The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. help out
[Abuse] [Stiles Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 75]
expand

TDCJ Stiles Unit Ignoring Respite Areas, Heat & Respiratory Illness Rules

Dear MIM,

I’m writing this letter on behalf of all Texas prison inmates who have been denied access to respite areas here at the Mark W. Stiles Unit or anywhere within TDCJ-CID agency state wide.

In United States District Court, Southern District of Texas in the Houston Division, Keith Cole et al. v. Brad Livington, TDCJ Director, et al.; Civil Action No. 4:14-CV-1698, a class action lawsuit, at page 769 it states:

Respite Training and Education

All inmates, both those assigned and not assigned jobs, will be trained on the importance of respite and how to access respite. Training will include:

  • Respite means cooling off for a period of time in an air conditioned place;
  • Inmates are allowed to access respite 24/7;
  • The education wing is now a dedicated respite area;
  • Inmates do not need to be sick, injured, or feeling bad to access respite, rather they may do so to cool down whenever they wish;
  • To access respite, inmates can make the request for asking correctional officers if there are problems ask to talk to a ranking correctional officer;
  • Impress that no one will be retaliated against for asking for respite, and;
  • Education about why respite is important to protect ones health. The training will follow a script and there will be a time for questions from the inmates. A training circular will be distributed that mirrors the respite notice. There will be a sign-in sheet for inmates to confirm training and receipt of the circular.

Also, a new poster has been developed and will further emphasize these same points. The poster will be placed in common areas accessible to inmates, it clearly states that an inmate may request access to respite areas 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not being required to be feeling ill. It further states that if an inmate is feeling ill, he should alert staff so that medical assistance can be obtained. The poster also gives the inmates a description of the expectations regarding their behavior in respite, stating that inmates:

  • Regular access respite any time during the day or night, do not need to be sick, injured, or feeling bad to access respite, rather they may do so to cool down when ever they wish;
  • Should use respite regularly because it helps the body thermoregulate;
  • Should be aware that heat is dangerous and heat illness can occur suddenly when temperatures are high;
  • Should ask staff for medical staff attention if they actually feel ill due to heat;
  • May talk quietly in respite;
  • May bring a cooling towel;
  • Will be provided a chair, and must remain seated;
  • May not engage in horseplay or arguing;
  • May not create disturbances;
  • May not save chairs for other inmates, and;
  • Must be properly dressed (pants and shirts).

The TDCJ’s Respite Area policy is not being honored here at the Mark W. Stiles Unit even though there are designated areas such as:

  • Medical Department waiting cage,
  • Offenders General Library, Windham School District Department
  • Law Library Department
  • Education Department
  • Chapel

Note: The Law Library Department, Education Department and the chapel will only be used as a respite area after normal hours at other areas are over.

The current warden has modified or ignored all of these rules. The warden has ordered that all inmates at the Mark W. Stiles Unit must get a pass to have access to respite area and each pass per inmate is only good for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes expires such inmate must return back to their living area buildings to obtain another pass.

These wardens are playing physicians in practicing medicine without a license in the way that they are violating this policy. It don’t have to be hot for another human being in the Texas prison system to be affected by heat related symptoms. There are many drugs that lower heat tolerance, ranging from anti-convulsants to beta blockers. These drugs may disrupt the body’s ability to sweat or thermoregulate, make the body more sensitive to sunlight, or otherwise make people more susceptible to heat illness, and need more respite than thirty minutes broken up by having to go get another pass every time.

There are also reports identifying offenders with heat and/or sunlight sensitivity restrictions, and unit courtroom staff will provide unit security staff with this Medical Heat Restriction List, which identifies offenders who have a heat restriction and is supposed to require security staff to perform wellness checks, in accordance with Administrative Directive 10.64, ‘Extreme Temperature Conditions in the TDCJ.’

Here at the most corrupt unit within TDCJ, the Mark W. Stiles Unit, the respite area and heat related symptoms policies are not followed. In the 11 building restrictive housing area where there is no ventilation system functioning nor any open windows, offenders can not get a cool down shower or access to the respite area, only because the Unit is short handed in staff and all the cool down showers and respite areas are set aside for general population offenders and not those in restrictive housing.

There are offenders in the restrictive housing area that have asthma, use a CPAP machine, or have other respiratory needs/illnesses. Staff will use their chemical agent on an offender which will effect all innocent bystanders, and won’t take anyone to medical even if they do recognize or notice breathing issues owing to the use of the chemical agent. Offenders have to get the attention of the authorities some other way, and once an offender is at the medical department and tells the nurses or other medical providers what’s going on, we can only get medicines or treatment that the security staff approve of, not what we might actually need.

So basically us offenders with heat sensitivity or any respiratory issues are walking dead at the Mark W. Stiles Unit. Please help us investigate and organize against this corrupt TDCJ unit, we in the Texas prison system don’t want to die.

This article referenced in:
chain
[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Florida State Prison] [Florida] [ULK Issue 74]
expand

End and Abolish

  1. Abolish FSP (Florida State Prison) use of force (pepper spray and cell-extraction beatings) on prisoners who are only voicing their grievances, while in secured cells, not being violent or destructive, just voicing grievances.

  2. End FSP so-called “no talking” rule. Prisoners are being deprived meals and/or pepper sprayed, and/or even beaten during cell extractions, solely for speaking to each other, our stay on CM (Close Management) being prolonged – yes, just for talking to each other.

  3. Abolish mental health staff being in cahoots with and approving of overseer abuse and brutality of innocent prisoners already suffering from CTSD (Current Traumatic Stress Disorder), being misdiagnosed as ‘disruptive.’

  4. End overseers withholding of prisoners meals as a disciplinary sanction.

  5. Abolish preparing meals with subliminal intent of feeding pigs at neighboring swill farms rather than feeding human prisoners.

  6. End FSP serving prisoners meals on mold, greasy and wet trays. Health risk.

  7. Abolish FSP serving meals cold, which are supposed to be served hot. Another health risk.

  8. End FSP serving of half cooked meals to prisoners. Yet another health risk.

  9. Abolish FSP serving of highly carcinogenic, GMO, processed, fake meat.

  10. End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary deviation from FDOC master menu, and serving meals in exiguous portions, denying prisoners legally required nutritional value and calorie count.

  11. Abolish FSP vertical use of black box on handcuffs and waist chains. Black box and handcuffs are designed to be used horizontally, not vertically. Even while having to carry personal property, placing prisoners at great risk of breaking wrists and/or other life-threatening injuries during falls.

  12. End FSP use of exhaust fans and heaters as control and/or torture devices as collective punishment of prisoners.

  13. Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant withholding and delaying of prisoners incoming and outgoing mail as a censorship tactic.

  14. End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary and retaliatory impounding and rejection of prisoners’ incoming publications, based solely on prisoners political beliefs, expression, affiliation and advocacy/activism.

  15. Abolish FSP repression, re-education campaign and war on prisoner’s aspiration of genuine essential self-rehabilitation via political studies, application and practices of genuine essential self-criticism and rectification.

  16. End conducting of prisoners medical sick-call at cell doors, depriving prisoners of confidentiality and privacy.

  17. Abolish FSP pepper-spraying and/or beating of mentally ill prisoners.

  18. End CM (Close Management) solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners.

  19. Abolish the blatant and rampant ignoring the audio/video of prisoners PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) calls on overseers sexual harassment, or declaring mental health (psych) emergencies.

  20. End FSP overseers taking of prisoners personal property and giving it to or leaving it accessible to friendly or favored prisoners.

  21. Abolish FSP discriminatory denying CM I & II prisoners their JPAY purchased tablets and service, while allowing CM III prisoners their JPAY tablets and services, denial of JPAY tablet is based solely on punishment for being on CM I & II status.

  22. End overseer training, indoctrination, instilling mindset that CM is disciplinary confinement rather than administrative or segregated housing. FSP staff and overseers literally believe that CM is for torture of prisoners rather than correction and rehabilitation of prisoners.

  23. Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant throwing away/trashing of prisoners submitted informal and formal grievances.

  24. End FSP fabrication of disciplinary reports, falsifying documents, solely to prolong prisoners’ stay on CM.

  25. Abolish FSP’s racist/KKK/good-ole-boy code of silence. Prisoners are being beaten in the medical building, off camera, in blind spots – being in blues is the new black.

If you are reading this, please understand that the above listed are only a few of the many injustices occurring here at FSP (Florida State Prison). Please understand that our backs are against the wall, we are voiceless, disenfranchised, isolated, alienated and scared of retaliation. Please understand that we are very well aware of the fact that we are in prison, and many believe that we deserve to be tortured. But what we and many others do not realize is the fact that though we are in prison, technically, we are not the real criminals. The actions that land us in prison are only reactions and responses to the mis-education and poverty created and perpetuated by the real criminals, the plutocrat politicians. Most of us are in prison only and mostly because we are not corporation owners who are too big for jail, instead we are the too poor and mis-educated to defend ourselves against the state and the prosecutors who know full well who the real criminals are, their bosses and friends, state and capital.

Please help us by spreading the word and emailing the above demands to all your friends and family, ask them to email it to friends and family, and post it on social media. The idea is to raise mass awareness, and to also let the real criminals, the plutocrats, know that we, the people, know that they are the real criminals, doing all in their power to perpetuate crime, because crime creates and perpetuates state jobs, nationwide.

Please email ‘End and Abolish’ to

  • Governor Desantis: flgov.com/contact-governor
  • FDOC Secretary: prod.fdc-wpws001.fdc.myflorida.com
  • the Region 2 Director: [email protected]
  • and the Inspector General using the Complaint Form at fdc.myflorida.com.

“Real change begins with real awareness.”

18 July 2021, approximate 6:22AM, a prisoner in #1217 cell just got pulled out of his cell and jumped by overseers. Prisoner was already in restraints, two cells away from his cell. He was slammed to the ground, one overseer had his knee planted in the back of the prisoners neck while the prisoner was face down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back, while the other overseer punched him. I’m in the wing next door (J-Wing). Prisoners on windows reported it as it happened.

chain
[COVID-19] [Political Repression] [Abuse] [Connally Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 75]
expand

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.’

chain
[Abuse] [Legal] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 76]
expand

CO's Sabotage Programs Out of Spite Over Court Order

Ever since prison officials at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) were made by a Federal court order to wear body cameras and to cease their terrorist practices and abuses upon the most vulnerable prisoners, the disabled and elderly, (see: Armstrong vs. Newson, et al. Case No. C94-CV-02307 CW) the RJD prison has experienced total lack of programming abilities resulting in lockdowns, modified programs, and other programming restrictions which impede or otherwise undermine one’s opportunities to earn sentence-reducing credits and to perform in a manner expected by/from the Board of Prison Terms, in order to parole. Especially on the weekends, when the Warden and other Department of Corrections administrators are unavailable to mandate corrective actions.

RJD ranking officials will tell you that this is due to a staff shortage, training mandates etc. The truth, however, upon my information, is that these are calculated and coordinated efforts of something more sinister indeed. A Union-coordinated boycott.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) at the RJD prison complex is, apparently, unhappy with the fact that years and years of beatings, false reports, lying for one another and even murder, yes MURDER, has resulted in a Federal court order in the Armstrong case, requiring the staff to wear body cameras. Cameras that not only record the video interactions of sworn personnel and those they speak to, but the audio versions thereof as well.

The actions and omissions of RJD’s sworn officers and other CCPOA members is organized, timed, and planned for maximum effects, and is very clearly a snubbing of their proverbial noses at the RJD Warden and other Corrections administrators.

Through this sophistication these officials protest and boycott the lawful orders of a Federal court judge – a judge they have subsequently claimed was/is biased and therefore should not have presided over those proceedings leading to the court-ordered wearing of body cameras.

If you’re doing what you are paid to do by the public, and if your tactics and demeanor is not disturbing and offensive, why worry about body cameras? They are allowed to turn them off in the bathrooms even.

Through a sophisticated scheme, these prison officials organize and conduct mass strikes via fraud and the misuse of sick leave and personal days, holding prisoners’ access to programs and such hostage. Knowing that, without access to and completion of which (many times, in a set time frame), the prisoners participating in such (now unavailable) programs and activities, will suffer by not being able to benefit from good time sentence reduction for successful completions.

Instead of taking its direction from the federal court (by court order), RJD corrections officers turn their ire on their employers: the CDCR and RJD’s Warden. Under injunction, the very corrections officers who so blatantly demonstrated a propensity for criminal thought processes, activities, brutality upon disabled and other prisoners, and other such criminal misconduct, now employ further, separate and additionally questionable practices intended to undermine, and to otherwise circumvent the lawful processes of the Federal court and the Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States Federal District Court Judge.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT AND IT’LL GO AWAY, RIGHT?

That is called ‘blackmail’ where I come from. It is illegal, anti-people, and is being committed here by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Whether by approval or turning a blind eye thereto. It is still an anti-people and illegal violation of a Federal court order in Armstrong v. Newson, C94-02307 CW.

In fact, a recent order in the above case acknowledges that many of RJD’s correctional officers have assumed a gang-like culture and behavior. The CDCR does not contest these assertions and the Federal court has openly acknowledged the veracity of same. RJD has many Mexican corrections officers who have acclaimed and begun carrying themselves in a manner akin to their Mexican Mafia prisoner counterparts. Both in vernacular, actions and conduct. Including secret identification to one another of membership. And this is anything but the first time. For more on the history of this kind of behavior in California prisons read The Green Wall by D.J. Vodicka.

Racketeering: Today, racketeering often has the broad sense of “the practice of engaging in a fraudulent scheme or enterprise.” Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2nd Ed. by Bryan A. Garner.

chain
[Civil Liberties] [Abuse] [ULK Issue 74]
expand

Innocence Wasn't Enough for Erick Riddick

Comrades, I want to highlight the issues surrounding the Erick Riddick case because I feel it did not get enough media coverage. Sure there was enough attention given to free him after 30 years, however that is only because he knew a famous rapper. What about the thousands of other people in prison who don’t know any famous celebrities?

[Editor: Erick Riddick was released in May 2021 after 30 years in prison in a deal for time served for a guilty plea. His case was championed by Meek Mill, who he met in prison, and brought his case to the attention of some law students at Georgetown University.]

Riddick’s case disturbed me personally because I too tried to raise a claim of actual innocence in court only to be told that claims of actual innocence are not cognizable. For all who do not understand legal language, that means ‘so what if you have evidence of innocence, the law does not permit one to be freed on those grounds.’

The inequality of Herrera v. Collins 506 U.S. 390 (1993) should enrage anyone who has an atom of decency in them. All of these prejudiced kind of laws are opined in private, however the very moment it is brought to the public’s attention at large, like with Erick Riddick, the pretense of justice is miraculously assumed.

Riddick had solid evidence of his innocence and yet that was not enough for his release from prison after 30 years! Because of Herrera v. Collins, Erick Riddick had to plea to a 3rd degree murder charge in exchange for release. The very notion of the plea deal is illegal – words like extortion, ransom, kidnapping, come to mind – but when are government officials ever subject to the law?

When I was in county jail the sheriffs officers there would boast that a court can not order them to do anything. They would say “a court order is only a suggestion.”

Does anyone in the free world care that 4% of the U.S. population has a ‘do whatever you want’ license or is it ok so long as it don’t happen to you? What? You didn’t know that 4% of the U.S. population works to incarcerate Americans? Look around, someone standing close to you locks people in a cage for a paycheck. They take off their uniform before entering the public domain because they know they are enemies of the people. They are hiding their evil, that’s why they change clothes before leaving work at the police station.

I am doing a life sentence, so that you will be frightened into submission. Any who are complicit encourage further tyranny. I don’t have anything to lose but my chains, but I guarantee you this, if you do not stand against the police now your kids will suffer a much worse fate than mine.

None but prisoners know how unjust the laws are. Judges are paid in excess of $300,000 annually to give life sentences but the jury has no right to know what sentence a guilty verdict carries. The Riddick case should be mainstream media. The public deserves to know that the law don’t care if a man is innocent, their only concern is intimidation, life sentences for some so that all will cower down & pay heavy taxes.

4% of the population roams around with a gun and a badge and a fat belly, living off the working man’s hard work! They carry that gun because they are too lazy for a real job. When will government officials be held accountable for their crimes against humanity? The time to stand united against the police is NOW!! It is me today, tomorrow it will be you. Resist NOW!

chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Youth] [Abuse] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Silence Haunts Occupied Aztlán

communism liberates kids from imperialist cages

In the United Snakes of Amerikkka there is an eerie silence surrounding the most grotesque reality of today within the borders of this imperialist settler colonial nation. A silence similar to the one on that cold night in Germany on the 9th of November, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. This silence is different however because unlike that night otherwise known as the “night of broken glass,” this silence encompasses both day and night seamlessly and seemingly endlessly. This silence protects the interests of a select few in power. It protects them from having to answer for the chaos they created outside these arbitrary borders against the survivors of Amerikkkan imperialism by separating the families in custody of the criminal Amerikkkan state. I’m talking about the children in cages.

We’re talking about traumatizing the youth of colonized nations in modern day concentration camps. Like in the concentration camps for “amerikkkan citizens” there is no shred of dignity provided. No recognition of humanity. The magnitude of crimes actually perpetrated by these agents of fascism is unknown. Occasionally a whistleblower will receive a small slot on the evening news to highlight a particular abuse. Hollow promises of change from the settler government followed by silence from the settler masses are soon to come with a distraction here or there to qualm concerns of the still inquisitive.

The European settler seeks to soothe the colonized revolutionary demands in order to settle for reform. So it’s no surprise then when fundamentally nothing changes in the system which perpetuates these horrors. Many who are conscious of said horrors and who claim to be serving the “best interests” of the people are quick to co-opt anything that sounds remotely revolutionary. Democrats or Republicans, Coke or Pepsi, both are toxic formulas made by the colonizers to extract profit from the oppressed colonized people while simultaneously killing them slowly.

Even amongst those who call themselves “the radical left” there’s barely a shred of concern sustained outside of a shareable post on social media. When hysteria breaks out over a single incident millions are quick to interject with an opinion. When over 2.3 million people are incarcerated and enslaved it’s just business as usual. When over 70,000 children are jailed it’s justified to “protect the borders” from Raza fleeing chaos started by those in power within these same borders.

We are all prisoners of war, some of us are politicized prisoners but we all remain at war whether we wish to be or not. Whether we are surrounded by concrete towers, riflemen overhead, or kept in line by terrorists with badges in the barrio. Make no mistake the poor and colonized are at war. They will justify incarnating the “Gangster” or the “Cholo.” They will say that we had “opportunities” but simply made the wrong choices. They will have us believing that we are the problem. Just like they told our ancestors as they burnt our sacred texts and destroyed our highly developed societies. They will teach us of salvation in white Jesus. They will teach us that we may face peril here on earth as slaves to the colonizer but in reality we should be grateful because those same colonizers brought us european religion that will give us everlasting life and a kingdom of riches in the afterlife!

I have a cousin named Jesus but he is brown and I can tell you I have never met a white Jesus. I’m even less concerned with riches in an afterlife when we all are subjected to poverty here in this one. The fact is that we are not the problem. We only had opportunities to betray our nation and class. We were taken from the womb to the tomb. Our sentence was handed out before we even opened our eyes to see the devastation that Amerikkka has brought to the world.

They can fabricate lies about us, but when it comes obtaining a respiratory infection in ICE custody, this is the greatness United Snakes of Amerikkka aims to return to. The “great” genocide of all the poor Brown and Black people unfortunate enough to be “discovered.” Thousands of recorded cases of little girls being sexually assaulted in ICE facilities with untold more numbers growing daily are being told it’s going to be okay because Amerikkka is a Pepsi nation now and Coca Cola is in retreat. Joe is in office and the orange man is out! If we are being honest with ourselves and true to the plight of those traumatized children though. We all know that the shackles which bind us all together on this sinking ship won’t be unlocked by the same person who put us in them. As for the impotent left that is silent to our suffering and the suffering of our children in cages. Break the silence with the sound of marching feet or be tread upon by the roar of history’s feet stomping over the indigent rulers of yet another decaying social order.

Free the children!

Free them all!

chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Republic of Aztlán] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

ROA Statement on Kids in Kkkages

No More Kids in Kkkages

The Koncentration Kkkamps holding migrant children are horrific. We see images of dog kennels being used to warehouse these babies and not enough is being done to shut them down. The U.$. “Left” has been unable to respond properly and something more needs to be done.

We recently discussed this issue where the Chicano Nation has supported the actions of many issues and will continue to do so but when it comes to kids in kkkages the turn out of non-Raza allies is slim to none. This has to change.

The Republic of Aztlán (ROA) has taken a firm stand on this issue. We attend all actions that we can for all forms of injustice and we will continue to have boots on the ground. However, we have reached a position that if we are asked to do security or speak at an action or event if the hosts do not speak on the kids in kkkages we will decline. We will still attend, but will not do security or speak if these allies are not addressing these kids at this particular action.

We feel that we must apply pressure on the overall movement and push them to be more revolutionary. This small act may not succeed but we will have tried.

Children held in dog kennels should affect anyone with an ounce of humynity. People say “Free all political prisoners.” These kids, in our opinion, are political prisoners. More than that, it’s a crime against humynity what is occurring.

The ROA will continue our campaign to free the kids. We are currently organizing a tour where we will address the Kids in Kkkages from Califaztlan to New York, so stay tuned.

chain
[Economics] [Abuse] [COVID-19] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Stimulus Checks Are Being Stolen by TDCJ-CID

[MIM(Prisons) are not lawyers. The legal information provided by jailhouse lawyers in ULK is verified to the best of our ability. This particular issue seems like a winnable battle based on the information provided, but winning will take more effort by comrades in Texas.]

Prisoners in Texas are having the money from their stimulus checks taken by the state to pay fees and restitutions. Section 272(d)(2) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides that the second round of stimulus checks ‘shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and no applicable payment shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.’ This means that this round of stimulus checks may not be garnished to cover overdue debts by federal or state prisons.(1)

The stimulus checks have the same protections as the United States Veteran Affairs Administration whom sends millions of checks across the country to incarcerated former military service men and women whom only get 10% of such checks.

People held by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correction Institutions Division(TDCJ-CID) are having their stimulus checks stolen from their inmate trust funds accounts due to debts owed in the following categories, with the percent of each deposit they will deduct for each category:

  1. federal court costs (20%)
  2. state court costs (10%)
  3. child support assistance (case-by-case)
  4. medical co-payments (50%)
  5. TDCJ-CID indigent supplies and postage (100%)
  6. TDCJ-CID disciplinary destroying prison’s property (100%)
  7. current/prior TDCJ sentences (old or new, no amount specified)

I have written a complaint – a TDCJ Step One Offender Grievance Form No. 2021020837 that said the direction would come form the IRS as to whether those stimulus checks would be exempt from collection. The response was that this “action was out of the control of the unit, no action warranted.”

Thereafter, I appealed that response in another complaint Step Two Offender Grievance Form. I wrote the agents in charge at the IRS Department of the Treasury in Austin, TX but never received any response.

Scholl v. Mnuchin, et al. No.4:20-cv-05309-PJH ND Cal.; Appeal Docket No. 20-16915 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of prisoners getting stimulus checks while incarcerated. The checks in question should not be confused with the most recent $1400 checks under current Presdient Joseph Biden. It was the $1200 and $600 checks under President Donald Trump that were ruled on. These checks should be issued whether one is incarcerated or not because everybody is affected by this global crisis.

According to The Intercept the TDCJ was ironically the only state they spoke to that claimed it was not garnishing stimulus checks to its prisoners. Many, if not all, states have seemingly been breaking the law in doing so.(2)

There is a solution to safe-guard some form of protection to those stimulus checks or other funds.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The author provided names of some companies that used to provide banking services for prisoners. These companies all seem to have closed down. We leave this note here as a suggestion for possible solutions to storing your stimulus money if you can find a similar service that is trusted.

Also note, that according to caresactprisoncase.org, if you have not filed the tax forms for the stimulus checks by 15 April 2021 you may not be able to receive them. At the same time, the official word has gone back and forth on how all this works.

Some comrades have written in to say they are boycotting the stimulus checks. While we agree that these stimulus checks are a means of buying off the population in U.$. borders with wealth stolen from the Third World, as individuals we can still do good things with this money. Like how we view investing in the stock market, we do not take a moralistic view of this money and encourage comrades to get the funds they are legally due and put them to good use in projects serving the people and building independent institutions of the oppressed.

Notes: 1. https://caresactprisoncase.org/incarcerated-people-are-eligible-for-second-round-of-stimulus-payments/
2. Asher Stockler and Daniel Moritz-Rabson, 17 February 2021, Prisons Are Skimming Big Chunks of CARES Act Stimulus Checks, A September court ruling promised incarcerated people their slice of the federal stimulus. Some prisons still took a cut, The Intercept.

chain
[Abuse] [Campaigns] [COVID-19] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
expand

URGENT: Take Action for Texas Coronavirus Sanitation

The Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) is Lorie Davis, and she ordered TDCJ for all units to follow a list of sanitation [protocols]. You can email [email protected] to get this list that’s been ordered, and the phone number to call to report failure to follow these policies is below.

I wrote Lorie Davis and reported TDCJ Telford Unit not following policies implemented by Director Davis, and they still haven’t been implemented. Assistant Warden Mr. Marshall called me out and threatened me, told me to stop writing, and to set down.

My Texas Pack which I hustled hard to get has now come up missing. I think my legal mail is thrown away. If you can please send me a Texas Pack, I can send a donation when I get out, for all the hard work you do and help any way I can.

I need you to call Lori Davis, and please leave my name out of it. I fear what could happen. Right now I’m on the worst effected unit with COVID-19. There’s been 4 inmate deaths, 80 sick and 31 officers have gotten it. And the administration refuses to give any disinfectant to segregation inmates.

By Lorie Davis, we are supposed to be getting Double D [disinfectant]. We’ve not gotten it once. Bleach is not being used or anything else in administrative segregation.

**1-844-476-1289 is the number to report this

Also contact the TDCJ’s Director of Administrative Risk and Review Management Marvin Dunbar at (936) 437-4839 **

The Johnnies (sack) meals we get have little to no food on them. Special medical-prescribed meals, meat frees, are not sent out but every once in a while. Also we are not getting beverages of any kind.

We need you to report these things on Telford. Thank you for your time.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is one of many reports we’ve been getting regarding prison staff not following basic sanitation guidelines in prisons across the country. We just heard from a comrade who got eir parole delayed on a bogus rules violation write up in California for signing eir name on a group grievance that staff were not wearing masks. Not only are staff putting prisoners lives at risk by not following these procedures, but they are punishing people for bringing it to their attention!

chain
[Abuse] [COVID-19]
expand

Inadequate Hygiene Products for Coronavirus

Here in prison, they finally started letting us make phone calls after close to 3 weeks of being on lockdown. But since April 7th we have been on lockdown because of the virus. But Texa$ Telford Unit prison can’t give us any extra soap or cell cleaning supplies, we have got zero cell cleaning supplies. 2 man cell, 1 toilet, 1 sink. We only shower 3x a week, this is during a time when we are supposed to be washing our hands “in all” about a hour a day. We share 4 showers with 48 different people, so we get in the shower right behind someone else, a very small shower that does not get sanitized or aired out after each use. They didn’t even clean the showers for the first 2 weeks of lockdown. Now inmates are dying and even their own officers. Maybe it would have been a wise choice to take a little out of the 3 billion dollar budget and give us some extra soap to wash our hands with? We have to use our own soap to clean the plastic and metal phone after someone uses it (they let 2 people out at a time for phone). TX doesn’t have iPads so we can’t email or watch movies like some states.

In this capitalist world, if you can’t afford a computer or internet you can’t go to school now. So that’s the way greed works.

I don’t really have a study cell but I have had quite a few conversations with people and I let them know that socialism is for the poor and oppressed, like us prisoners, and some of these people want Trump to win and they are for the right. But they agree that socialism would actually be for the better of the people. They hang their head and agree.

P.S. Donation of 5 stamps

chain