The journal of Kenneth Warwick

My name is Ken Warwick, TDCJ-ID # 1197085, and I am a murderer. Never mind what I used to be. Never mind that I used to be a paramedic. I won't be remembered for all the lives I've saved, or the peoples' lives I've touched. I will forever be remembered for the life I took. I will forever have the "jacket" of being labeled a "felon", a murderer.

Dec. 10, 2008

Parole, a good-time/work-time is a sick joke in the Texas penal system. It's a hoax, a scam. Some time ago the feds told the states that they have to either paying their inmates for working, or accredit then with "work-time" toward their sentences for their labor. Now, Texas has successfully seceded from the Union since the civil war, in that they think they are their own sovereign nation and make up their own federal laws. Texas stated, "...we have never paid our inmates, and we will never pay our inmate population..."; therefore, they decided to credit you with work-time. This work-time is supposed to come off of your sentence and make it shorter. The Parole Board however says they, " not have to recognize one's work-time...", thereby rendering it ineffective. TDCJ says, "Hey, that's the Parole Board doing that, we gave you good-time/work-time, see? It's right there on your time sheet." TDCJ is a system of "pass the buck". There is no accountability to anyone; not Congress, not the Feds, not state legislation, and not the people... no one.

Besides not recognizing your work-time, Texas has passed laws which make certain violent crimes a "G-3" offence and label it as "aggravated". Legislation says that on an aggravated sentence one must spend at least 50% of their sentence, day and day, before being eligible for parole. This is "flat-time" where good-time/work-time does not count toward your sentence, thereby rendering work-time as meaningless in some cases... it doesn't exist! This is contrary to what the Feds told them they have to do.

Yet, under duress, under threat of receiving a "case", receiving disciplinary procedures and punitive action, being put in segregation (isolation behind a steel door) with loss of privileges and general harassment, TDC forces you to work. How do they get away with that? I'm telling you. "Slavery is alive and well in Texas!"

Dec. 11, 2008

I think what I miss the most is being able to watch my daughter grow up and blossom into the fine young woman that she has become. I miss being part of her daily life and being there for her, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

I also miss intimacy, physical contact, and being in a loving relationship, the companionship of another. Well, there is physical contact and intimate relationships in here, but not the kind I would prefer. (Hey, my idea of a hot date in here is a magazine, a latex glove with baby oil, and a hot pot... wooo-hooo!) I'm being facetious, of course (except for the magazine part! -Ha!) Seriously though, do you think being deprived of these basic human needs for 10, 20, and more years is healthy? Such as the need to be loved and a sense of belonging? You wouldn't believe the mental anguish, sense of isolation and feeling of loneliness this produces, or the bouts of depression and feelings of utter hopelessness that occurs.

Dec. 12, 2008

Rehabilitation is what you do for yourself, to better yourself. It is an inner process, a change of heart. TDC, and prison in general, does not offer rehabilitation; And, in fact, counteracts it at every step, in every way. The only thing that prison does to prevent "recidivism" is to make the condition so bad, to violate your constitutional rights so much, and take away your personal freedoms, that you never want to come back to prison again. I know personally this is my first and last time here. I don't understand how some of these people have "been down" for their 5th or 7th time! Again, prison doesn't rehabilitate, only you can rehabilitate yourself.

Dec. 13, 2008

This place teaches you to appreciate even the simple things in life like: a regular sized bar of soap; a full length toothbrush; or a decent meal and the time to enjoy it.

Dec. 15, 2008

Prison has nothing to do with rehabilitation or justice. Prison has become nothing but a Big Business. Inmates are a commodity. We're cattle warehoused in stalls as we bring the state $42,000-$46,000 per year, per inmate. $42-46,000 per year times an inmate population of 150,000... do the math. Yet, they (TDC) claim that they need more and more money. More and more money to do less and less as they cut back on rehabilitative programs, job training, medical care, counseling and education. It's a racket! And they bilk the public into believing that we are all dangerous and belong in prison for longer periods of time. Why? The answer is "money". Because the American Prison System has become nothing but a big business, it's subject to corruption. And I believe the Texas Judicial System in general, is one of the most corrupt.

Dec. 19/08 Late PM

European countries view our penal system as barbaric and archaic, with unusually harsh and prolonged sentences. Their penal system keeps the inmate in touch socially and culturally with society, whereas ours isolates us from society.

Dec. 20/08 Early AM

Our penal system isolates us from society. Now, I ask you, "How is one expected to function and reintegrate seamlessly back into society after being isolated from it for 10, 20, and more years?" This is what scares me the most. What kind of person am I going to be after 27 years? Who am I going got be after being degraded, debased, being treated less than human, and screamed in my face everyday of what a scumbag and piece of shit I am by these so called authority figures in the form of prison guards? What kind of attitude towards, a respect for authority figures do you think I'll have when I get out?

It sickens me to think that America cares more for, and gives more attention to foreign prisoners of war, an active enemy more so than they do for their own. They give credence to the atrocities and abuses in a foreign prison, on foreign soil, when the same mental anguish and physical abuses go on right here at home. Don't forget, when they were not called to active duty, most of the soldiers arrested and charged with physical abuse at Guantanamo, were non-military prison guards back here in the States. And do you know what? I bet they are all still working as prison guards here. They were dishonorably discharged and kicked out of the army, but they can still work here in the same profession as a guard.

Dec. 20, 2008

Most people naturally just assume that prison guards are all good people, and respectable individuals and authority figures.

Traditionally and historically prison guards have been the dregs of society, the most ignorant and uneducated, the most bigoted and the most abusive. Empirically I can tell you that a lot of the guards in the Texas Penal System are more depraved, and spiritually and morally worse off than some of the inmates.

Here they are calling me names, treating me bad, violating what little rights I have left on a daily basis, mentally abusing me and sometimes physically; And I ask you, "What kind of person do you think they're creating after subjecting them to this mistreatment after 10, 20, and more years?" "Are these the kind of people you want watching over us, in charge of our rehabilitation and our well being?" "Is this the type of prison system you want?"

You see, I used to be one of those people that believed prison guards, and authority figures in general were all good people and that prisoners get what they deserve; what a crock.

Dec. 31, 2008

Look at al the congressmen, senators, legislators, governors, CEO's, lobbyists, stockbrokers, entertainers, even presidents! That have been accused and/or indicted on crimes. Think of the billions of dollars that have been swindled, the thousands of jobs lost because of underhanded contracts awarded illegally, and the damage done by these individuals. And we allow these individuals to get off with probated sentences, or light sentences of 9 months, or 2 years and less at a "country club". Then we allow these very people who are making the headlines and being indicted every week to pass laws that give some poor kid 25 years because he had less than ¼ gram of methamphetamine in his possession! My God America, have we lost our minds?!

Jan. 01, 2009

Happy New Year's... y'all. Yet another holiday without family, friends, or loved ones... or beer! Well, I could drink "hooch" but a magazine article said people have died from making batches of it. But I figure that's just a scare tactic right? ...(~urp) ...right?

(Later in day)

Texas does let people out on parole. What they're not telling you though is that most of these people are within a year of their discharge dates, they were going to go home "paper free" without probation/parole within a year anyways. They weren't granted parole when they first became eligible. They spent 9 years and 2 months on a 10 year sentence; 14 years and 3 months on a 15; 4 " on a 5, etc... Texas Parole Board is padding their numbers! They're saying, "Look, we're giving out parole... we're doing what legislation has asked." But, they're not telling you those people were about to go home anyways.

There are provisions and guidelines within the penal system to prevent overcrowding, namely parole, and good-time/work-time credits. But, they do not follow those guidelines and rules. They allow the prisons to overcrowd so that they can tell you that they need more money to build more prisons. The problem is they don't have enough money to run what they got, but they're telling you the solution is to build more prisons, hence even more money to run what they've got and these new facilities. Now what in the hell kind of sense does that make? TDC has no foresight whatsoever. They're a bunch of hicks in 3 piece suits making spur of the moment, snap decisions without looking at the repercussions and long term effects of these decisions. Quite frankly, I don't think they could think their way out of a paper bag.

Jan. 02, 2009

It seems like the worst people, the ones who acted up the most, and got into trouble the most, are the ones who are making parole. Going to the philosophy that the penal system has become nothing but big business, this makes sense. It is more profitable to let these troublemakers go because they know that they will be back on a parole violation, and hopefully with new charges and a "new number", thereby bringing in more revenue (instead of the 1 original charge, now they have 2 or more charges and just secured that extra $42-46,000 per year for even longer). Whereas, if you behave yourself, you are considered low maintenance and it is more profitable to keep you. They know you probably won't be back so they'll keep you and make money off of you for as long as possible. You also don't generate as much paperwork, manpower, and overhead, as a troublemaker and are therefore more profitable to keep. I truly believe that they hope these troublemakers go out and screw up, rob a bank, rape and kill someone, so they can sensationalize it in the media and further dupe the public into believing that punishment should be harsher, and to pass laws which issue longer sentences.

Jan. 03, 2009

I was reading an article called "A Deadly Bug Invades Our Towns" in PARADE newspaper insert out of the Houston Chronicle newspaper dated, Sunday, December 7th, 2008. It was about the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. I got to thinking, TDC Medical, and most prisons in general I would think, only offer very limited amounts and types of antibiotics, usually general brands. Once the resistant strain becomes resistant to the few brands that they do offer, TDC will be "resistant" to change to a better, stronger, and more expensive drug.

The article explains that 2 of the biggest reasons for this resistant strain is: ...people who use left over biotics given to them by friends and relatives... and... people who fail to finish the entire dose of a prescription, which allows the toughest germs to survive... Those 2 main reasons are rampant within the prison system.

Often going to be seen by a physician or nurse about your sickness requires putting in a nurse sick call request. This can take 1 to 7 days to process. Then more often then not the appointment will be at 0430-0530 in the AM, further interrupting your sleep patterns (i.e. lights on at count every 2 hours, laundry necessities passed out a 0300, breakfast at 0400, etc...), then sitting sometimes for 4-5 hours in an overcrowded cage with nowhere to sit while waiting to be seen. Most people are more than willing to "buy" a leftover "card" of antibiotics from someone that failed to complete the regimen. Often there is only 1 " - 3 days' worth of the prescription, so the person receiving them is also not completing a full dose. Having a medical background, I have tried to explain it to them, in layman's terms, "that if the bug survives what little amount you're taking, and likely that will happen because you only have 1 " days' worth of antibiotics, the bug itself will build 'immunities' (resistance) to this drug." I tell them, "It will only worsen your condition and that what they're doing is contributing to drug resistant strains." But, they are "resistant" to hear it.

(So you can see how this guy spreads its resistance- ha!)

One of the reasons for this resistance to "hearing it" and not taking anyone's advice among inmates is that everyone thinks you're full of s***!( Anyways, one of the first things you learn coming to prison is not to listen to, or believe in anything that comes out of an inmate's mouth, or for that matter, anything that comes out of a guard's mouth either.

It's like come to TDC and be who you want to be. You have all these people saying "I used to be this"; "I used to do that"; "I used to have these". I'm sure it's some kind of psychological guilt response, or coping mechanism, to put on a front like that. Maybe a psych student could verify that for me. So, when I try to inform people about how important it is to complete a full prescription of antibiotics until it's gone, they look at me like "Who the **** are you?"

This cat the other day was bragging about how he used to drive a Lexus, had a 160,000 crib (house), money, Rolex, diamonds, gold, bling bling bling and blah blah blah. He had women all over the place (although that's not quite the derogatory term he used to describe them). And, I'm thinking, "If you had all this money and assets out there, then why are you over here begging me for a Ramen Noodle (soup)?!"

15 February 2009

Today at dinner in chow hall #4, they didn’t have any eating utensils available. They were ushering people in and out of the chow hall without having eaten a bite!

After going through the service line and picking up our trays of food, we asked Ms. Brown, the kitchen boss for chow hall #4 where the spoons were. She replied "I don't know where the spoons are". To which we incredulously responded, "How do you expect us to eat?!" She answered, "I don't know how 'they' expect you to eat, but I know one thing's for sure; I ain't gonna gitchu' no mutha-(expletive)ing spoons ... !" Now, this is the kitchen boss who's in charge of this particular chow hall, and instead of doing her job by making sure the mess hall is set up and properly supplied for mealtime, she deferred the blame onto "they", you know, the ones who were supposed to supply the spoons. There is no "they"; it was her job, her duty to make sure the chow hall was ready to start serving lunch. Remember, TDC is a system of "Pass the Buck". None of them take responsibility for their duties, or for their actions. It gets so frustrating sometimes you just want to kick someone's head in. COIII (Correctional Officer, Grade III) Brown went on to say, "I guess you'll have to bring your own," as there are spoons available for a quarter (25 cents) out or commissary (store). But, it is considered "contraband" to carry it around with you. There are only certain items you are allowed to carry with you on your person (i.e. your ID card (required), ID holder, Lay-in, library books on your way to the library, or legal work, writing material and typewriter if on your way to the law library, books and notebooks to educational classes, etc...).

For instance, carrying around a pen can get you a "weapons case" if they really want to screw you around, which they often do. Then Parole sees you have a "weapons case" and denies your parole. Never mind the fact that it was a pen and you were on your way to the mailroom to sign for a package; they don't care. You are not supposed to carry one around. Two weeks ago Lt. Russell was taking spoons from people coming out of the chow halls and giving them cases for it, yet here she is telling you to bring one. In effect, what she is actually saying is you'll have to break the rules in order to eat.

There was going to be no help here with Ms. Brown, so we went out and told the shift sergeant, Sgt. January, who was standing outside the chow halls directing traffic, what the problem was. He came in the chow hall and told everyone, "I guess you'll have to write it up." This is the shift sergeant who's in charge of all the officers (Hey, you know why shit runs downhill? A: Because there's nothing but shit at the top! ... I just made that up). So, instead of telling the officers and inmates alike, "to get off their collective lazy asses and get some spoons ...", he defers his duties, his job, back on to the inmate. This is classic TDC style, to turn everything around and put it back on the inmate. I truly believe they are taught this during their "extensive" 6 week training period. It just shows how gullible they are be "brainwashed" into believing it's their job and that itst the right thing to do this. Then it's their job, their duty, to punish us. They can do no wrong. They think they have sovereign immunity!

By the way, this is the same sergeant that made 336 people sleep on the cement floor of two 30'x60' gymnasiums during Hurricane Ike. We were already packed like sardines when the building began to flood, and this particular individual thought he could defy the laws of physics by forcing all of us to move into the half of the gym that wasn't flooded. 168 inmates barely fit into a 30'x60' area. TDC thinks they can control nature and defy physics. They actually and truly think they can control your mind, speech, thoughts, and actions. Don't they commit insane people in the free world for thinking the same way?

16 February 2009

A while back I received a lay-in for the TDC program "WALL TALK", which is a mandatory 3 day long peer education class on disease, STD's, the spreading thereof, etc... During this class, which is run by fellow inmates, I learned that 1/3 of this unit has AIDS, and that over half of the inmate population has hepatitis C. These numbers may be higher than local, state, and national percentages, as this unit is a medical unit and receives most of the terminal aids, diabetic, and cancer patients (people are dropping like flies on this unit, and that isn't even counting all the OD's and stabbings!). Now, think about using all the same facilities as those individuals, communal faucets, toilets, showers, sinks, and mirrors, without the benefit of being able to use "universal precautions" such as the use of personal protection devices like gloves, goggles, disinfectant, etc ... Now, think of all the eye goobers, toe jams, splooge, ass crack sweat, and other assorted body fluids being spit, splashed, and sprayed all over these surfaces. That's a description of our bathroom. You have to wade through piss and shower water just to brush your teeth. Some of the dorms stink so bad, they smell like the bottom of a "chem-can" (portable toilet) in the heat of the summer. You go outside for recreation ("rec") just to get a breath of fresh air and purge the stench of ass from your nostrils.

17 February 2009

Where else can you be sitting on the toilet talking to your buddy who's naked in the shower 4 feet away from you? Ain't prison great?! Every time he turns around I get splashed with water which makes me jump nervously because the urinals are also right next to me!

18 February 2009

Once again the kitchen did not have eating utensils available when they served lunch! This time a different guard just shrugged her shoulders when I asked her if they had any spoons. I damn near threw my tray over the counter. Instead, I started cussing her and all of the kitchen staff out. I slammed my tray down at the table spilling my food all over the table and floor. Lazy sons-a-bitches were going to do something today, even if it’s cleaning up my mess. 5 minutes later the security guard comes to clean the row and tells everybody to get up, put your trays up, and get out. No-one had eaten except what they could eat with their fingers.

If they serve us food they don't give us anything to eat with. If they give us utensils they only give us 5 minutes to eat. TDC policy says they are to allow us 20 minutes to eat. I have never had 20 minutes to eat, on any unit in this system, ever. Hell, I don't know why they even bother to feed us, there's no difference. Ask yourself, how would you feel if you went to a restaurant, paid for your meal and got to the table only to find there's no silverware? How would you react, if when you asked the waiter, or maitre'd, or manager for utensils, and all they did was shrug their shoulders indifferently and tell you that they aren't going to get you anything? Now, how would you feel if after 5 minutes they told you to get up and leave?

This is not an isolated incident. This happens on a daily basis. Would you put up with this abuse?

19 February 2009

Obviously an education is not a prerequisite to gaining employment in TDCJ as a guard. Some do not even possess rudimentary skills such as counting.

Count has not cleared in over 10 hours now! Earlier today at count-time one of the guards came in and counted. About an hour later she came back in and recounted. This is a common occurrence, as they seldom get it right the first time. Obviously, she was having a hard time because 15-20 minutes after she recounted a different guard came in and counted. She didn't fare so well either. Around 40 minutes after that, the shift sergeant had to come and count herself (not Sgt. January), and she was not pleased with any of her underlings.

At this point they started sending some of the workers back "home" to their cells, mainly inside and outside yard crews, trustees working in other buildings, inmates down at medical (too bad if you were sick), and the maintenance crews. I can't tell you how much time passed before the lieutenant came in, as this had quickly become a circus and I had lost interest. I can tell you he was not happy with any of this crew as every time they counted they gave a different number. After he counted it was found that the discrepancy in count was not in the dorms, that the problem was out in "vocational" where they hold Windham School District and Lamar State College classes, so they sent all the students back home.

Quite some more time passed before they "racked up" they unit and sent "metal fat", one of the TDC' industries on this unit, and the kitchen crew to their cells for a special roster count. Anytime they send metal fat back to the house you know it’s serious, as their industry is now losing money. Anytime they send the kitchen crew back home you know it’s serious because none of the guards want to have to actually fix our meals themselves.

Over 10 hours have passed at this point. According to TDC policy, if count hasn't cleared in 2 hours they are supposed to rank up the unit and go on lockdown status, a policy the Marle W. Sliks unit has never followed. Had someone had it in mind to "jump the fence" they would have had at least a 10 hour head start, and that’s not counting the hour or two more before they actually realize one is missing, for reals. That also is not counting the time that would elapse before they admitted to an outside source that they have lost one, if they ever admitted to it. They may try to conduct a search on their own with the dogs, just so they wouldn't have to admit to it. As a citizen, how safe does that make you feel? To know that an escaped felon may have had a 10 hour, or more, free reign of terror?

It turns out an inmate had fallen out of place over to #3 building, which is protective custody (PC). They found him in one of the punk's cells just having a good-ol-time! Hate to be him right now.

20 February 2009

View From My Window:

Mark W Stiles Unit is not really “isolated”, per se. It lies on the outskirts of Beaumont. The view out the window is of freeway traffic and some industrial facilities. There is some vestige of humanity, unlike the unit I was priorly assigned to.

The Lynaugh Unit sits 12 miles west of Fort Stockton on the edge of the Sonora Desert, completely isolated from the cities and the influences of humanity. Don’t get me wrong, the desert itself, and the surrounding mountain ranges are beautiful, but the view from my window was as barren and empty as a soul with no hope, bleak and lonely. Many times gazing through that window, my soul would travel beyond the confines of the desert to a time past to atone for my sins in self reflection; or, I would project forward to an uncertain future, anxious and trying to hold onto hope.

21 February 2009

ISOLATION: Merriam Webster says “Isolation” means: set apart; to place or keep by itself; separate from others. I believe isolation manifests itself in different forms both literally and figuratively, physically and metaphysically (spiritually).

The ultimate example of isolation in its most physical and literal sense is “solitary confinement”. Sitting in an isolated cell is like sitting in hell itself. Hell is utterly the complete and eternal separation from God. Conversely, being put into solitary confinement is the total and complete separation from humanity. It strips you of all human connection and dignity. There is no opportunity to interact with others or take responsibility for your life.

Isolation reminds me of that popular song on the radio right now that goes “… no one told you that forever feels like home, sitting all alone; inside your head…”

In an isolation cell you are completely alone. There is only you and your thoughts. How you come out the other end depends on how strong and sound of mind you are. After years of being alone in isolation, some of these guys come out of the “box” as complete basket cases, talking and mumbling to themselves, or in a mock, make believe fight with someone who’s not there, scary. They have forgotten how to interact with others, so when they get back into “general population”, or released directly into society they can’t function. Some of them actually want to go back to prison, back into isolation. I guess because that’s where they are in control of their fantasy world.

Scared, lonely, or co-dependant, you might not want to be alone. When it comes to re-composure, I’ve been told there are two types of people: Those who have to surround themselves with friends, family, and loved ones to re-energize themselves; and, those who have to isolate themselves from others. I am definitely one of the latter.

There are times when it would be considered a vacation to get away from some of these idiots, but I can’t. There is nowhere to go to be alone in here except for solitary confinement. You only get put in segregation (“seg”, “ad-seg”, “the box”, “the hole”, solitary confinement, etc …) is when you get in trouble and go to jail. (wow…going to jail while already in prison! … who’d a thunk it?!), are confirmed as a gang member, or are deemed too dangerous to be allowed in general population. You can’t go to them (administration) and say, “Boss, I’m tired of the bull. I’m having some issues and I’m about ready to lose it, man. I could sure use a couple of weeks alone, by myself.” They want you to incriminate yourself. They want you to tell them that you’re going to hurt someone, or do something drastic, before they do anything or take action. Then they put that in your permanent record for parole to see. They don’t want to help you. In fact, everything they do through policy and action is contradictory to what their mission statement is: to rehabilitate us.

Once you’re put in segregation, sometimes there’s no getting back out. They want to keep you there until you discharge.

One can see that isolation can be a place, both physical and metaphysical, or it can be as a state of mind, “to build walls” and “shut out the world”, or it can manifest itself as feelings of loneliness. In certain circumstances isolation may be voluntary and even desirable with rejuvenating results: To just “get away from it all” for a while. Most of the time in prison it is forced upon you, unwarranted. Isolation in this form is destructive, unproductive, and actually psychologically harmful.

P.S. Jessica, I’m sorry this essay did not get past these initial ideas and get “polished” into a noteworthy piece.

22 February 2009

Whenever I see a plane flying overhead it reminds me of the lyrics in a Police song that goes “that’s my soul up there”. When I see a vehicle passing by on the freeway I’m thinking “I wish that was me going somewhere … anywhere but here.”

A long time ago, one of my bosses told me to hold out my hands … then shit in one, and wish in the other, and see which one fills up first. That always brings me back to reality.

23 February 2009

Back in Oct-Nov ’08, during the mandatory statewide shakedown that Governor Rick Perry ordered to sweep all TDC units for phones, drugs, and contraband. I had a female, new boot correctional officer, a Ms. Arrohaus " sp? (pronounced ah-row-hahs), tell me I couldn’t keep both my tennis shoes and my boots that I had bought off of commissary for $34.95 and $25.00 respectively. She told me I had to get rid of one or the other. I pointed out that that was not TDC policy. I then told her what TDC policy was concerning this, which allows both; but, she took them anyway.

She literally stole my tennis shoes. This is nothing new as the property officer here of Mark W. Stiles Unite, Ms. Dennis and COIII Ms. Breaux stole my timex, ironman triathalon watch at a shakedown prior to this. I also had a multiplug, and a Smith and Corona Word Processor stolen by the property officer at the Lynaugh unit, a $100 item. They are supposed to fill out a confiscation form stating exactly what they took and why they took it. You are supposed to be given the choice of disposition of said property. You can either mark “have it destroyed” or the option of sending it home. I was given neither. These actions constitute theft … period.

Anyways, this Ms. Arronaus acted like she was a “supercop”, always policing the hallways, policing the doors, writing people “cases” left and right, and put on a front that she was totally straight laces and all business. Well, guess what happened today? She got busted trying to make a “drop” with a quantity of marijuana and some tobacco in front of A-turn out! Around the time of the 13:30 hrs counter time, she tried to stash a big bag of goods in a trash can right in the middle of the walk way in broad daylight, under observation, on her day off! What a “click”! This area, A-turnout, is right in direct view of the administration building and the warden’s office! Apparently, someone was watching her suspicious actions and alerted security, and they found a quantity of weed and tobacco.

If you’re “in the game” as she was, there is no playing both sides. If you’re “dirty”, you can’t be running around writing people up and giving them cases, messing the inmates over and not expect some type of repercussions. This is Penitentiary, and everyone’s heard of who’s dirty. So, if you’re messing over the inmates and getting them into trouble when they all know you’re dirty, you can dam sure bet one of them is going to turn you in. Playing both sides is principally just wrong anyways. It’s hypocritical. There are a bunch of correctional (or is it corruptional) officers on this unit, putting on that front. In fact, some of the ones that are treating us the worst are the ones who are bringing it in!

Anywhoo, police were alerted, she was arrested and then escorted off of the unit in cuffs. From one side of the bars to the other … in a flash!

There has not been anything on the news as of yet about this incident. It will be interesting to watch and see if they try to cover up the incident by “blocking it out” and keeping it out of the news. I’ll keep you posted.

PS it’s 10:37 p.m. and it’s rack time now. The 10 o’clock news just ended and there was no mention of the incident.

24 February 2009

You know, I’d like to relate something positive and uplifting I’ve seen lately, or that’s happened to me lately, but I can’t find anything.

I did get a visit from my folks Saturday. I related what all medical is doing, and isn’t doing for me; how medical director Kent Dickerson didn’t show up for a scheduled appointment, how they’re ignoring my I-60’s and requests for nurse sick calls, etc. My parents are going to go back to Mr. Elkins in Lubbock, who is in charge of all Correctional Managed Healthcare for all of Texas, both UTMB and Texas Tech regions, and tell them they are dissatisfied by the investigator he launched into the care I’m not receiving. Medical staff at Mark W. Stiles Unit continue to deny and negate recommendations given by ortho specialists at UTMB in Galueston sent my parents a short, terse letters concerning their lodging a complaint. It slated, that in the future they (UTMB at Galveston) would appreciate my parents not going over their heads. This letter was unsigned!!! How chicken shit is that?! First of all, my parents aren’t inmates. They can’t order them what to do! They don’t have to go through the “chain of command” as we may have to. Who in the hell do they think they are!!? They think they can start controlling the “free world” public now! Secondly, if they’d do their jobs, if they actually made the grievance process meaningful and actually investigated cases, my parents would not have to go over their worthless heads.

My parents are starting to realize that the only way to get TDC medical care to actually do something is to sue them and take it to court.

This is how I look at it: Receiving adequate medical care while incarcerated is a constitutional right. Therefore, if Texas’ overcrowding of the prisons is the cause of this lack in medical care because there isn’t enough funding to cover all of the inmate population; then you are in violation of constitutional rights and you need to start letting people go. You need to let people go until the funding you have is adequate to cover the population you have … period.

25 February 2009

This unit is infested with cockroaches; big, two-legged roaches!

26 February 2009

Let’s see, what happened to me today…?

It’s really sad when your big hope in life is reduced to the anticipation of “store day” (commissary). This is one of the only three privileges that inmates in the State of Texas are allowed. Television and recreation being the other two. Let me comment on how each of these “privileges” applied to me today.

Firstly, commissary: It should not be this difficult to spend your money. Being as how this is a multi-million dollar industry within the Texas Prison Complex, you’d think that they would encourage you to spend all your money. In practice, this is not the case, not on the Mark W. Stiles Unit. The guards know that this is one of your only liberties, one of the only things you have to look forward to. And they have the authority to “mess you over” (I could think of another phrase to put here … but I’m trying to keep this a family program : ) …) and they are going to abuse that authority to do just that, at every opportunity. They don’t care if you make store or not. In fact, it makes them feel better to know that they are the reason you didn’t get to make store. They’re straight up haters! There’s a lot of reverse discrimination from the guards here.

To make commissary you are supposed to sit and wait in your dorm until a guard comes and calls out a certain amount of people for commissary. The “boss” (guard) is supposed to take the first 5 or 10, or 15, etc… people off of the benches. The inmates are to honor who was there first. This is how it’s supposed to work. In reality this is never what happens. When any guard is seen walking down the hallway everyone bum rushes the door like savage vultures trying to be one of the first at the door, cutting, pushing, and climbing over each other. The guards, however, seldom some and take people out of the dorms like they are supposed to., they’re constantly letting their “homeboys” in line all day. There’s a lot of fraternization among certain inmates and guards here. Some of the guards are gang members themselves so there is a lot of favoritism on this unit.

The point is, if you sit on the bench and wait for a guard to come and call for commissary at the door, you will be sitting there all day. You will never make store if you try to do it the right way. It teaches you to lie, manipulate, or give a bribe ro get the “picket boss” to sign your commissary slip (permission to go); or try to neak in line. Making commissary is extremely stressful if you’re really needing to make store.

Mindless blobs! How can anyone sit there and watch the same damn movie, over and over for the 13th time in 2 months? I mean, my god! What did you miss the first dozen times?! In the dayroom today I asked for a “channel check” (where suggested T.V. programs to watch are voted on by everyone in the immediate area who are watching, then the channel gets changed if it was voted on). So I asked, “Can we watch something else? … something inspiring? … something educational maybe? … anything but this?!” Nope. They all want to watch Halle Berry get out of em’ in “Swordfish” for the 13th time.

Later on there was actually a new movie on that had not been shown before. This is one of the rare times, except when the news is on, that I’ll actually sit and watch the tube. I’m just starting to think maybe I’ll enjoy this when all of the sudden the channels started changing. Everyone looked around, and lo and behold, there’s Mr. T.V. with the illegal contraband remote in his hand, disrespecting the whole dayroom by interrupting their viewing pleasure while he mumbles about wanting to check on something. Now, before the PRLA (Prison Reform Litigation Act, and the Safe Prisons Act) in 1996, this would have gotten you stabbed. I had to remind myself that I’m “rehabilitated” now. Prison in Texas isn’t prison anymore. It’s a daycare overrun by unruly kids that have no manners whatsoever. The dayrooms are extremely noisy with ill people all talking like a rowdy bar, speakers blaring, groups of domino slammin ho’s and the sports crowd yelling and screaming like every game they see on the sports channel is the Superbowl. I can’t stand sitting there trying to watch something I can’t hear, so I got up. Needless to say, I don’t watch much T.V. In fact, I couldn’t’ care less about this so called privilege and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they came and took them all out of here. It would be a hell of a lot quieter.

We used to have 4 television sets in this dorm. Early last year (08’), B-side (“b” for bad” of the unit got locked down when “the laws” found their T.V.’s full of dope. Subsequently, all of their T.V.’s were dismantled during the ensuing shakedown. So, what does TDC do to punish them? They took one T.V. out of each dorm on our side to replace B-side T.V.’s. TDC punished A-side trustees because B-side medium custody had dope in their T.V.’s! Go figure …

They cancelled recreation tonight, our so called third privilege. They’ve forgotten that regular recreation is a constitutional right, not the other way around. “What are we being punished for that we haven’t done this time?”, I ask. It can’t be due to “shortage of staff” which is their usual catchall answer. They had about 20 new cadets on campus today (I say campus because this is the “school of hard knocks” … HKU baby!), so staff shortage was not a valid excuse today.

This gets me, instead of showing the new boots the proper way to run things, by the book, they are being shown how to “mess us over” and get away with it. Today, they were being taught how to screw us out of commissary, take your T.V. privileges, cancel your rec for no valid reason, take away your allotted time to eat, steal your property, and this list of criminal enterprise goes on and on. With each subsequent generation of new guards this abusive level of disrespect and degeneration of the rules keeps producing worse and worse abusive guards. There are no standards being upheld, it’s utter chaos! They don’t even follow their own rules. They all constantly make up their own rules. You wouldn’t believe the stupidest things said that come out of a guard’s mouth. Every one of them thinks they’re the warden!

They constantly step on each other’s toes too. They override each other’s decisions disregard direct orders from their superiors, and write each other up. Hell, they cross each other out as much as they do us. I’m sorry, man, but I couldn’t work with people like that: insolent, lazy, and insubordinate. And then, on the top of that, a lot of them are as criminally dirty as some of the inmates. Now how F****d up is that? …

Later towards commissary closing time, a guard finally comes to the door and calls “last call for commissary”, as if there were some preceding this. Now that all of Beaumont has made store, some of the more “underprivileged elements” can go now. I finally made store. Some people did not make it. What does it matter though … ? They were sold out of everything anyways. I got my coffee though, so I can remain sane for at least another day. What can I say? Life in prison sucks, … and then you die in here.

They say, “commissary is a privilege, not your right.” You know what I say? “No, the real ‘privilege’ is you getting away with me working for you for free.” That’s the real “privilege” that you’re getting away with here.

28 February 2009

Today the chow hall did not have cups! Why did they even go there to mix up and serve juice? No one could drink unless you drunk out of the pitchers. What next, trays? You'll have to go through line with your hands held out. Mashed potatoes in the left hand; meat serving in your right. "Sir, where do you want your veggies?" "Oh, just put them in my pocket, OK?"

I don't know why they put the trays out either. They weren't clean and they definitely weren't sterilized. Captain Bradford decided not to pass out dish soap and chemicals to the kitchen crew today. So, all the trays were run through the dishwasher cold, unsterilized and without soap. Remember, 1/3 of the unit has AIDS, over 1/2 the inmate population has Hepatitis C, and that's not counting all of the communicable diseases found on this unit. I am truly surprised that there has not been epidemics or mass food poisonings due to the unhealthy and unsafe procedures exhibited in these kitchens in TDC. I'm telling you it's just a matter of time. They shut down fine restaurants for doing things like this out in the free world. TDC violates health code issues on a daily basis, and gets away with it!

It's so ridiculous. It used to be amusing until the sick realization set in that these people really and truly do not care. And it's just going to get worse before it ever gets better.

2 March 2009

You know that lonely, hollow, empty feeling you get whenever you move and leave long standing loved ones, family and friends behind? that stressed feeling of anxiety a you face an unsure and insecure future by leaving what is familiar for the unknown? That's what it's like to "catch chain" (get moved, transferred, or reassigned to another unit). That's the feeling I had today sitting in my buddy's empty cell.

You have no control over where, when, or how TDC moves you, screws you, uses you, puts you up wet, and stores you away. You can't protest or refuse to move. They'll just cuff you, beat you, then throw you on the "bluebird" (bus) anyways. TDC in one long series of these life-altering interruptions, you can't get too comfortable. In here, they never want you to get too comfortable.

Besides not being able to trust most people in here, this is why a lot of guys never get too personal. They never open up and get too close or friendly with anyone, because it just leads to this heartache. This sense of loss. Then they take this programmed de-sensitivity back into the "free world" (society) with them, back into personal relationships and interactions with family, friends, loved ones, and coworkers.

It's proven that this system of dehumanizing is psychologically harmful; yet, Texas chooses to hold onto their archaic and inhumane treatments of it's inmate population by constantly interrupting your life's regular patterns of normalcy in their ambition to break you physically, spiritually, and morally; to control your heart, mind and body. They take you out of familiar situations because they don't want you to have a routine and get too comfortable. They take you out of your region, away from your friends, family, and loved ones: Away from your support system, which is an integral part of rehabilitation, and ship you all over the state, sometimes out of state! one of their stated purposes is for our rehabilitation, when in reality they do not provide an environment that is conducive to rehabilitation. This constant moving you around ("diesel therapy") is one of the ways they actually counteract rehabilitation in every way.

4 March 2009

I wonder why all the luck in the world has run out? Today at rec. I couldn't even find one 4 leaf clover.

The world's on fire, unstable and getting scary. I feel it's winding down. People are quickly becoming prisoners in their own homes. Things aren't looking like they're going to get better either. What kind of world will it be upon my release? What kind of gainful employment will there be for a retirement aged, convicted felon with a murder rap? Who will hire me then?

5 March 2009

Now rec. was cancelled yesterday and last night was rec. was cancelled again. Rec. as cancelled this morning and they cancelled rec. this afternoon too.

If you can't keep enough staff to fun this unit; If you can't get what staff you do have to show up for work, then you need to just shut this unit down.

6 March 2009

The morning and noon recs. were cancelled again. They say, "Security is never a convenience." Yeah? Neither is a lawsuit, asshole!

I guess there's only 5 days in a TDC week! This is one of the ways they think they can defy physics and make up their own reality. They only give us 5 bars of Stuts soap per week. These bars are 1 1/4" x 1 3/4" x 1/4"; 1/2 the size of a complementary hotel bar of soap. 5 tiny bars of soap to shower with for the next 7 days to do any personal laundry you might have. One bar doesn't even last for a whole shower let alone for anything else. So, if you want an adequate amount of soap, you have to buy some from someone "off the street." This is considered as "traffic and trading" which is a violation of the rules. If you want to remain clean and hygienic you have to manipulate the system to do so. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like it's rehabilitative? To contrive and manipulate just to attain some basic needs?

Hygiene is a Constitutional Right, by the way.

7 March 2009

I don't get it. I don't understand it. How can anyone who's in prison sit there and watch the show "Cops" or "America's Most Wanted"? What, are you trying to find someone dumber than you when you got caught so that you might feel better about getting caught? Are you trying to see if maybe you know one if the people they arrest; maybe he's your home-boy? Or, are you trying to learn how people get caught through police techniques, learn what not to do when you're on the run so that that you might become a better criminal?

You'd think this would be the last thing people where would want to watch; but, these remain two of the most popular TV shows in Texas prisons! Those and Chuck Norris in "Walker: Texas Ranger."

8 March 2009

I'm sitting here looking out of the day room and this just doesn't make any sense. It's surreal. We're all literally just sitting here wasting time, doing nothing, and taking up space. This "warehousing" of inmates is meaningless. It's a waste of human resource and a total waste of people's lives. We're not encouraged to become a better person as there's no incentive to do so. They jack us out of our so-called privileges every day; so, why should we work for them? They're not giving parole to people when they become eligible; So, why should anyone behave? They've cut out all the rehabilitative programming down to three "Cognitive thinking" classes now. You'd think with all the "distractions" (namely drugs, cigarettes, and homosexuals) found on this unit that they would be encouraging a man to be creative, not taking his creativity away. But, that's exactly what they do. I'm not saying I shouldn't have been sent to prison as punishment for my crime, but this is not doing me one bit of good. Or anyone else as far as I can see.

9 March 2009

There are no racial tensions here in this unit per say. All the elements are there though. There are gangs, but there is not much mass violence and rioting as there is on other unites and in other states. In my observations I believe this is due to 3 cohesive factors: drugs, tobacco, and punks.

The guards are the ones who want to stir things up and make everything a racial issue. I guess they think it's their time to make up for 400 years of oppression that "they" went through "personally." This unit is predominantly black, and that is where all favor lies.

The biggest potential to "set it off" on this unit comes from the very ones in charge of our custody and who are supposed to keep our security and safety: the guards!

10 March 2009

10 o'clock news on Channel 6 (CBS) Beaumont just announced that 2 guards at Jefferson County Jail (Beaumont) were indicted on "original oppression" charges and were both out of bound. Apparently Officer Stegall and another correctional officer first handcuffed and then beat an inmate severely enough to put him in the hospital while a third one stood by and watched. The newscast mentioned that this is the 3rd indictment of this kind this year. This is only March, so you can't say that these are isolated incidents when they're occurring once a month. Don't kidnappers, rapists, and such fit this same profile to place themselves in a position of power over another helpless individual, then torment, torture, and abuse them? This just goes to show you what kind of people this job attracts. These are cowards. There isn't a man in their families.

[The following is an excerpt from the commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons report "Comforting Confinement." I thought I would interject it as a "point"/"counterpoint" to today's incident. Anything with square brackets is my 2 cents worth].

For all their troubles and achievements, corrections professionals receive little positive recognition and are denigrated in the news, popular media [and by me]. As Lance Corcoran, Chief of Governmental Affairs for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, told the commission, "After a lifetime, 35 years working, you look back on your life's work and it's very difficult to take pride in what you've done. Society or the newspapers or whatever has told you that this is an awful profession."

These stereotypes, combined with the incredible difficulties of the job can lead front-line officers and some corrections administrators to distance themselves from prisoners and even view prisoners as less than humans. [Author Paul Auster in his novel "City of Glass" wrote, "For if you do not consider the man before you to be human, there are few restraints of conscience on your behavior towards him."]. There are countless every day indignities that reinforce perceptions that prisoners are a lower class of people. This is an awful attitude many [being treated as] correctional professionals acquire in their first days of officer training. [End citation]

This is all just as I've described to you before in my observations here at Mark W. Stiles Unit concerning how these "newboots" are being trained and they're trained to do.

Patrick McManus, the former Corrections Secretary for the state of Kansas stated, "Prisons that have wardens who are proactive, humane and [who] model appropriate behavior towards prisoners and staff reduce the likelihood of abusive staff behavior." [End quote]

I don't know why you could find this "model behavior" exhibited by wardens anywhere or any unit in TDC, or in Texas jails. Personally, I feel there should be some kind of psychological screening these people and cops should go through before being admitted into a position of authority like this. It would be the same screening that determines "sociopaths," I'd imagine.

11 March 2009

Last night I got my visitation change list back again from resubmitting it for the third time in a year and a half. Every time I submit the change some lady up in administration cites a "new" lame ass excuse as to why can't enter the change into the computer, every time! I'm not the only one she's doing this to either. This lady continues to screw me around and prevent me from adding my daughter to the list required by TDC's new rules and regulations concerning visitors. This lady continues to stand between my daughter and I. Nowhere else in TDC would you find this type of behavior exhibited by the administration when it comes to family.

It's unbelievable, man! Are they apathetic and full of hate that they would purposefully exempt you from seeing family, or are they just completely incompetent and inept?

Tonight, Sgt. Davis came into the dorm and announced that he doesn't want to see any washing of clothes being done in these dorms. He further stated that if we want clean clothes we need to get up in the morning (2:30 A.M.) for "necessities" and get a clean set. Well, this is true for the "state clothes" (white shirt and pants, socks, towels, and boxers), but not for your personal clothes that they allow you to buy off of commissary (gym shorts, long johns, T-shirts, socks, hand towels, etc...). They let you purchase these clothes, but they do not afford you the opportunity to wash these said items, and in fact make it against the rules to clean these items. What sense does that make? How fair is that? Do they expect us to buy a shirt and then throw it away when it gets dirty so we'll have to buy a new one? Gee, when the MOB does things like that it's called "racketeering." I know this policy has to be unconstitutional. I know you are guaranteed personal hygiene while incarcerated; Yet, the Warden, staff, and employees in TDC continue to deny us those rights on a daily basis.

In light of yesterday's journal entry about wardens providing a positive environment to prevent staff abuse of prisoners, and today's entry about an administration that stands in front of you and you family and support system, does it sound like we have a compassionate, caring, and humane warden here at the Mark W. Stiles Unit? Let me answer that for you, "Not only no; But, HELL NO!"

You know how your parents and grandparents always say, "If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, then don't say anything at all?" Well, I don't have anything nice to say about any of this, not anyone in here, not anyone who works here, not anyone who's subcontracted here or associated in any way with the prison complex, including legislation.

12 March 2009

It's nothing we haven't gone through before anytime an officer doesn't want to be assigned to their present duty post. This morning at 2:30 A.M. Sgt. Davis (the same sergeant who said we can't wash our personal clothes) made us go outside and all the way around the building to pick up our necessities (clothes) instead of letting us through the building. It was raining out and 42 degrees. This is why he made us go outside. It would definitely be considered as inclement weather. They are not supposed to have us waiting outside (waiting in lines, stripping us down, etc) in inclement weather; Yet, this is something TDC does everyday, especially in West Texas (you think the things I'm relating on this unit are bad? It's nothing compared to the atrocities those vindictive rednecks out in West Texas make you go through!)

Sgt. Davis has also left the day room lights on all night for the last 3 nights. This is also against TDC policy, and actually in direct violation of 14th Amendment Rights concerning cruel and unusual punishment by inducing sleep deprivation. There is a case law specifically covering the abuse of lights as sleep deprivation.

What Sgt. Davis is trying to do is get enough people to write him up (submit grievances) so that administration will take him off of his duty position here on A-side and put him back on B-side of the "farm" (unit) where he wants to be. This happens all the time when an officer isn't satisfied with where they've been assigned. We have to go through their little "head games" and B.S. because they don't want to do what they've been asked to do. Prison guards are some of the most insolent and insubordinate people you will ever meet.

By the way, most of the "dirty" guards prefer to work on the other side (B-side) as this is where all the drugs and tobacco are coming through.

15 March 2009

When I first came into the Texas prison system I had to go through "diagnostics", which is a preliminary entry facility you're held at before being assigned to an "ID unit." This is where you are classified and evaluated through psych pre-filing and testing of your demeanor as to what kind of prisoner you are going to be while incarcerated in TDC. What they try to do is push you and get you riled to see how you react and then classify you accordingly.

During the initial interview a psychologist/counselor asked me if I had anyone, or knew anyone who was, or is incarcerated in prison, to which I answered, "Yes, my father." She then asked what he had been in for, "murder." I replied "OK," she continued, "Is there anyone else?" "Yes," I went on, "My son." "What is he in for?" she inquired. "Double murder," I answered. "And you're in for...what?" she asked inquisitively. "Murder," was the reply. At this point she stops typing this info into the computer and turns to me and says, "What's with you guys?"

"...and the sins of the father shall fall unto the 3rd and 4th generations..." (Ex. 34:7). I didn't realize how spiritually true this was, until it reached out and slapped me in the face. I ask Father God for the strength to break this cycle.

16 March 2009

I'm 48 years old today and celebrating my birthday alone,...again. I got a letter and card from my sister, and a card from my folks. They stated my 17 year old daughter, Alicia, had to make a decision of where she was going to live. Apparently Frances, my ex-wife, has run off to be married for her 3rd time. She abandoned Alicia and basically told her to make plans for herself. Frances moved out of Lubbock, Texas to Littlefield, Texas to live with a detective with the sheriff's department there. Now, I ask you, "What kind of man would let a woman abandon her underage child to go live with him?"...and a cop no less!

Frances also abandoned her 2nd child, Nicholas, from her 2nd marriage who now lives with his dad, Gary. I don't know where Fran's head is at. She definitely isn't the girl I met and married so long ago in Hawaii. I'm telling you, "Move em to Texas and they get ruint'!" They turn into these materialistic, superficial, gold digging bitches from hell!

She knows too how I feel about abandonment. You see, I too was abandoned by my parents at one time when I was 16 (I'll write about this later sometime). Anyways, Alicia had the choice to either: live with my parents, who are getting ready to retire and can't endure the rigors of raising a teenager or; live with my sister and brother-in-law, who are financially strapped after building a new house or; live with her high school art teacher and her husband. "What the...?!" Alicia chose to live with her teacher. Does that sound a little strange to you? And do you know what the worst thing is? I can't do a damn thing about it.

One of the most frustrating things about being incarcerated is that when there is a family crisis, when friends and loved ones are going through it and having problems, you can't do anything to change it. You can't help. You can't be there for them physically or financially. You can't give advice or yell and scream until you turn blue in the face. But if they don't want to listen, you might as well be banging your head against the wall!

Prison doesn't only punish the one who's actually incarcerated, it also punishes those whom you've been taken away from.

Yeah,....happy freakin birthday to me!

(At least I don't have any gray hairs yet)

18 March 2009

Again, not only does the Mark W. Stiles Unit have the worst run kitchen of any TDC facility, they also have the most piss-poorly run and mismanaged commissary of any in Texas. The head of commissary here, Ms. Sorrel, is the embodiment of hate. I swear she's a voodoo-witch-queen. It's despicable how she treats, and hates on, the inmate population.

TDC regulations state that we are supposed to be able to go to store(commissary) once a week. We are allowed 2 opportunities to spend $85 in a 2 week period. The Mark W. Stiles Unit does not follow this policy; And in fact, it is the only unit in the system that does not follow this policy. On top of that, Ms. Sorrel and this unit used to use the "egg crates" to regulate how much commissary you could purchase. This egg crate is a plastic container (basket) with inside dimensions of approximately 2 cubic feet. She used to haphazardly throw the items on your list into this crate, and once it was filled even the top (often well below the top) she would cut you off. So if only $35 of groceries fit in this crate, then that's all you got. Needless to say, it was difficult, if not impossible, to spend all $85 and all of it fit into this box.

When the new administration and wardens took over back in Sept. '08, they gave Ms. Sorrel an ultimatum: Either let us go to the store once a week like she's supposed to do, or do away with the egg crates. It took her about 2 or 3 weeks to comply with this direct order from her superiors, after the inmates submitted grievances against her on a daily basis. She was reprimanded three times during this period, and eventually Warden Allen had to physically enter the commissary and forcefully remove the egg crates. Ms. Sorrel is one of the most insolent and insubordinate of all these officers.

Now, she gets even with us by not stocking the store before our day to go comes up. She also doesn't order items from BOT (central warehouses) that she knows we need (i.e. hygiene, etc...), and the things that we prefer, such as coffee (which is grounds for a riot if you ask me!). She's straight up a hater for reals! The embodiment of hate.

I heard a rumor once that Ms. Sorrel's husband was murdered, and that the person who did it was never caught. Now she takes it out on us, as if one of us did it. Maybe, she really believes that. Hell, maybe one of us actually did do it, I don't know. But, if that's true, there's a conflict of interest here by having her in an official position over us and allowing her to exact vengeance on those of us who had nothing to do with her personal problems and her lack of mental capacity to deal with it.

Most of the guards have the same mentality. they have a chip on their shoulders because they got beat up by bullies in high school all the time (like cops), or called the "N" word too often, or made to feel worthless by their families. So, now they take their revenge out on us because it's so easy for them to do so (and allowed!) These guards have no control in their own lives, over their husbands and wives and over their kids. So they overcompensate by trying to control us to extremes. Society doesn't realize this potential and these problems exist in here.

The Commission on Safety an Abuse in America's Prisons report "confronting Confinement" quote: "The public rarely thinks about people in prison and thinks even less often about the men and women who manage and work in these same facilities. When we do look closely, what we see is a poorly understood profession that shoulders tremendous responsibilities and faces incredible challenges, usually without adequate resources and support. Yet this labor force is responsible for operating jails and prisons that must safely and humanely accommodate an estimated 13.5 million people annually. When correction professionals fail to meet the demands of the jobs, for whatever reason, they endanger prisoners and officers alike and, at the extreme, cripple entire facilities [such as here at Mark W. Stiles Unit; But, why should you care, you ask?] The failures are felt beyond the facility walls when officers and prisoners return to their families and their communities."[End quote]

19 March 2009

I made an observance today coming back from the chow hall. There are all these birds, sparrows, egrets, seagulls, grackles, martins, etc...on these grounds. They are free to fly anywhere they want; Yet, they choose to nest and hang out within the confines of these prison walls and fences among some of Texas' most dangerous predators.

And, there's Texas' most dangerous, feeding them bread crumbs they secreted from the mess hall.

20 March 2009

I've said it before: This place has nothing to do with rehabilitation. They say that's why TDC had to take out the word "correction" and "rehabilitation" out of their original name (Texas Dept. of Correction and Rehabilitation). I guess it was like false advertising or something. It wasn't "correcting" anything as there's no "rehabilitation." If anything, it just makes matters worse.

21 March 2009

Has anyone thought about who the stockholders are that are profiting from the prison complex? I believe they are the senators, governors, legislative bodies, judges, DAs, etc...; and their "good ol' boy" buddies that provide services and materials to the prisons. They are the very ones who are creating the laws that keep us in here longer. Isn't that a conflict of interest? Isn't there laws against these type of practices, like Anti-trust laws on monopolization and racketeering and such?

23 March 2009

I think I just stepped into the twilight zone. Something has to be wrong. Today I had a lay-in to see a physician's assistant, Ms. Davis (which 2 years ago was named Ms. Moore, then less than a year ago, was named Ms. Locke. Sounds familiar, but that's OK. I'm not passing judgment. I don't think she's abandoned any children yet...).

I did not request this Nurse Sick Call (NSC). Apparently it was a follow up to my Tele-Med video conference with the "All-Spine Clinic" at UTMB. So, I took the opportunity to explain to her that the order for a back brace and medical boots was entered over 10 months ago, and that I still had not received either one. She thought that was ridiculous. Her response just about floored me. She actually agreed to what I said. I then told her about the denial of the medical boots and how the "Brace and Limb Clinic" at the Ellis 2 Unit says the denial came from my unit (in other words her, and Dr. Reyes), but that the medical staff on the unit here say, NO, that the podiatrist at Brace and Limb denied the request. She immediately went to check on the matter on the computer. And I'm thinking, "Wow, this is getting weird. She was actually helping me out and trying to resolve this situation right now." She brought back the printout of the orders that she personally entered into the computer. And, yes, both the back brace and the boots were recommended and entered. Apparently someone at "Brace and Limb" failed to enter the recommendation for the boots, they dropped the ball. So, Ms. Davis, previously Ms. Locke, Ms. Moore promised to re-enter the orders, and request that the podiatrist re-evaluate the need for medical boots. She said she wasn't promising anything but she would do all she could to get them to give me the boots. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming!

I'm not getting too excited though. I've been through this before (this ain't my first rodeo...!). When I first arrived on this unit, she seemed more than helpful then too, and she had a good attitude. On 01/14/07 after coming from the Lynaugh Unit, where I was totally neglected and refused any medical care, I told her that her attitude was like a breath of fresh air. That was before these last 2 years of delays and cancellations, and rescheduling and refusals on this unit. This is not her fault though, it's more due to the broken down system itself.

We'll see how long this lasts. I know Brace and Limb showed me a printout that said the boots were denied once already.

24 March 2009

Oh yeah! It's nice to know everything's back to normal now. I got another lay-in today to see Dr. Reyes, the unit physician. I figured it was a follow up to the appointment yesterday concerning the medical boots. Nope, was a lay-in to have my eyes checked, a request I had just submitted 2 days before. I waited 4 hours only to have him tell me the nurses made a mistake and that eye tests were given on Saturdays. He told me I would be reissued a lay-in then (yeah right, I've heard that before).

After being so disappointed and emotionally traumatized by their concern and kind actions yesterday, it's good to know everything's back to normal (S.O.P.-A.F.U.!)

25 March 2009

I wonder if Islam is the biblically prophesied "one world religion." This makes sense being as how it's the most dynamically, exponentially expanding religion in the world. Today all the data supports this religion, Western civilizations' growth rates have declined to 1.2%-2% while Islamic countries' birth and growth rates have increased (1.2%-4%). This is not counting the conversions of countries and individuals to the Muslim religion. My understanding is that prisons are the #1 recruitment grounds for Muslim converts.

The Muslim religion is generally being misrepresented here on the Mark W. Stiles Unit. There are some Muslim brothers that are warm hearted and "good people," but most of them are "haters," and they're all into all kinds of illicit activities. I have to ask, "Is this acceptable in Muslim Doctrine?: To do and sell drugs, smoke, steal, hate on each other, fight, etc?"

The Muslims on the other side of the farm (medium and closed custody) are getting out of hand. They are hating on everyone not of the black race, by conning and stealing from them. They "clique" and beat up people. They riot. They're trying to corner all of the "illicit" trades, etc. All the old timer Muslims that used to keep them in check have moved on or gone home. Now, these "youngsters" are conducting themselves like 5th nation gangbangers. They are not representing their religion very well, unless of course this is considered acceptable in this religion. From what I've read and been told, Islam is a militant based religion and takes things by force. Is this true?

I also have a couple of questions as to Muslim prayer; And a possible solution to a problem I've observed.

When one kneels to pray, they are supposed to face towards Mecca no matter where they are on Earth, right? OK,...what if you're dead center on the other side of the globe from Mecca? Would it matter which way you face, being as how it's equal distance to Mecca no matter which way you go around? Now, being as the Earth is round, does it really matter which way you face being as how you can go around to Earth and eventually Mecca no matter which direction you travel? Is the Easterly position always the proper direction whether it's the shortest distance, or even if it's the longest distance? Or do you face Mecca from the shortest distance to this holy city? Whether North, South, East or West?

I'm asking this because I've noticed that some of these practitioners are having trouble with their directions; Perhaps, this is due to all the illicit activities, I don't know. I see them facing the South wall, the North wall, the Southwest wall, etc....It seems they are facing every which way but East/Northeast, which is the shortest distance to Mecca from Texas; unless of course you go over the poles, or the long way around. It's very confusing for me. As you can tell, I've pondered this for some time. And during these musings I've come up with a solution. It's called a "directional prayer rug."

You know those button compasses they used to pass out to GIs in World War II? Well, I propose that you imbed these into prayer rugs to help facilitate these devout practitioners with their direction! And, being as how this religion is quickly becoming the world's most dominant religion, I'd have the potential to make millions of dollars by patenting this idea! Mind you, I'm not making fun of these devotees; I'm just making light of my observations. Now, if I could just get out of here.

Isn't pork forbidden in Islamic?Muslim religion? I've noticed that during lock downs, where the only alternative to meals is peanut butter, that only the most devoted muslims refrain from eating the hot dogs, corn dogs, and pork products. And, they are few and far between. And, when it's pork chop day at chow hall? Forget it; There are no adherents to this rule!