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Under Lock & Key

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[Drugs] [Mental Health] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 76]
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Targeted as Mentally Ill for Honesty & Not Participating in Staff Drug Running

I have done it again. I have earned myself a mental health referral from a C.O. for the 2nd time in 1 year. Both times for simply speaking the truth. Apparently, C.O.s are so blinded by lies that they interpret the truth as some sort of mental illness.

So last week I was being escorted to medical by a C.O. and do not remember the topic of conversation but I remember the statement I made that earned me a mental health referral. I said to the C.O., “Out of all the 1000s of inmates at this prison, not one of them has ever kidnapped a person and held them in a cage for a whole lifetime. That is real evil and only the government is guilty of that kind of evil.”

Of course, he had no reply. One week passes and I get a ducket yesterday for mental health(M.H.). My first thought is, “what is this, I have not submitted any request?” But then I look at the date of referral on the ducket (last Wednesday) and I remember the only thing that happened last Wednesday is my statement of blame to said C.O. and now it is clear why I have this mental health referral.

This is the 2nd time I have earned a M.H. referral under this circumstance. Earlier this year there was a campaign to remove me from 5 Block. Some of the C.O.s there were bringing drugs in for 1 of the inmates. This inmate did not trust me because he knew I do not agree with that lifestyle, and so he was asking the C.O.s to kick me out of the Block. I did not snitch; really I couldn’t care less about what corrupt C.O.s and gangbangers do, but they were afraid of my honest lifestyle choice, and so they tried their hardest to remove me, and they failed in that.

Well, one day as I was entering the Block the tower cop stopped me and asked me why some of the C.O.s had such a problem with me. I simply told him the truth. I said, “No, I am not doing anything wrong but if some C.O.s are collaborating with gangsters then that is something that should be looked at, so stop looking at me as though I am the problem.” The following week I received a ducket for mental health. The truth was interpreted as a mental illness, so I have discovered that when C.O.s are confronted with truth, they tend to attack it. I think this phenomenon is because they feel the guilt of their own actions. They are taught from a young age to have blind faith in someone else’s interpretation of what is right and wrong; so completely blinded by lies that when I remove the blindfold, and reveal the simple truth, it is interpreted as mental illness.

There was a 3rd time I hit a C.O. with the truth, but I did not get a M.H. referral that time. Again, as I was entering 5 Block, a tower cop stopped me and asked me why I was having such conflict with the C.O. that is bringing the drugs in. I replied that “I don’t like (greensuits) because I am doing a life sentence for a crime I did not do.” She was taken aback momentarily by this, but she recovered quickly and shot back that, “It is not my fault, it is the court that did that to you.” A classic little Eichmann.

I did not continue to argue with that C.O. because I have a lil respect for her straight forward approach as evidenced by the fact she did not give me a M.H. referral. Rather, I gave her all the time she needs for the truth to sink in that she is the one that pushes the button to either open or close the door on my cage.

Her own greensuit makes her directly responsible for my imprisonment. It is irrelevant that she has good looks or that she has qualities that I admire such as an honest straight forward approach, or that she is blinded by lies of what is right or wrong. All that matters is that tower cop is directly responsible for depriving an innocent man of his freedom. She is directly responsible for holding guilty men in a cage far longer than anyone should be detained.

MLK said that “when confronted with truth, we have an obligation to stand up for what is right.” The only thing greensuits stand up for is a dirty paycheck. We all must remove the blindfold of faith and see ourselves, truth!!

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[United Front] [ULK Issue 76]
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Black Mighty Loyal Soldiers and All Black Loyalty Join the United Front For Peace!

My organization’s name is Black Mighty Loyal Soldiers/All Black Loyalty. I am the founder of B.M.L.S. and Comrade Ziggy is the founder of A.B.L. He is housed at Bland Correctional Center. He would love a copy of your newsletter as well. He should be coming home.

The united front principles mean a lot to my organization, because I have been brought up on these principles since early 2011. With needless conflicts amongst ourselves, we could be making a lot of progress towards our goals. Oppressing each other only keeps us back economically, educationally, and weak.

I try very hard to unite those facing the same struggle as me, so they can see what’s been going on with us and communication is a must to expose imperialism and capitalism. Unity can and will have us at the finish line.

I love Growth, because “We don’t go through life, we go through life.” We have to continue to educate ourselves on financial literature, health, and our history to understand our identity. I love to teach people the “Ten Wealth Principles.”

We can’t fight against oppression if we support any form of it. It’s insanity, people should learn about internationalism (all oppressed people). To see that policy is how it should be, we all move as one fighting for the same goal.

The more independent we are, the better we are as a whole, that’s how I can relate.

I am going to send copies of my organization protocol, and principles.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 75]
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Prison Tears

I cry and the teardrop is full of metal bars
The bars being another representative for these hidden scars
No one can feel my pain because it’s locked away
How can you sit in a cell and stare at the four walls all day?
Looking this way and that way, right and left, which ever way the tears flow
Pain and the trauma is the very essence that cause the tears to grow
I lost my liberty and the only thing I can do is freely cry

Plastick of MIM(Prisons) adds: I’m sure many of our readers can relate to the pain this poem expresses. The retribution and the brutality the pigs lay out on the masses and revolutionaries strikes us at our hearts. Mao Zedong taught us that all men die, but death varies in significance: death lighter than a feather and death heavier than Mount Tai. Malcolm X in regards to his life as a lumpen gangster said that it is of no shame to have once been a criminal, but the shame comes from staying in that criminal road unwilling to change.

The author of this poem has done more than just cry in prison. Ey has supported MIM(Prisons) financially, reported on local conditions and studied revolutionary theory. Of course these things can all be controlled by the state or the whims of the prison guard, so perhaps they cannot always be done freely, or without retribution. We print this poem as a genuine expression of a USW comrade, but include this addendum since we do not agree with the conclusion as the pages of Under Lock & Key should make clear.

If you are reading this comrade, know that the world is with you! That goes for our readers as well! There’s much more we can do – more that we must do – against the imperialists and the reactionaries. The world is yours!

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[ULK Issue 77]
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Sunrise

A splash of light comes in, unexpectedly. My “wings” rise in the morning curtains. Shadows creep under the corners and then fly. Black birds drop off by the sun nearby.

Shadows creep under the corners and then fly. Windows open to my inside, I can feel the wind as it blows by. Sunlight warm up old hinges. A new landscape stirs by inches.

I gently touch the future unfaded hills. A new landscape stirs by inches. Wild strawberries taste sweet again. My air has been washed in the rain.

These verses break my chains. You too can listen, as I live and cry. A splash of light comes in, unexpectedly. My “wings” rise in the morning curtains.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 77]
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The Gates

The gates will open, and once more I’ll be free. But there’s a fact that makes me wonder, What will become of me?

Do I have a “future” awaiting me such as the past I’ve known? Will there be opportunity of “employment” for men such as myself? Or will I have to sell drugs, steal and rob again, in order just to get by?

What about my “family” who love me very much? The ones I haven’t seen in years. Can they accept me now without any doubts or fears?

What about the “people” I once knew, but haven’t seen in a while, Will they accept my “friendship” or will I be forced to walk alone?

Yes. The “gates” will open and once more I’ll be free. But there’s a fact to make me wonder, What will become of me?

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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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[Prison Labor] [Economics] [ULK Issue 75]
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Juneteenth Didn't Free Slaves in Prison

A few weeks ago lots of Black folks were celebrating Juneteenth, which they claimed was about the banning of slavery in the U.$. Say what? Apparently none of these folks have read the actual 13th Amendment, which only banned plantation slavery, while opening up far more slavery with its Exclusion Section, which basically said “slavery as punishment for a crime is just peachy.”

…how about you get the May 2021 issue of Prison Legal News and read the main article, “The Punishment Economy: Winners and Losers in the Business of Mass Incarceration.”

A fact not mentioned in the article was that businesses (owners) in many foreign countries are making money “servicing” U.$. prisoner needs.

Until just a couple of weeks ago, me at 75 years old, with various health problems, was forced under threat of write-up to work as a kitchen slave. So I get to read the labels on the products used there.

Oranges and mixed vegetables from Mexico. Cut carrots from Spain. Franks (weenies) from Canada. Cucumbers from Mexico. Broccoli from Mexico. Pineapple from Indonesia. Heat sealed plastic gloves from China. White plastic “sporks” from Vietnam.

Do you think the owners of these businesses make donations to U.$. politicians that always vote for more laws, more prisons, and more money to cops?


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: We share this writer’s concerns about prisoners being used as a source of exploited value by capitalists. When Third World countries begin to delink from the united $tates economically, Amerikans will face serious crisis and imposing fascism on segments of the u.$. population in the form of slavery is a likely outcome as we saw fascist Germany do.

However, we think the concern about foreign companies selling cheap produce to u.$. prisons is misled. In fact, most of the value created in producing that food in the Third World is stolen from those who make the food and realized in the First World (see our recent review of John Smith’s Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century). Even those Amerikans reaping the profits on these food sales to Amerikan prisons are not likely backing prison construction. Food is about $2.1 billion of the $182 billion spent on mass incarceration each year in this country.(1)

But what about this question of prison labor? The persyn above has written us numerous times to challenge our line on prison labor. In 2018 we did a survey of ULK readers to further research this subject. And we have extensive articles on the economics of the U.$. prison system available to those interested. But we are always keeping an eye out for new info, so let’s look at this Prison Legal News article.

As it turns out, this article does not offer much information on prison labor at all, far less than our research does. The article is a thorough documentation of many ways that companies are making money by offering services to the government related to prisons and to families of prisoners; what we might call profiteering or even extortion in the case of fees charged to families.

1 in 8 U.$. jobs rely on prisons - Big if True

Daniel Rosen doesn’t cite the source of this one in eight jobs estimate towards the beginning of eir article. Regular writers for ULK have long called Amerika a pig nation. Then why does Rosen turn around and ask, “are we just producing greater corporate profits at American families’ expense?” It is Amerikan families who are getting payed labor aristocracy wages to work these 1 in 8 jobs that relies on this system of punishment. Meanwhile, the majority of people suffering from the injustice system are members of internal semi-colonies, not Amerikans. And this is the exact contradiction we try to bring to light every time we get into this debate.

After citing the exorbitant amount spent on staffing prisons, Rosen offers a section on how employees are underpaid. In states like California, prison guards start at salaries that most reading this newsletter will never see in their lives. To make eir point sound reasonable, Rosen claims “pay for starting prison guards is usually in the range of $25,000-$35,000.” This range actually represents the lowest 10% of prison guards in the country, with the median actually being at $45,000 per year starting salary.(2) Is this underpaid? As regular readers of our work will already know, employed Amerikans are generally in the top 10% income earners globally, including those that make $25,000 per year. An individual living on $45,000 per year is in the top 2%.(3) And as many of our readers know, overtime and hazard pay are a regular occurrence in that line of work, easily putting annual prison guard salaries into six figures.

Our writer contacted us about prisoner labor, not prison guard labor. The reason this is relevant though is that it represents the economics of those who see prisons as a product of corporate interests. It often comes hand-in-hand with those who see $50k/year pigs as the oppressed and exploited opposed to the corporate interests. Even if they’re in the top 2%, they are still in the bottom 99% that the left wing of white nationalism sees as allies. This idealism wants to see all people come together for a common cause, ignoring the different material interests of different groups in the world today. We focus on prison organizing because there is a greater consciousness in prisons that these pigs are part of the imperialist system and that they serve the enemy because they benefit from that system.

I Pay Your Salary, Buddy

Rosen starts off his article with the message that U.$. taxpayers are paying $80 billion per year to lock people up. While there has been an upsurge of concern about spending on incarceration in the halls of Congress, why is it that the same “fiscal conservative” voters who don’t want social services are quick to yell “lock them up” when it comes to so-called “criminals”? Our explanation is that the system that is trying to control the rebellious oppressed serves them. It serves them with some of the highest incomes in the world, from which they pay taxes. These incomes, and taxes, are superprofits stolen from the international proletariat.

We know many in the prison movement are not Marxists, and therefore may not accept the labor theory of value. With such people we are working from different theoretical models and different terminology. It is not a coincidence that such people are predominately reformists. We need to be debating Marx vs. bourgeois economics. Even many self-described “Marxists” in the imperialist countries think there is an infinite amount of wealth to go around.

Rosen writes, “Recidivists are the primary ‘product’ of the punishment economy and the real source of its profits.” It’s true, unlike the military-industrial complex, there is no real product being made here, just ancillary services like phone calls and food delivery. But are recidivists the source of these companies profits? No, the only source of profits is surplus value from surplus labor time. And as we’ll reiterate here, that is coming from the Third World proletariat.

The Endless Road to Reformism

Of course, most of the concerns about mass incarceration that Rosen mentions in this article are ones we share. One that we’ve been discussing lately is how for-profit communication services are replacing in-persyn visits and mail under the guise of reducing drugs. Yet the drugs magically keep getting into prisons, and now prisoners communications are being digitized for easier monitoring and censorship, while valuable resources and family connections are being cut off. We’ve also helped expose the issue of a second-class system for migrants, the vast majority who haven’t even committed any anti-people crimes, being stuck in poorly run, privately-owned prisons on behalf of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

We just don’t agree with Rosen’s economics and where it leads us strategically.

We agree with Rosen that there is a whole slush economy around incarceration, that’s the nature of the United $tates mall economy in general. And in the case of imprisonment, the result is buying people off to support it. There’s too much money, corruption and greed in this system. But this is nothing particular to incarceration, and incarceration is just a tiny drop in the bucket that is this problem. Do we want to make this tiny corner of the imperialist economy a little less gross? Or do we want to end mass incarceration? liberate oppressed nations from imperialism? end exploitation of the proletariat? We are aware that a majority of our incarcerated readers might lean more towards the first option. And while we appreciate our prison reform allies who stand with us in many campaigns, this newsletter is not a forum to promote reformism.

Rosen writes “[t]he most important way that mass incarceration fails prisoners is by all but guaranteeing that they’ll come back.” This is one of the true crimes of the system. Socialist countries like China showed the world how prisons could be used to integrate former oppressors into a new people-focused society. Yet, “corrections” in the u.$. has always taken a much different form, one of punishment. And this is why we prioritize our Re-Lease on Life Program for those released from prison to help comrades continue to reform themselves and integrate back into society as servants of the people, and avoid getting locked back up. Our humble program is a precursor to a system that will serve to rehabilitate the real criminals on this continent in a socialist future.

This country not only institutionalizes disparities between the oppressed nations and Amerikans in the united $tates, it is a tool of genocide in how it affects the productive and reproductive years of a vast segment of oppressed nation men. These problems beg the solution of liberation and independence.

Rosen closes eir article with a number of examples of progress in reforming the ills ey discusses. We agree these are progressive things, and yet they do not address the problem. Which is why you won’t see these campaigns in the pages of ULK. See recent discussions between USW comrades on how to organize prisoners in a way that keeps our eyes on the prize. Sometimes our campaigns will overlap with the reformers. Even then, we must promote the proletarian line and not succumb to coalition politics.

Notes: 1. Peter Wagner and Beradette Rabuy, 5 January 2017, Following the Money of Mass Incarceration.
2. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Prison_Guard/Salary
3.https://howrichami.givingwhatwecan.org

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[Abuse] [Stiles Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 75]
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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:
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[Control Units] [Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [Foothills Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 75]
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Hunger Strike Against Segregation in NC

On 15 September 2021 twenty four prisoners declared hunger strike at Foothills Correctional Institution in North Carolina. By 2PM the administration locked up 3 comrades. Me and another comrade stayed fasting.

They only give us phone once a week; no yard in a month; and less than 2 hours of recreation per day. Basically we’re in segregation for no reason. I reflect on these b.s. measures, then I asked myself why and how does this opre$$ion end?!

“Why are the battles endless?! Why the Us vs. them?! Why is the Earth CRYING ?!”

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[Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Arkansas] [ULK Issue 75]
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Victory in Battle for Stimulus Checks in AR

In regards to the article by a Texas prisoner “Stimulus Checks are being stolen by TDCJ-CID”, well Texas isn’t the only state with such tricks up its sleeve. Last week the great snake of Arkkkansas done the exact same thing, however, they turned right around & put the money back in prisoners’ accounts after being met with resistance by means of grievances. Quite often they’ll try to pull a caper simply just to see if they can get away with it. Point: Utilize the grievance process.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Right on to the comrades in Arkansas who stood together to grieve this issue. As we say, there are no rights, only power struggles. Just because the law says they can’t take your stimulus money doesn’t mean they won’t. A comrade in California has drafted sample grievances and raised the money to distribute them to comrades who haven’t received their stimulus money in that state. We’ve also been hearing from more comrades in Texas and in the Federal Bureau of Prisons who continue to fight this battle. Because we are getting so many requests, here are some FAQs from https://www.taxoutreach.org

Will the amount of my second stimulus check be reduced if I have overdue debts in prison?

Unlike your first stimulus check, your second stimulus check has greater protection from garnishment. Like the first stimulus check, your second stimulus check is protected from back taxes or federal and state debts. In addition, the second stimulus check is also protected from debt collection. That means that federal and state prison cannot reduce the amount of your second stimulus check to pay overdue debts.

Will the amount of my third stimulus check be reduced if I have overdue debts in prison?

It is unclear whether your third stimulus check will be reduced to pay certain prison fees or debts. We will update this page once we have more information.

What happens if my stimulus check was sent as a debit card instead of as a check?

The IRS sent a letter to prison officials that if debit cards couldn’t be processed at your prison facility, prison officials have to return the debit cards to the IRS fiscal agent at:

Fiserv
Attn: RAPID
1007 North 97th Circle
Omaha, NE 68122

The debit cards will be voided and you will have to claim the stimulus checks as the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a 2020 tax return or using GetCTC.org if you don’t have a filing requirement.

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