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Posts Tagged with "Texas prisons"

Texas locks down prison on Labor Day to avert work stoppage

November 1, 2016

On Labor Day here at the William P. Clements Unit, a prison in remote Amarillo, Texas, the prisoners awoke to a late breakfast: a single PBJ sandwich, a small bowl of dry cereal and no beverage. This grossly inadequate meal, which is our common fare during institution-wide lockdowns, signaled that a weeks- or months-long lockdown was in effect. Hunger pangs set in almost immediately.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Prisoners call for a national strike on Sept. 9, the anniversary of Attica

September 3, 2016

Prisoners in Alabama, Texas and many other states have coordinated and released a call for a national prison strike on Sept. 9, 2016, the 45-year anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. In their call, the prisoners declare, “On Sept. 9 of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On Sept. 9 of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”

Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?

May 27, 2016

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees Texas Correctional Industries, the prison industry division within the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, has authority over how much compensation inmates working for the state receive for their labor. Currently, inmates working for TCI are not paid for the work done while serving their time; the only inmates who are paid anything are the small fraction who are employed by TCI’s private sector prison industries program.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Exposing toxic work conditions inside Texas Prisons

April 28, 2016

Environmental injustices are forced upon people of color and disadvantaged minorities. This is a fact and not a subjective feeling or statement. Prison officials and ACA inspectors attempt to cover up and downplay the fact that numerous Texas prisons have contaminated water supplies and Texas Correctional Industries employees force pri­soners to work in toxic environments. Does anyone think the U.S. government will intercede on our behalf?

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Prisoners in multiple states call for strikes to protest forced labor

April 8, 2016

Prison inmates around the country have called for a series of strikes against forced labor, demanding reforms of parole systems and prison policies, as well as more humane living conditions, a reduced use of solitary confinement and better health care. The strike’s organizers remain anonymous but have circulated fliers listing a series of grievances and demands and a letter articulating the reasons for the strike.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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End prison slavery in Texas now!

February 11, 2016

In Texas we know that we are being exploited, mistreated, degraded and abused. Many prisoners in Texas are content with the modern day slave plantation system, which is managed and operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, many prisoners are not content; in fact they are frustrated and angry. The strategies utilized by prisoners in other states that have similar conditions to Texas don’t necessarily apply here.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Prison officials, ACA inspectors ignore contaminated water in Texas prisons

October 21, 2015

In the September 2015 edition of Prison Legal News, Panagioti Tsolkas of the newly formed Prison Ecology Project wrote a scathing article that shed light on a serious problem at a prison located in Navasota, Texas. Dangerous levels of arsenic have been found at the Wallace Pack Unit. “How could the American Correctional Association continue to give Wallace Pack Unit passing marks and rave reviews if the drinking water is contaminated with poison?”

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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‘TDCJ placed me in harm’s way because I spoke out in reference to the extreme heat’

July 19, 2015

Greetings, brothers and sisters. This year in Texas we have seen a marked increase in the exposure of heinous acts of abuse and mis­treatment perpetrated by state employees who work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Behind the scenes, the prisoners responsible for this massive movement to combat injustice have be­come victims of retaliation and harassment at the hands of prison officials and, elected state government officials.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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There is power in unity!

November 30, 2014

For many months here in Texas, Comrade Rashid, our minister of defense, and I have struggled hard to shed light on the heinous acts of barbaric violence perpetrated by Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees against prisoners of every race, nation and creed. If it was not for Dr. Willie and Sister Mary Ratcliff, publisher and editor of the San Francisco Bay View, revolutionary voices might never be heard by the public at large.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Houston needs a civilian review board – but Texas needs much more!

June 29, 2014

For the past four years, community activists and civil rights leaders in the Houston area have been fighting hard to establish a civilian review board with prosecutorial power over local police. The board would oversee the activities of a Houston Police Department (HPD) which has had a “love affair” with the use of excessive and lethal force on Houstonians. The problem with HPD is much larger than it appears and affects everyone in Houston.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Texas prisons spend money cooling pigs, while inmates are dying from 120 degree heat

August 18, 2013

The Texas prison system, which incarcerates far more Black men than nearly every state in the country, is under scrutiny for spending $750,000 for facilities designed to keep pigs cool in its farming program, while simultaneously forcing inmates to live in such extreme heat that several people have died as a result.

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