This is a medical ‘sick call’ request we are supposed to fill out with as much information we can, to describe the problem. But if one doesn’t have a actual ‘sick call’ request form to fill out, then we can just write it on regular paper. They will and do except it. They also made a new law a few years ago, that requires us to pay a medical co-pay of 100 dollars for a whole year. Unless it is a pre-existing condition or cronic care such as HIV, HEP-A, B, C, cancer ect. A 100 dollars may not seem like much, but it is if a inmate doesn’t have it, and they will get it. For any money that you receive, they will take 20% of it, no matter how much it is.
The doctors here come and go. I have lost count of how many doctors we have had here at this unit. All nurses and doctors are part of (UTMB) University of Texas, medical branch. I am sure for the most part they are really good doctors. I know the ones at John Seal Hospital in Galviston TX, are outstanding. But for some reason the ones they send here to the units are….well they don’t seem all that wonderful to me, they think we are all a bunch of lying men who just fake sickness. But for the most part they are decent. I guess they may think that we here on 12 building are faking illness to try and get out of work, not realizing that we don’t work. I have bumped heads with a few of them. It takes getting pissed off and damn near getting in trouble for some of them to take one serious.
In many cases they don’t take anyone serious until it is far too late, like with those with type 1 diabetes, to the point they need surgery as in having a foot, hand, toe or finger cut off. Hell, there is a guy here on Death Row that they waited so damn long to treat him, they had to cut his whole leg off at the hip! ….At the hip!!! That is messed up, because they didn’t take him serious until it was far too late.
Or as with a really good friend of mine, Max Sofar ‘the Jew’ whom I truly believed to be innocent of the crime he was here for. Lost his life due to cancer because they caught it far too late. After he had complained many times before about the pain and just knowing something inside of him wasn’t right. So when they finally did take him serious, they had to tell him he had 6 months to live. He lasted a year of just a little over a year. That is one cat I really miss. Rest in peace brother.
But yeah, medical here isn’t all that great. They just don’t care, I don’t know, maybe they see us as a waste of time and money since we are going to be executed. I don’t know. But there have been some nurses here that I thought just plain evil. How they decided to take up a medical profession is beyond me…. But lucky for us as of right now we have some decent ones. And they come and go pretty fast through the system.
I would assume for looking at this form, it is to list any restrictions one may have, and to make sure the guards and medical staff are aware of the restrictions. I personal have none… hell, except I am on ‘leg chains’ and in a single man cell.
This form is called a ‘Property slip’. They only issue this kind upon ones arrival to the system, if one comes in with jewelry, shoes, watch or anything they feel requires one to have a property slip.
However commissary will also issue them once one actually buys a item that requires a property slip, things listed for ‘special purchase items’, and one must submit a ‘blue slip request’ to buy a fan, hot pot, radio ect, any electric item, as well as footwear. If you lose the property slip, then you could lose the item for failure to prove proof of ownership. But if it really is yours then it is easy to get a copy of the slip. They keep them on file. If you can prove it is actually yours, they will give it back.
This form is called a ‘Blue slip‘ it is what you fill out in order to be able to buy a blue slip item. If your property is broken, stolen (yes there are thieves in prison. If they set caught … lord help them, because they are considered some of the lowest of the low. Right up there with snitches and child molesters) or ed for any reason, and one wishes to buy a new item, you have to submit a new blue slip request, they will approve it if a) you have the money to buy one, b) you have turned in your old one, c) proof that is was confiscated they give you a confiscation form. You are only allowed to have one of each special purchase item, unless it is footwear. We then can have either 2 pair of shoes, or 1 shoes and 1 boots or 2 pair of boots. But only one radio, fan, hot pot, lamp, typewriter ect. You must submit this blue slip form filled out and turned in with the commissary list on the day you are allowed to go. Which is supposed to be one time within a two week period (14 days). They are usually pretty quick about approving blue slips if one has the funds to buy it.
However, these items can and are confiscated for many reasons. If you alter it, open it, if it isn’t yours or some jackass guard just doesn’t like someone and wants to be an asshole about it, for something as small as having a sticker of a smiley face on top of the radio.. .they could say it is ‘altered’ pretty shallow, but it happens … rarely, but it happens.
This is the actual ‘Confiscation form’ as you can see they have multiple reasons for which they can confiscate anything they want. They should add a box that says ” I am being a jackass and don’t like the inmate so I am taking his radio because I can”. They can and do take anything they want from us. But we have a choice of sending it home or allow a visitor to pick it up.
If I cut the sleeves off my shirt, they can take it, if something that is supposed to have my name on it doesn’t, they can take it. Like I said, something as small as a sticker is reason for them to take it. Anything they deem altered from it original form, they can take. But as I said, they do give us the chance to send it home or it is a safety risk. Unless the guard is a real jackass and doesn’t give a confiscation form. Then you are screwed for the next 6 month. But luckily, we don’t have but a small handful those kind, But now due to the cameras they can’t get away with it.
Speaking of the cameras, they are everywhere and this isn’t a penny cheap surveillance system either. it cost 2.5 million dollars to install, and is pretty state of the art. Not that I know anything about state of the art.. . hell I don’t know anything about computers. I believe they were brough here by little green men that crashed here on planet earth years ago. So thank you little green men. But for a better understanding on this surveillance system, (see Texas prisons migrate to network video, by Michelle Lyons, December 15, 2011 at TDJC website securitvinfowatch.com). They were installed due to this idiot calling senator John Whittmire from here and let me tell you, things haven’t been the same since. It was a whole different prison (12 building) back before that inmate did that bone head move. Messed everything up, that one man. I’m sure he was likely the most hated man in TX prisons at one time. But not only Texas, his actions started a wild fire for all the southern and southwest prisons. I would have hated to be a Texas prisoner in another state! They would had likely took his actions out on all Texas prisoners! He single handedly shut things down in many prisons. Causing guys to lose thousands of dollars worth of illegal contraband. And the bone head didn’t learn his lesson about messing with senator Whittmire, he then writes him a threatening letter, mad because senator Whittmire squealed on him for calling him on a illegal cell phone. I tell you, this guy has a larger than average size brain.
Oh well, it takes all kinds. I was mad at him, real mad, but I realize he is a dumbass. He has to live in protective custody for the rest of his time here and if he was to go to general population … I am sure out there as well. They keep him in a cell that has a camera in it. Messed up way to have to live, in this already messed up place. But he brought it on himself.
This is Commissary slip one has to fill out and there has to be two exact copies, but we can use as many of these as needed. The spend limit is 95 dollar every 14 days. However some things do not count against the 95 dollar spend, such as stamps, typing ribbons, correcting tape (I bet y’all didn’t even know they still made that stuff eh?), blue slip items, over 20 dollars. The blue slip request must be turned in with this commissary form. as I said, if you have the money they will bring it to you, the blue slip item. Next time you are allowed to go, in 14 days, they will not bring it to you the day you turn it in. It first must be checked and approved. It will go to the property officer and s/he will check to see if you turned your old one in. Then to the warden for his okay. The way this works since we are ‘lock up, DR-Seg, you fill out the blue slip and commissary slip you then fold it around your prison issued ID card. That has a black magnetic strip on the back that has all our information on it. Account information, medical, and I am sure housing and what our classification on it. Mine would say Polunsky Unit, 12 building, B-pod, 55 cell, 2-row, Death Row. From my understanding which is limited, it has everything they need to know about me on it. I would be surprised if it didn’t.
The guards will pass out these slips and then once you fill it out, you hand it to them they will set it on the door and once everyone has given them their cards, they will pick them all up and take them to the commissary. Each Pod goes on its assigned day, one pod at a time. Commissary will then fill the orders with the help of some general population inmates who work in the commissary and once they have filled each and every order they will then load it all up on these big ass carts and bring it to us, doing one section at a time placing the items in front of each cell. and then check it , make everything you ordered is there and then give it to you. Pretty simple, well for me but maybe not for them. I mean I just wait for them to bring it, they do all the work.
For those on commissary restriction, they are only allowed to buy stamps and hygiene, until they get off commissary restriction. 10 Dollars of stamps or stamps and other writing supplies, and 10 dollars worth of hygiene, every 30 days. or until they get off restriction. whichever comes first. They can give up to 30 days on a minor disciplinary case, and 15 days cell restriction, but they can give you less if they want. Up to 45 days commissary restriction on a major disciplinary case.
As far as commissary goes, DR is bit different from G.P. In what we can buy, such as, we aren’t allowed to buy razors, finger nail clippers, locks, electric razors and a few other things. Other than that it is the same. And we were at one time allowed to buy all these things. But it seems like every time we get a new major or warden who wants to be an ass, he will feel we should’nt have something and then have the guards confiscate it, example, at one time we could have multi outlets. But now we can’t and even though they allowed us to buy these things and had them for years, Huntsville will turn a blind eye and allow the majors and wardens to take whatever they want, just because they can. Oh well, welcome to prison right?
These rank want to impose G.P.-AD-Seg. rules on us when we are not ‘GP’ there is a reason they allowed us to buy these things. Now as far as I know G.P.-AD—Seg. has never been allowed to but some of the things we were able to, that is because we are classified different. Such as they cannot have shaving razors in their cells, DR can and do. But like I said, it is due to the way they rotate the rank through here. We get new wardens and majors every two years or less. And each one wants to bring his own set of rules for the way he wants things done. I understand that, but why take things we are allowed to have? We aren’t G.P.-AD—Seg., so don’t impose the same rules. But what do I know, I ain’t running nothing here. (more on G.P.—AD-Seg. special housing environment
These are lists of items they sell us in the unit commissary. Most of it nothing but junk and family size! Which accounts for many of us on the row being ‘chubby’ . . .that is a nice way of saying a bunch of fat asses! Being trapped in a cell with 95 dollars worth of food … yeah, it will put the weight on you real quick! I got pretty chunky at one time 230 pounds!!
Now this is something that they have been doing for the last 3-4 years ‘E-comm’. It allows friends and family to buy us things. They just go to the TDCJ website and buy some of the things they have listed. But not everything they sell us here is listed on the E-comm, such as stamps, drawing supplies, electrical items, shoes, shirts ect. All it is is mostly food. The unit commissary will fill the order just as they would with the orders they fill for us, and will do their best to sub any item they don’t have with what they do have. They really do try and fill the order the best they can. Anything left over money wise, they will place it onto your prison account or make up for it with the cheapest things they have to the last cent. If it is just a few pennies, they will give you 1,2,5, 20 c stamps. They don’t get to keep a penny from any money left over. So they will fill the order down to the last penny, they don’t rip people off of their change. The regular commissary purchase receipt looks just like this but has my balance on it.
This is a money deposit slip. It allows family and friends to send money via money-order , personal check. But TDJC also has caught up with the technology age and now allows people to send money through TDJC website, (which I hear is pretty cheap), JPay, PayPal, bank account ect. So this money slip isn’t needed unless someone is sending a money order, but even then I don’t think it is needed as long as the money order says ‘pavable to inmate trust fund Charles Raby # 999109’. In other words, as long as the inmates name is on it, then he will get it.
This one is a money withdrawl form. You must fill it out if you wish to send money off your prison account to anyone on your visiting list, or attorney, or personal bank account. Or if you wish to buy some books, magazine from a publishing company. They allow you to do this if you have the money. You fill it out, send it to the warden and he will send someone to you with the form, watch you sign and thumb print it and either approve it or deny it. It usually takes about two weeks to 30 days.
This is a segregation confinement record. It pretty much speaks for itself. As yu can see they can put you on all kinds of things down for whatever kind of restriction they wish to impose on you. STG affiliation is a prison gang, a ‘security threat group’ such as the Aryan brotherhood, Texas mafia, Mexican mafia, Texas syndicate, Pistolaros, Aryan circle. This are all prison gangs, meaning that they were created in prison. From the moment one is tagged a gang member, it sticks with him or her for the rest of their lives, if they get out of prison and come back, from the moment they step in the prison, they are placed in GP-ad-Seg. What is odd about that, is they only do that to these ‘prison gangs’ but allow known ‘street gang’ members to live in GP. I would assume that is because if they locked everyone of the known gang members up much of Texas prisoners would be in Seg. So gangs such as Crips, Bloods, Latin kings and many others are free to run things in GP. If they are allowed to run free out there, then these old prison gangs should be allowed to as well, right? But what do I know.
‘Paper mask’ is for those who like to spit on guards or bite them. ‘Paper gown’ is for… hell I really don’t know what anyone would have to wear a paper gown for. Although I have seen them worn. Mostly just to embarrass a man. I really don’t know, but it could be for someone who destroys TDJC issued clothing.
‘Food loaf’, well this is for those who destroy the food trays, refuse to allow the guards close the food slot, give back a spoon, throw food on a guard, throw a food tray … You mess with anything food related, then they will put you on food loaf. I have never been on it but I have lived next to guys who have and tasted it. That was enough for me. What they do is take that days meal, put your food into a blender, add corn meal and bake it and give it to you in a paper sack. Not as good as it sounds, I know it sounds really good, but trust me, it is not.
When they place someone on food loaf, it is for 7 days. On the 7th day they are required to give you one hot meal, but if a person get ‘stacked’ food loaf restriction, and they can stack it for up to 30 days, then every 7 days you get one hot meal. I don’t know any who are that foolish, to keep messing with the food slot or trays.
Some states have outlawed these food loafs, due to the court’s ruling them unconstitutional. But when they do make it, it has to be that days lunch, supper or breakfast. I know there are some in GP who like them … they are hardcore, but they are half starved also, so they will eat them just to fill up. I would eat it if I had to, but screw that …. I like my green beans on the side!
The breakfast one isn’t to bad, they use pancake batter on that one and it is like a big fat pancake, kind a sweet. They add syrup and fruit. So it isn’t to bad. I would eat one right now.
They also have ‘paper tray’… I have been on that. They just put the food on a paper tray in smaller portions.
‘Water interruption’ is for the nuts who like to flood the cells and walk ways by placing their mattress in the door frame, jamming it in there and just flood their cells like a swimming pool. Then pull the mattress back and about 100 gallons of water come rushing out everywhere, going into everyone cells. Kinda petty, it isn’t the guards that have to suffer, but they do this because a guard has pissed them off or their neighbor has hurt their feelings … petty shit. So when that happens the guards come and turn of that guys water.. But many times they don’t even care so the fool will do it again … nothing to do but except it. They don’t have to turn everyone’s water; each cell has its valve. So if they turn it off it doesn’t effect us all. Needless to say I have learned to keep my things off the floor. I used to sleep on the floor … woke up surrounded in water, mattress wet, and pissed off. So I don’t do that anymore.
Luckly this doesn’t happen often on DR. Those here on DR are pretty decent guys and many of them will at least give a heads up before they do it. So you can’t do anything but do your best to build a dam and respect the fact that he told you before hand.
Now this is a ‘classification review’ form, happens every 6 months. This is where they are supposed to actually see you and talk to you, have a psychologist there to ask you questions, have a nurse there asking you questions. They evaluate you, make sure you are sane or if you are having problems ect. But they don’t even bother to call DR to classification. they do this with GP. They used to do this with us, but stopped once we arrived here at this unit. They always write ‘refused to attend’ . ….Hell they don’t even ask. So they lie on the form saying ‘refuse to attent’. But this is what they call a psycho-anlysis evaluation. They will show up at your door, and ask you if you are okay, you say: “Yes” or “Get the fuck away from my door” … It is always pretty much the same, they move on to the next guy. You could be sleeping, they will wake you up and ask: “Are you okay?” You say: “Yes” and they move on. They don’t ask you to get out of the bed to talk to you, they just move on. Really professional.
Here on DR there are 3 different classes.
Level 1 …Is by far the best of the levels. You have all your property, can go to commissary, rec 5 days a week 2 housr at a time, 4 visits month. One 2 hour visit a week, unless it is a ‘special visit’ meaning if the visitor comes from over 250 miles. But those are two 4 hour visits per week for just one week out of the month, and can order books from the prison library.
Level 2 … This is a down grade and they take a lot of your personal property. Hard back books, all electrical items (except the fan, food, clothing you bought from the commissary, art supplies and a few other things. They take these things for 90 days. 4 Days of rec for 1 hour a day, 2 visits a month, no special visits, no commissary other than 10 dollars stapm and 10 dollar hygine spend every two weeks, no library, not hard back books.
Level 3… same thing, but the only difference is, 3 days rec, and 1 visit a month, 10 dollars of stamps and hygine. Really not much of a difference.
So level one is the place to be. Nothing like level 1! When you are downgraded, it is for 90 days. If you get another case? You have to do another 30 days.In level 2 and 3 they take all your food away, radio, hot pot hard back books, and store it in the property room until you make your level 1 back, and that will not be until 90 days.
I myself have been on L-2 and 3 a few times …. I’ m not an angel. I’m not perfect, don’t want to be. My last major case resulted in me having to wear leg irons every damn where I go now. Oh well… (more on that later).
13. This is the same form, but notice how they downgrade me from L-1 to L-3, I went to level 3 for this case. I had to do 90 days.
14. This is why I am placed on leg irons. Assaulting this pig. (More on that later but let’s just say … I lost that fight hands down and pretty badly, got my ass whooped that day. But I was handcuffed behind my back!!! And there were 3 of them.
15. Whenever you go to level 2-3 or on and type of chain, such as medical to the free world hospital or to the hospital at another unit, or if the court orders you to bench warranted back to the county jail for whatever reason, such as a hearing, a date or a new trial, they must inventory and documentary all of your property, before placing it in the property room. You will get it back the day you return or the next day, or when you make your level 1 back.
They call it ‘the chain’ because man oh man, they chain you up damn near from head to foot! A real chain locked to a thick leather belt, that has a black box that handcuffs are locked into in front of you, then the chain is then connected to the leg irons (leg cuffs) and lock … so you are chained the hell up and you aren’t going anywhere! But regardless they have to always inventory your property.
Well I am having doubt about putting some of my disciplinary cases on here… Again, I am no angel, but hell, I’ve been telling all about myself, so why stop now, right?
These are just a few of the many cases I have had over the years. Most resulted in me being placed on L-2 and L-3. Yeah, I have been there a few times … You would think I would had learned my lesson the first time … well I admit, I’m kinda stupid … but I THINK I have learned my lesson now…I think, but time will tell.
16 A. This is a case I got for having a TV remote control. You see, back at the old unit, Ellis 1, where we were at before the big DR escape, we had Group rec and TV. There must have been 20 TV’s on the cat walk in front of our cells, each on the same station. Well, there was a boxing match a couple of guys and I wanted to watch, but everyone else wanted to watch some stupid show they had seen before. So I had this convict get me the remote, and from my cell I changed the station, put it on ESPN Classic bouts and I think the fight was Boom Boom Machine (I know I didn’t spell his name right). But man oh man what a fighter, could take a bloody beating and still come out on top. Well, that didn’t sit right with this inmate above me, so he squealed on me. So I got a case for having the remote … but the guard still left it on the boxing match. He didn’t like that I had the remote…but he disliked even more the inmate squealed on me.
16.B I got into a fight….
16 C. I got into another fight….
16 D. I was helping a convict who needed some writing supplies, all he needed was some damn paper and envelopes to write his family. But this pig saw me give it to him and so she squealed on me.
16 E. Refused to shave, but now we can grow a beard, so after all the refusing to shave cases I got over the years I started growing a beard. Not because I actually like it, but because they don’t..childish of me? Maybe. But at least I don’t have to worry about a damn shaving case anymore. But it is also for religious reason as well.
16 F. Yeah I told this pig I would slap the shit out of him because I felt I had good reason to tell him that. I was in the day room one day working out and he calls me to the bars. I don’t even know who this Lt. was at the time, so I see it is a Lt. and out of respect for the rank he had I went to hear what he had to say. I step up to the bars and he just started talking to me like we were the best of friends. So I am talking to him, no problem. I am showing him respect. But then he started asking me questions about what do I know about what is going on down there on F-Pod. . .(that’s where all the level 2- and -3are housed. So he asked me about this certain convict. Asking me about his business thinking would rat him out end those of F-pod. So yeah. . . .it pissed me of he even asked me that shit. So yes I did. I told him and I mend it: “I would slap the shit out of him for asking me something like that.”
Well, long story short. . .I got sent to F-pod, ho wrote me a case for ‘threatening a officer”. He is a sorry little pig.
16 G. This one was me helping out my neighbor Jeffrey Woods. Ho didn’t have anything to eat and was hungry, so I sent him some food. I don’t mind helping guys out if I can. I ain’t rich, but I ain’t greedy either. I like J. Woods. Well, this pig saw us and squealed on us. So we got a case. I think this chick had it in for Woods, she did not like him and I don’t know why, but I never saw him do anything to her. She was just one of those mean pigs who feel it is their duty to come back here and mess with us. Anyway before we go to court, I tell Woods: “Look Dummy, it is Lt. Newman who is running court, he is fair and will not screw us over, so just plead GUILTY”. He said: “Okay”. Well, here come the two guards to take us to court, they take Woods first. I repeated: “Plea guilty dummy”..so now he came back … I can see Woods ain’t happy. I said: “What happened?” He said: “the Mother fucker threw the book at me!”
So the guards take me next, they are telling me the story and telling me: “Woods went down there and was saying that the cases should be dismissed because the items she listed were not the items that were passed, she lied and just wrote down anything.” Which was true, they weren’t what I sent to him. I sent him some peanuts and a candy bar. But come on.. .she caught us so yeah we’re guilty. So Lt Newman is asking Woods are you guilty or not, Woods Pleas Not Guilty because she didn’t even conficates the things she said she saw. It is a good argument …. but it didn’t fly, so The Lt. finds him guilty and gave him 15 days cell restriction and 30 days commissary restriction.
So now it is my turn, I step in. I see the Lt. and tell him right off the top: “I am guilty and that dummy doesn’t speak for me”. That got a laugh out of him but he said he has to give me something because he threw the book at this clown. So he gave me 5 and 5. I told Woods and I think he told his sister and she called up here because soon after he was called to see the warden. So I kinda got upset with him telling him he shouldn’t had did that. But anyway, we are cool, I like Woods.
16 H. This is why I am on leg restraints. Long story, but you can read all about it in the law suit I filed.
16 I. I got busted with a joint. I was pretty sad that day. Not because of the stupid case I got, but because of I lost my joint my buddy gave me.
16 J. Here I failed a piss test. I thought I could beat it, everyone says: “Drink a bunch of pickle juice”. So what do I do, I drink the pickle juice … and I ate the whole pickle. All it did was make me sick. So needless to say I failed the piss test. So take it from me, that pickle juice trick doesn’t work.
16 K. Here I refused a piss test. I admit, I was dirty and since I wasn’t about to dink anymore damn pickle juice, and make myself sick with something I know didn’t work the first time.. .I just refused. I would rather refuse than come up dirty. So see, I sometime do learn a lesson pretty damn quick …. I still went to level for 90 days.
17a. This is a visitation form.
17 b. This is a approved visitation list
18. This here is a step one grievance
19. This is a step two grievance …. rarely does anyone win one of this things. I’ve never won one. And everyone of the responses is the same response.
20. This is what they call a 1-60 … you fill it out with you question and it usually get ‘lost’ or no response. Sometime come will answer them, the only ones I have ever gotten any type of response from is the mail room, they are pretty good about responding. Other than that … waste of time.
21. This is a mailroom denial form. If someone sends me anything the mailroom deems I cannot have, they will show up at my cell door in the morning to have me sign this. In this case it was a map. Something I have been getting but all of a sudden they want to deny me. I should win the appeal, what is stupid. I can have my attorney send them to me and they won’t say anything. But this is a first, so we’ll see. The rule states no maps of the surround area of the prison or a detailed map of Texas, only Texas. This my friend Amanda sent is of my old neighborhood.
22. The form you must allow to order case law, law books, rules of TDCJ, employee roster. Etc. Since I am in special housing, lock up Seg, they pick the order form up. Fill it and bring me the requested items, 3 days a week. I get to hold on the items for 24 hours. But one doenst really need this form. One can write out a request on regular paper.
23. A form for general reading library. We are allowed 2 books a week. There are thousands of books in the library. They have a ‘shelf list’ they provide upon request. That lists all books. Something, they will bring book. But again, one doesn’t actually need any of these request forms to make a request. One can write it out on regular paper. However, there are some forms one must use. Such as grievance form, money withdrawl form, commissary slip, but for the most part you can use any paper.
24. This a monthly invoice. The inside has who all has sent $ to me. With drawl amounts for the purchases I make or $ I may have sent out, or if I owe the state or courts. It will list how much they take, and my balance.
Mail call is the highlight of the day. The way mail works is pretty simple. First, you write your letters and since this is Seg. the guards will pick it up at 5;am, than they put it in the mail bag and place it in 12 building main control picket, and then the mail room staff will come to 12 building to pick the bag up and then take it to the mail room to be processed. Mail is supposed to leave the unit within 24-48 hours and then passed out within 24-72 hours. But they do take their time.. .but to be fair, I don’t think they actually ‘take their time’. They have a lot of mail to process, and each and every letter is read, incoming and outgoing. You can read the mail room procedures on the TDCJ website. BP-03.91 Uniform Offender Correspndence Rules.
They do try and go by these rules. I personally have never had them screw me over, not saying they don’t do others like that, but on a personal level, I have never had them withhold my mail or refuse to send it out unless there is something in the letter I am not supposed to do. A good rule to follow is, don’t piss the mail room staff off. Now with Gangs, it is a bit different, their mail is withheld longer. It is sent to Gang Intelligence (GI). There are some guys here that will argue with the mail room staff … more power to them, I ain’t saying don’t voice your opinion, but there is a way to do it, and calling them bitches and ho’s and other things is not the way to go about it. Hell, they are the last people I want to piss off.
We cannot seal the letters, it has to go in the mail room opened. they in turn read it and slap a strip of tape on it. Any who have received letters from TDCJ know what I am talking about. Legal mail or ‘special correspondence’ we can seal. Letters to Attorneys, the media, state representatives, the courts ect. Other than that must remain open.
Legal mail and things the mail room staff deem ‘contraband’ or packages and books, are not sent to the cell blocks to be passed out by the guard, the mail room staff will personally show up and open all legal mail in front of us, if there is something they say we cannot have, they have us sign a denial form. Everything else is sent to the cell blocks to be passed out by the guards. And they don’t pass out mail until 2nd shift. And that can be anywhere from 6:pm until whenever they get around to it. They try and get to it pretty quickly. Depending on how much of a work load 1st shift left for them to do. So they get to it when they get to It. But they do get to it.
The way that works, the guard shows up at my door, and will ask me my name and number, and then give me my mail. However there has been many times that they have given me the wrong mail. I just give it back when I see the mistake … yet there are some … very few, but there are some that will either keep it, throw it away or in a worse case scenario write that person and say: “Well, Charles said it was okay for me to write” …. So, to anyone writing to me, that will never happen. I don’t give out address or have people write my friends and loved ones, even those I no longer write to. Like I said that is a rare thing, but I have known it to happen.
But for the most part, things with mail go pretty smoothly for me. But that is just my impression of it … I am sure there are some that can and do bitch about it not being fast enough and feel there is a big conspiracy going on against them regarding mail.
If guys are gang members or have done something to warrant the withholding of their mail, then it will be withheld and gone over with a fine tooth comb before it is sent out. Welcome to the penitentiary, is all I can say. This IS prison. . .they DO take security very serious. So sometimes mail is a little slow. I have no complaints.
Visitation. Well, I don’t get a lot of visits, the only family that seems to give a damn about me enough to comes and see me when she is able to, is my little aunt Charlotte – who is more like a little sister than aunt- bringing her kids my cousins and she writes me. But other than that, I don’t hear from any of the others. So I don’t get a lot of visits. I have friends throughout the years who have come from and far as Austria, The Netherlands, Canada, New Vork, NH, MI, and some in TX. All wonderful people. It is good to get out of this cell and go and have a normal conversation with someone who is not dressed in a white prison uniform or a grey TDCJ guard suit. Talk about things that are not about that damn commissary, mail, the rules. To talk about things and actually look at that person as you get to talk to them.
The way l have to talk to someone here? I stand at the door and talk out my door to someone in the cell next to me, or down the walk way. Or I stand at my door and talk to them while they are in the day room and that isn’t much of a conversation and I am not much of a talker. The only time I can have a fairly decent conversation with someone is when I go outside. Unless it is with someone who wants to do nothing but bitch end moan about this place. Then I tell them: “Change the subject or stop talking. I have a better conversation with myself”… Although that is a bit of a one sided conversations. I am doing all the talking not allowing myself to get a word in edge wise!
But yes, it does the mind and soul good to get out there and talk to someone who is not a guard or inmate, someone that took the time and spent their hard earned money and drove to this prison just to spend 2 hours with me, or in the case of special visits, 2 four-hour visits. To spend time with someone who cares, give a damn about me. It makes me, and I am sure the other guys here feel damn good. I know I do. I wish I could see more of my family. I wish I could get my ex-step mom Wanda back on my list. She is one of the most down to earth woman I have known. But it is what it is. Letters and visits does us, me on a personal level, the world of good.
Differences Death Row (DR) and General Population (GP)
Death Row is nothing like general population (GP). When I was in prison (GP) in 1990-1992, it was nothing like it is today. When I was out there than… man, it was pretty rough and wild. Back then, fights were a everyday common thing. Hell, they didn’t even write disciplinary cases for fighting. They would just break it up, ask: “Is it over?” And then send the inmates back to the dayroom. But even then, the guards knew it wasn’t over, and sure enough round two would happen, let them slugg it out for a little bit and then break it up and send them to their cells. Than they MIGHT get a disciplinary case and that was a minor case. But these days? All fighting cases are major disciplinary cases. But DR is very different. Even when we were at the old Ellis 1 unit in Huntsville TX, there were few fights. Granted there ware some killings as well and yes there were fights, but for the most part, just as it is here, we get along with one another.
General population is very racial, I mean you can feel it. Blacks sit with blacks, Mexicans sit with Mexicans and whites sit with whites. Most fight are racial, or they were when I was out there.
And in prison? Being white? Well, you have just become the minority, and hated. So whites do a lot of fighting against the other races, whether you are a racist or not. Whites and Mexicans usually stay on good terms. But white and black? Mexican and Black? There is always that racial tension. And it results in riots. Whites and Mexicans will side together and fight the black guys. It is just the way it is. I grew up with Mexican and black friends, I am a part Choctaw, a registered tribe member of the Choctaw nation. I am a white indian. Proud of the blood that runs through me. I am not racist, but prison, if you have a pale skin, you fight! Period. You fight or become someones bitch.
Being in prison showed me a different side of the races. But it is prison and you get with your kind or be singled out. One thing I liked about the black guys. When it came to a fight, you could be pretty sure it would be a fair fight, a fist fight, one on one. Two men fighting, win or lose.
But fight a Mexican? Men, there is a good chance you will get stabbed or clicked on … meaning you will have to fight 2-10 of them! I’ve been clicked on. Not as bad as it sounds … hell you have 5-8 mother fuckers all trying to hit you at the same time, no-one is really landing a good hit, they would hit once or twice and run. Now that would be a deadly difference if they all had shanks! A shank is a homemade weapon fashioned out of whatever they can find. I have seen some wicked looking shanks in prison. Evil looking things, from being made out of metal to strong plastic. Razor blades tied to tooth brushes, combs, pencils, whatever. Pad locks, can goods, you name it, if it can be used as a weapon, then there is someone who will use it. White, black, brown red or yellow, if they feel they need it, they will use it.
I’ve seen guys get cut, shanked and just walk away never telling the guards if the guards don’t see it, and as long as it isn’t life threatening. Same with fights. There were many things out there that were never reported or seen.
Prison was wild when I first came to it. But changes ware in the mix as I was there also. Like when I first came, you could only live in e cell with the same race. But while I was tare, they started integrating the cells. That caused a lot of fighting, and stabbings and rapes. Here just recently due to a lot of rapes, they now have made it to where you can only live in a cell with someone who is within 20 pounds of you and close to your hight. I guess this is to give everyone a fighting chance.
Prison rape is as low as one can go. Animals. But the week are preyed upon. Some are strong armed into it … I would have to say all of them are strong armed into it … In the 2.5 years I was out there, I never ever saw any FORCED rape. But I did see strong arm rape. Where they would bully some week and scared guys into it, and the week and scared come in all kinds of shape and sizes and a verity of colors. I never saw the act itself, but you can just tell. But I ain’t saying that forced rape doesn’t happen. I am sure it does.
Now back before my time? back in the 80’s? Texas prison was deadly, people going home in body bags, and the guy who killed them get 15 days in lock up. Seriously. Or 2-10 years. I know a guy who used to be here on DR who killed another DR inmate, stabbed him and threw him off 3 row, and he only got 3 years TDCJ time. That was before my time, but still, it was no big deal to kill someone in prison back then, TX prison was rough then, and this was during the birth of TX prison gangs. So there was a lot of stabbing and fighting going on and back then, TX prisons were so over-populated that they had inmates sleeping in tents on the outside rec yards and in the gyms. Granted all this is hand-me-down information, but when I have had over a hundred old timers tell me how it was then and every story mirror image? I take that as a sounding ring of truth.
Back than inmates ran the prisons, they did everything, from Medical to count, they had these ‘special’ inmates that ran things, they called them ‘Building tenders’ or ‘Turn keys’. These from my understanding were some of the lowest form of sorry ass humans alive. Inmates with unlimited power over other inmates. And upon ones arrival to a until the first person who saw your ‘jacket’ ‘travel card’, all your information, was a building tender… And if it was a child molester? It was not good. They did those guys bad. Beaten and some were killed or ‘turned out’, meaning raped. But back then, the whole system was segregated, blacks lived on their own cell blocks, whites theirs, Mexicans theirs.
Then they desegregated things, let everyone live on the same cell blocks, but the cells ware still segregated. You could only live with your race. This is what gave birth to the rise of prison gangs. ‘Safety in numbers’. This is also the time when those ‘Building tenders’ started being killed. TDC,J started hiring more and more correctional guards and the inmates ‘building tenders’ who used to beat and rob inmates now had to go into Protective Custody (PC). Then a few years rolls by and they start locking these prison gangs up…putting them in Seg. so those building tenders had nowhere to run. If one found out a inmate was a Building tender? EVERYONE knew and they would have to send the inmate to a different prison or risk him being murdered.
But they couldn’t lock all the gang members up, they just got the heads and the ones they knew for sure ware gang members. But they had cell blocks full of them who they didn’t know, and from the stories I have heard, it was bloody. Stabbing everyday … the Mexicans ware stabbing any and everyone who insulted them or showed any disrespect. But so were the whites and blacks. Gang fights, riots, rape and murder were a common thing back in the 80’s in TX prison.
I guess you could say I caught the tail end of that, it was still rough and there were stabbing, but I never saw a killing or even knew of anyone being killed the whole time I was in prison, and nowadays? If you hear of a killing it is a rare thing and one where something happened to where the guy felt so wronged that to him killing was the only justifiable thing to do. But there were still plenty of fights when I was out there. For the most part fair fights. No weapons, no clicking, just two men going at it.
As for my time in General population … well I stayed in trouble. Refusing to work, fighting, being out of place (somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be), tattooing, so I did a lot of time on Close Custody … that is the knuckle head cell block. Guys who don’t follow rules, who fight, you name it, they were there. I was mostly there for refusing to work. I worked in the fields. And let me tell you in TX prisons, more so the ‘farm’ prisons, they work your ass in the hot sun and it is not fun. And I didn’t mind the working part, it was the ‘flat weeding’ that I said to hell with this. Flat weeding is when they issue you and 15 other guys a big ass gardening hoes’, this is called a ‘hoe squard’ basicily they turn you into a human lawn mower. So you have 15 guys all lined up, and the hoe ‘which they called an ‘Aggie’, everyone has to hit the ground in time, 4 times, 1 ,2,3,4, and after the 4th time the aggie hits the ground, everyone together takes a step forward. This is called 4-step, but they also do the 3-step, 2-step and 1-step. So that ain’t hard, pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but they would have us 4-step about 30 feet, turn around end 4-step back, then to a u-turn to start cutting next to the cut you just hit.. ..I said fuck that. They want me to hit the fucking ground chop up the ground with this aggie, hitting nothing but dirt for the most part. And I did it for a little while, and one day I was ‘hitting on it’ and thought by myself….well your stupid ass can’t read and write, they won’t let you go to school, and you have about 2 years of this shit to go. ..so I told the guard, I’m not doing this anymore. Of course that didn’t sit right with him. So I got a case for refusing to work. I knew I was going to have to stay in the fields for a long all time because of the fights I had in the field. So, 6 more months of that just to be able to get a different job.. .or just refuse to work until it came time for me to make parole … I chose the go do nothing. Well hell, I admit, I fit right in on close custody, but man, if I would had known it was like that, I think I might had did my 6 months in the fields and got a different job. There was always fighting and riots. And hey, I will admit it, in a riot it is a bit nerve racking, 50 men going at it and you just swinging away hitting everything that ain’t white, not knowing if you are going to get stabbed …. yeah, it was a scary feeling. I kept a damn black eye for damn near a whole year on close custody, and it was like we always stayed on lock down. It sucked.
But things have changed a great deal on close custody from when I was there, When I was there, they let us stay in the day room all day, all three rows. So that could be 224 people in the day room at the same time, there were 3 rows and each row had 34 cells and two men to a cell, and the day room was about 100 square foot …. maybe 75, it wasn’t big at all. So you have that many hard heads in there, someone is bound to get rubbed the wrong way and a fight or two will start. But now, from what I have been told, close custody isn’t that much different than Seg. Other than they get 3 hours a day in the day room one row at a time. So it is nothing like it was when I was there. It is far more controlled these days. But one thing will always remain the same regarding close custody, it is full of hard heads. So there are still plenty of fights.
My time for parole was fast approaching, I was pretty stupid, I thought I would be able to just parole from close custody, but a cell mate, Eskimo, told me no, I had to get my S-4 back and my good time, so that meant … going to those fucking fields 6 months, than I got my line 2 back, I was at Line 3. So they moved me to medium custody, and still I was in the fields, but then I got a job change, lost that job for fighting … but I had to make my S-4 before I could get that job. So back down I go, this time a line 1. So I am back in the fields … but now I am liking them, I made my S-4 but choose to stay in the fields, so I was able to make my parole date. I was very fit from the fields back then.
I wish l would had known how to read and write back then. I could had take advantage of all the schools and trade schools that TDCJ has. Welding, meat cutting, brick laying, boiler making, all kinds of things, Collage classes, GED classes, High school diploma classes.. .TDCJ does offer a lot of things to inmates. I was just too stupid to do these things…so I did what I always did best, stay in trouble.
Man, my first time in jail, I was 19. This was due to the fight I had with my step dad. But man, I have never been in a adult jail like that, not a tank/cell block full of inmates, so this was all new to me.
Well, they made a big mistake with classifying me. I had never been to prison, but yet they placed me on the Harris County jail, on the 11th floor, in tank 7-B-1. The mistake being, I should not had been up in this tank, the whole 11th floor was nothing but convicts who had been to prison. So I got thrown in a tank full of men who had done hard time. So right away, about 10 minutes after I am there …. I get into a fight with some black cat they called ‘Little Daddy’, he comes up to me demanding I give him the things they issued me, sheets razor, toothbrush and comb. Told me ‘they call me ‘Little daddy’. I told him: “No”, and he walks up on me and round one begins.
Round two started when he wouldn’t stop looking at me, so I took it to him. I had no idea everyone of these guys had been to prison, but once they pulled up apart (the inmates his homeboys) they talked to me, and they told me to let it go… .I understood that they would beat my ass if I attacked him again. I didn’t win that fight, but I didn’t lose it either.
So after that this old Mexican cat pulled me up and told me ‘you did good homes’, he started asking me all kinds of questions about which prisons I had done time at. I told him and the other who gathered around that I had never been in prison, they were all shocked that I was even there. And said this was a convict floor. Everyone except me had been to prison. This is where I first started hearing about the stores of how it will be.
So I told them what I was there for and they were telling me: “You gotta do this, you gotta do that.” Well, I ended up getting a year County time. Got in another fight … this time with som Mexican who was from the same neighborhood I was from, and unknown to me. A man by the name of Robert Westford Aka Crazy Robert, had just killed his cousin. So we are talking and I am telling him all the people I know, and brought up Crazy Robert. I asked if he knew him. He said yes, that is when he told me Crazy Robert killed his cousin. Crazy Robert lived with my ex Kari’s family, my daughters mom. I was totally unaware of this, I hadn’t had any contact with my ex in about 3-4 months. He told me that his family ware going to get even and that they had already did a drive by shooting shot a shotgun at the house … the very house where my child could have been. Well, I made the comment about there are children in that house, he said something along the lines of fuck them’. I than told him my daughter could be in that house … So we both stand up and I got dead on his ass. He broke my nose, I didn’t even now he broke it, but I whooped his ass, told him if anything happens to my kid, I know where all his cousins live.
I had no clue Crazy Robert had killed his cousin. That was a bit of a shock to me, but in no way was I surprised … Crazy Robert is a killer, the most deadliest man I knew out there. That wasn’t the first guy he had killed.
Well now I am going to court, and who do I see? Crazy Robert. Well, he actually saw me first, so we talk and I ask him about it, he said yeah he killed the guys, beat him to death with a pellet gun. This guy threatened Crazy Robert and that was cause enough for Crazy Robert to kill him. He told me that once the guy threatened him he went in the house saw the pellet gun grabbed it, went back outside and the guy had his back to him and he beat him all over, the head with it. Those were his words to me, the truth. But he beat the case … self defense. How? well seems my daughters aunt Cynthia and her grandmother testified at Crazy Roberts and LIED to get him off. So yeah, he beat the case.
I recall talking to my ex one night about it, she told me that the guy died right on the same corner where I layed bleeding to death after I got shot. She gave me the impression she was there that night … I ain’t saying she was, but that is the impression she gave me, because she pretty much told me the same story Crazy Robert told me.
She knows Crazy Robert was deadly. She grew up with this man in her life, saw him do things that she told me about, how as a young girl she saw him tie a man to a motor bike and drag him down the road, beat people, pull a gun and pop a cap right next to the mans head (she was with me when I saw this happen. I thought he killed the man)
But to her Crazy Robert is a good guy… she actually testified that I am the meanest person she knows …. the whole world would be better off without me. What about Crazy Robert? That man was the deadliest man I have ever crossed paths with. I know that her sister and mother saved Crazy Robert from going to prison for the murder of that man. That much I do know … She has known him, SAW him beat a woman, but I am the monster…
Sorry about that, I got off track. . .but yeah after that, I put in a request to work, to be a trustee. I got a job as an ‘Orange band’ which meant I was moved to the 12 floor and got a job outside the jail working for the District Clerks office. There was this other inmate there, and he would pull these big books off the shelves and read old cases to me, stage coach robberies, all kinds of things. He then showed me all these old drawings on the pillars the building. You could tell they were old, like from the 60, all that Flower power stuff. All we did was sit around eating cookies and drinking coffee and sweep the floor now and then.
My mom used to come to see me and bring Amber with her, during this time, the whole 6 months I was in the jail, Amber (my daughter) lived with my mom. Her mom only came to see her once during that whole time, took her to Galveston and she got a bad sun burn. It wasn’t until 5 days before I was to get out of jail that Kari came and took Amber from my mom.. That broke my mom’s heart, Amber was her first grandchild by her first born. So she took that pretty hard.
But yeah, I lost that job, had to have surgery on my nose. I didn’t even know it was broken but the doctor wanted to do something…I personally think they were just practicing on me! There was nothing wrong with my nose, I didn’t even get a black eye due to it being broken, no X-rays- nothing- taken, so I really question if it was even broken. Well once they got done with me, man I looked BAD. They really messed me up.
I recall my mom brought Amber to sec me, and you could just see the look on her little face like: “who the hell is that! What the hell is wrong with him?” But once I started talking to her, she knew it was me.
But that is how I lost my job. So than I get sent to the 10 th floor… this is the youngster floor, meaning everyone there was 17-20. And it is a wild floor, nothing but fighting, it was pretty rough. But they saw how messed up I was and no one messed with me. I think they thought they thought the pigs whooped my ass. But once I fully healed, I got into a fight … this is also where I met Chief, my friend Ray Esparda. Whom introduced me to Merry Alice. He is Choctaw so we clicked, hung out together every day. I recall one morning I was going to whoop this black guys ass, and asked Ray: “You got my back?” He said: “Yes”, so I got after this chump and he takes off into a cell full of black guys who where all sleeping, So I go right on in after him. Well he didn’t want to fight and the ones that woke up told me to gat out of their cell. So I got out. Ray is there looking at me like I was crazy. I think he thought I wasn’t going to follow that sucker into that cell. I wonder if Ray would had had my back if all 5 of them black cats would had got on my ass? … I’m gonna say Yes. We got pretty close in jail. Good man, I hope life is treating him well.
So then I get out…then go to prison for that stupid aggravated robbery charge. The rest you know.