to the women. Growing our hair is a religious right, not a privilege to be revoked so I still have it listed in my lawsuit.

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[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Grievance Process] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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Connally Unit Denying Grievances and Retaliating

First, on B.P.-391 in Texas, there are units that are fighting this policy, yet here on Connally Unit they are taking and denying everything they can and they are not allowing us to appeal anything. We’ve written a bunch of grievances and they all got returned saying that the issue is not grievable, and when we file step 2’s, they are all getting thrown away. We have no wins here on Connally.

Second, we’ve contacted the TDCJ ombudsman on multiple ranking officers and regular officers. In doing that we are getting retaliated on and harassed. They are cell searching and destroying our property, tearing our pics, denying us our privilege of commissary, rec or day room. We’ve sent multiple grievances on these officers and they never come back. The wardens are letting them retaliate on us and not doing anything about it! The Connally Unit is steadily short staff only on their Fridays and payday. Right now we’re short staffed and when we asked a question about what’s going on, they put us on 23-hour lockdown – for asking a question. They are playing with peoples’ lives and freedoms here on Connally Unit. We can’t grieve officers because they always come back saying “this isn’t grievable.” We’re in a no-win situation here!


MIM(Prisons) responds: If they won’t let you grieve, then it’s time to come together with all who can be united there and get creative. We’ve been fighting the grievance battle for years. It is only a tactic. It will never solve comrades’ problems overall because the rules are only applied when they want them to be.

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[COVID-19] [Political Repression] [Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 75]
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Warden Retaliates Against Grievances, While TDCJ Creates Hostilities Among Prisoners

I want to thank you for sending me the newsletter. I’ve been getting fellow prisoners together to help change the ongoing troubles we’re having here on the John B. Connally Unit. I’ve had my mom email the Ombudsman due to the fact that the Warden stated everyone filing a grievance on his officers actions or the units conditions will find themselves in building lockup, facing disciplinary.

So we can’t write a Step 1 or 2 cause they are getting stopped by the officials. Right now we’re on lockdown due to a racial riot that happened due to the guards making our environment ‘hostile.’ A lot of the guards don’t be wearing they mask; and they haven’t been vaccinated, yet they lock us down when one or two people take down our mask.

We try to get an ‘informal resolution’ but they refuse to talk with us. Sgt. J Sandoval stated “fuck you, we don’t care.” Exact words. When they put us on 23 hour lockdowns they make it into a 26 or 28 hour lockdown cause they don’t want to let us up. Some of the guards are 19-20-21 year olds who’ve been an officer for 2-3 months, and they get rank and misuse their power. I’ve also written the Ombudsman and my mom emailed him.

The riot was Brown vs. Black cause the Blacks don’t wanna wear they mask and were tired of going down behind one or two people. Last night everyone had enough, grievances don’t get addressed. They write bogus cases for going to respite for heat restriction. TDCJ policy says we’re allowed respite 24 hours 7 days a week even during count yet when we go to respite, Sgt. Reed and Sgt. Sandoval write out of places cases when policy says we’re allowed respite. Also, August 1st TDCJ is trying to take all our pics of females away and calling pics of women in lingerie or exotic poses ‘contraband.’

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Texas shipping prisoners around to cover up protests

Well, once again I’m writing to you so that it becomes known that Texas is at it again. The prison system is shifting its inmates around once more. Recently I wrote letting you know that 300 plus inmates had gotten shipped off to Pack 1 unit from Connally because they needed to fill it up due to inmates battling the conditions of heat related deaths who got shipped off that unit to try and stall or and disrupt the unified civil act that was filed. So in saying these units from Texas; Connally, Smith, Gibb Lewis, Eastham, Stevenson etc. sent inmates to fill in the bunks at Pack 1 Unit in Navaosta, TX.

Now we’ve been shipped back to our original units due to this civil act being won in the courts and those inmates having to be sent back to their original unit as well! The crazy thing is that the prison system tries its hardest to escape the responsibilities it has towards its subjects. This is a known practice! The bus ride to and from was no easy trip. Cramed like sardines and cuffed to each other and then having to endure the shifting and bouncing on the bus ride for for plus hours is not only annoying but dehumanizing as well!

Most of us who got shipped to Pack 1 have been on Connally unit over a decade and never experienced such circumstances and so it was confusing to go thru this situation. Now, the thing is that there is a rumor that some of us will go back as well once TDC puts in the AC units that those inmates won thru the courts. Sometime in April. But this only serves to encourage other inmates on other units to file suits as well and get this party going with the whole system statewide to put AC units in every prison.

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Texas prisoners blinded by drugs

I was talking to a guy who I have been incarcerated with for about 88 months in regards to the ULK issue #59. He seems to agree with some of the articles. The Texas epidemic of K2 overdoses seem to have hit him the hardest. In his experience he claims to have seen at a time or another about 10 men being taken off of his unit in an ambulance because of K2 use. It definitely is a large issue in the hate of Texas, both in and out of prison. The guys who smoke it instantly lose most senses within seconds of inhaling a few hits of the drug. They are unable to add, subtract (accurately), and/or function as if they are transformed into the walking dead.

As long as individuals stay in this mental state of "nothingness" or "no mans land" they will stay trapped and blinded to the truths that will help set themselves and others free from oppression and foolishness. I speak from experience because I was once in "no mans land" as mentioned above. Now that I can think and gather my sense I can gather my thoughts and push forward towards positive productions that will or can be absorbed by others around me.

All in all this guy that I have been speaking to will be writing to subscribe to ULK soon. I don't have the funds but want to work for Marc and Engels on Colonies which was mentioned in ULK59 so that I will be prepared for the future study group on the horizon. ULK59 is the only one I own so whatever relevant back issues you see as being beneficial are welcomed. I will keep the materials in circulation to try and help give men the ability to not only think, but to think outside of the "Amerikkkan box".

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[Abuse] [Organizing] [Education] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Study Group Repression, Staying Strong

My study group "Push it to the Limit" was infiltrated by the pigs' designated imposters, molded with the motive and intent to cause confusion and disrupt positive progress. I've observed intently and gained an accumulated experience as I've re-organized and regarded this delicate "covert ops" incident and compared it with the same covert-ops strategies used against Power cells of individuals of collective units within the past histories.

I've researched material from the book "The FBI War on Tupak Shakur and Black Leaders" to re-evaluate and compare with. The "covert ops" move didn't surprise me at all. I'm an "Organized General," NOT a Rookie.

However, I've rebuilt my study group from scratch. I've been training my new members to "Push it to the Limit" study group that Power is essential for success in the accumulation of money, or in positive progress.

As a Jailhouse Lawyer/paralegal, I'm teaching that Power may be defined as "organized and intelligently directed knowledge." We utilize "organized effort" to produce coordination of effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite end, in a spirit of harmony. Therefore, harmony is the key.

As inspired intellectuals in the making, "Coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose."

Now I'm evaluating my study group with persistence and intelligence and use discrimination in the selection of my "Master Mind" group, which shall cause my objectives to be halfway reached, even before we begin to recognize it.

Henry Ford said, "Men take on the Native and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony." This is hard work and that's why it's called a "struggle," I guess.

Me and my new study group members have been changing policy and procedures here at this trashy ass Connally Unit. The pigs even gave me a clear opportunity to be transferred to a better unit as a settlement offer but I've refused such a cop out agreement.

I'm too pissed off to drop the issues as if they've never happened and I'm too real to leave my comrades who aren't adequate in the law to deal with this problem that's been continuing for years by theirselves.

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Repression in Connally Unit Texas

I recently landed here on Connally Unit, and I can already see tha tthe unit is sliding back to its old ways. I have only been here 2 weeks, and showers only get ran on one card which is 4 days, and not on the other card, so that's 4 days of showers and 4 days of no showers,. I'm in "G5" which is closed custody (lockdown with a celly), it's one step less than ad seg.

We getting jacked on "sides" and some of our main course on breakfast, such as we get one or 2 pancakes when we are supposed to get 3, plus 2 sides, when we only getting one side. It's not every breakfast, but 2 out of 3 breakfasts we get jacked. In 2 weeks we only got milk twice (watered down), and never gotten coffee at all, most chows are no drinks available.

We're locked in a cell all day, so everything comes to us. Rec been ran 1 time in 2 weeks. I only been here 2 weeks, came from Bill Clements, which that unit has turned completely around for the better, but it took a dead person to be found in high security to prompt a change and a outside force to ensure plus a infestation of rats. I'm only allowed to grieve one issue every 7 days, so it's a slow process on getting change started.

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[Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting TB Exposure and Medical Neglect in Texas

I did receive your 2 page legal packet a while back and am very disappointed that none of the legal packets I've requested were sent to me. Your small packet is correct and I know it but I still need the things requested. I also need the name and address (again) in which I am to send donations to. It's wiser to put that into in everything you produce off the rip. I've been suffering retaliations that have consisted of depriving me of my property for the sole purpose of destruction so don't waste time, please, with your actions.

You people talk about being down with our struggle, which is real, and I thank you for actually being a part of the struggle. My struggle has changed for the worse as the prison officials conspired with medical staff to expose me to a prisoner who had active tuberculosis in which I've contracted the air borne disease. As a retaliation, I've been neglected medically due to my legal position and advocacy. This shit's real down here in Texas. I'm suffering any and every retaliative adverse action you can think of, from staff placing gang hits on me an attempting to bring gang members contraband as they've duly attempted to orchestrate the hit or allowing it to take place, to seizures of my property for the purpose of deprivation and destruction, to exposing me to tuberculosis infected prisoners whom I've contracted the air borne disease from, to medically neglecting to treat me as a "TB" carrier which is causing my symptoms to worsen due to medical neglect as a conspired action to punish me.

I have been advised by numerous staff and medical personnel that if I will drop my lawsuit and stop filing grievances, I will be given medical treatment, and IF I continue to file legal work (lawsuits and grievances), I will be left to die in this prison system as they will continue to deny me medical care or treatment. This shit's Real Comrades. This ain't no Game!! My Life is targeted and I'm (still) fighting but I need (Real) distance not just talk of assistance or advocacy. I'm a good standing member of the "Texas Prison Justice League" for over 2 years now and they ain't allowing me to participate in any of the ongoing programs as many "white offenders" are allowed to participate in.

I'm the same exact kind of Black Man 2Pac Shakur was so "still I rise" in my struggle, but I need Real help cuz, not just fancy intros. Real talk! Breeds correct revolutionary actions.

I need your newly upgraded version of the (Texas grievance packet) cause my property was destroyed. I need every piece of legal material I've priorly requested. I need real contacts to serious contacts whom will contact me back and help me right now. Fuck ACLU and NAACP cause they are bullshitters whom just talk and they are money hungry and don't care. My life is on the line literally and I need the name of the guy whom filed the lawsuit against Connelly Unit, concerning rec denials in which y'all advertise in Under Lock & Key March/April 2016, No. 49 because I'm now on Connally Unit being retaliated on and I need more info on what kind of unit I'm dealing with. I have Black Panther running through my bloodline so my fight is more than meaningful and more than personal.

I'd like to join his lawsuit and push it to a class action to add the inadequate medical care system and the failure to protect from prisoner on prisoner assaults and staff assault which I'm currently experiencing. I'd like to help the prisoner step his legal skill up. He's wasting valuable time, wasting paper and effort and with 10 or 8 more civil rights groups who (say) they are about that life, when they really aren't. I can show him what he needs to do is file a writ of mandamus after he amends his complaint and adds regional directors and executive director Brad Livingston and file an injunction order against them two added parties. He's taken the steps to file the civil suit, but he needs a little help pushing it. Concerning these matters, "We are walking alone"!!

Comrades, I'm coughing and having severe night sweats because of the tuberculosis that is not being treated, so don't waste time with delays. My life is important and my life is on the line every single day as I live this struggle that all of you talk about thing down with. If you could see my struggles live a lot of you would cry in tears because the system I'm fighting is so, so fucked up and is nothing close to rehabilitations.

I've watched many, many comrades fall off and give up due to retaliations and racist influences. I fear no man!!, and I don't just advocate for me alone. I'm about my money, but I ain't got the money yet, nor change, so I keep going harder. I don't have shit!! No pen pal, no support system, no money. However, I do have the heart of a lion, the mind of a fox and the character of a kind. I need (real help). I also need all of the legal things I've requested in order to keep my fight alive. I'm not attempting to be rude, but I am real.

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[Legal] [Control Units] [Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Update on Lawsuit on Inadequate Rec and Food

I've been really busy with that lawsuit on the conditions here, and other complaints and organizing activities related to that. The good news is that the judge reviewed the law on the case, and ruled that if the allegations are true the prison officials are violating the law, and so they must respond. He ordered them to be served with the suit and gave them 40 days to respond.

The bad news is that they have gone back to canceling recreation all the time, for any pretext they can think of. But you know, that's how it goes.

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