by Gulley Britney
The infamous Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Texas, a notorious women’s prison known for its high percentages of suicides, prisoner brutality from staff, racism and transphobia, never ceases to make controversial headlines.
On Lane Murray Unit, prolonged solitary confinement is concealed by the name “Restrictive Housing Unit, or RHU. Some prisoners have been in RHU more than 10 years with no disciplinary offenses.
There are some in our housing unit just because of their color or gender identity as transgender.
There are some who are in RHU because they filed ombudsman complaints against the staff and/or prison operations, and out of retribution were propelled into RHU.
Why are so many prisoners in solitary confinement in the Lane Murray Unit? Why are so many prisoners, eligible for general population, held hostage in the dungeons of RHU? Why are so many Blacks and transgenders in RHU? On Lane Murray Unit, the oppression is so vicious in RHU, the prisoners are captives in obstruction.
It is statistically evident and scientifically proven that solitary confinement causes mental destruction, and emotional and psychological damage. But these known facts have yet to give Texas prisons a logical and sensible incentive to end solitary confinement. If anything, these truths of human decay have enhanced the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s supposition for placing and keeping women in RHU on Lane Murray Unit without justification.
Social anxiety, depression, lack of coping skills, separation anxiety from society, difficulty adapting back to society, institutionalism, elevated mental deterioration from existing psychiatric disorders and the beginning or increase in violent behavior are just a few consequential disadvantages that we must suffer from after a short period of isolation. After long periods of isolation, these disadvantages multiply and intensify.
On Lane Murray Unit, RHU is utilized for punishment! A gift of torture! Warden England, a Republican and recognized white supremacist, affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), is quick to place Blacks and transgender prisoners in RHU, which in fact is filled to capacity – 85 percent of its occupancy being Black and transgender – for an excessive amount of time. Faulty investigations from the bribed Ombudsman’s Office proved our enquiries futile.
Ad seg – its newly dubbed moniker RHU – is concealed prolonged solitary confinement.
With nothing productive or rehabilitation in an RHU, there is nothing positive to ensure our housing unit occupants any support or hope. Prisoners on Lane Murray Unit are thrown into a dungeon, locked down 24 hours a day. Our RHU prisoners on Lane Murray Unit rarely receive outside recreation and/or showers due to staff shortages or staff not pulling prisoners out of their cells, just because they don’t feel like it.
Outside recreation is our only access to fresh air and to keeping in contact with reality outside of a prison cell. The dangers of an idle mind in RHU can be a deadlock on a prisoner’s sanity. In theory, RHU is not punitive. In practice, it is punishing. This torture on Lane Murray Unit causes trauma in various areas of life that can become unable to heal.
At Lane Murray Unit, as a result of me being a political prisoner, activist and published writer, fighting for Blacks and transgenders and their prison rights and exercising my freedom of press and speech, my First Amendment was violated when Warden England locked me in RHU in an unethical conspiracy to suppress me from writing more articles and essays, for political organizing and filing complaints about the gruesome and horrific conditions, treatment and abuse that exists on Lane Murray Unit.
I was retaliated against and framed for stopping an assault against one of the very same offensive officers whom I exposed in previous articles that went viral in the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, bringing light to their racism, transphobia and corruption. RHU placement was applied as a tactic for punishment in my circumstance.
In RHU, a mental health program is supposed to be offered to assure prisoners are reformed, ready to be around other prisoners, provided a platform of eight prisoners with mental health stability. Upon completion of the program, you are guaranteed release from RHU – to no avail! This is yet another game for TDCJ, allowing Lane Murray Unit to receive extra revenue from the state, taxpayers’ money.
Of course, the so-called program is just for appearances to placate us and repress civil suits, especially by protesters in the movement working to abolish solitary confinement and educating legislators on the abused custom of utilizing solitary confinement as a means of correction.
How many amendments must be violated and ignored before legislators say the Lane Murray Unit system of political operation of this housing unit is deemed unconstitutional?
How can you have an alleged mental health program in RHU on Lane Murray Unit with no clinicians? Why is it this alleged mental health program still has prisoners enslaved in RHU after completing over two years in the program? Why are there so many prisoners in our housing unit held in captivity when they meet the criteria and standards for general population?
Nelson Mandela stated, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” The Nelson Mandela Rules, according to the United Nations, outlaw prolonged solitary confinement.
So why does Texas still have women prisoners held hostage in the Devil’s Playground of RHU? Solitary confinement is detrimental to a human being in an incalculable number of ways. How many amendments must be violated and ignored before legislators say the Lane Murray Unit system of political operation of this housing unit is deemed unconstitutional?
How long is long enough to keep a prisoner in RHU? This is torture! This is inhumane! Solitary confinement was supposed to be abolished!
All Texas did was change the name of ad seg (administrative segregation) – prolonged solitary confinement masquerading as RHU – concealing its depravity. Where is the justice? Is this where taxpayers’ hard earned money goes in the state of Texas? Are taxpayers encouraging inhumanity with funds invested in TDCJ?
TDCJ receives extra money from the state for every prisoner in RHU. Ad seg – its newly dubbed moniker RHU – is concealed prolonged solitary confinement. There are many hidden truths to be revealed, evidence of inhumanity in Texas.
How can you help? File a complaint on my behalf, stating I’m a political prisoner, published writer and activist; that I was retaliated against by ranking officers due to me exposing corruption, transphobia, racism, abuse and venality on Lane Murray Unit.
Please contact: Sen. John Whitmire, (512) 463-0115 (Capitol), (713) 864-8701 (District); Executive Director, TDCJ, Brian Collier, (936) 437-2101; House Representative Senfronia Thompson, (512) 463-0720 (Capitol), (713) 633-3390 (District); and/or the Inspector General’s office, (512) 491-2000.
Ask them why am I in RHU (Restrictive Housing), prolonged solitary confinement. Ask them why my constitutional rights were violated while these officers walked away undisciplined, and I sit in a 6-by-6 cell 24 hours a day. Tell them how I am in RHU in an attempt to silence me from exposing more injustices on Lane Murray Unit! Why is the ombudsman not doing their job? An investigation is warranted.