Corruption in Corrections
Perhaps the most important facet of my job as a writer is to remain objective. If I ask better questions, I'll get better answers; and yes, eventually, the attention of the people with the right knowledge, authority, and compassion to properly address these issues we so desperately need solved. It's time to do the right thing and tell you what they don't want you to know.
If I come across as just another disgruntled inmate asking a platform on which to vent - then I'll do none of us any good. Therefore, I need to shift the focus from the issues as being only prison related, and view them in the light of being problems facing society as a whole. My goal is to take a proactive approach in the prevention of needless suffering for everyone involved.
I'll do my best to stay away from speculation and conjecture. If anyone doubts the validity of what I say, then by all means, do some fact checking and look into it. After all, you fine people have Google and Internet. I do the best I can with what I've got: (pen, envelopes, paper, stamps, snail-mail, periodicals, direct observation, etc.) Oh, don't take that as a complaint. Let my perseverance in spite of my limitations stand as a testament to the importance of my work.
The legalistic view of rich people with power says: "prove it - catch me if you can." Well, I may lack the resources and alliances to stand toe to toe with them in court. But even a simple country boy like me knows wrong is wrong. And regardless of the fact that people have become desensitized to their crimes because of the environment in which they occur, does not detract from the fact that there are no acceptable nor permissible levels for: theft, assault, rape, extortion, robbery, conspiracy, embezzlement, drug smuggling, gang activity, organized crime, weapons violations, introduction of contraband into a penal institution, prohibited data via thumb drives, gambling, prostitution, misappropriation of funds, record falsification, cell phones, racketeering, etc...
Just prior to Christmas we had two assaults that could have resulted in death. One kid gets his head split with a fan motor. The other was stomped so severely that he broke his jaw. The Torres Unit is supposed to become this shining star of a "faith based" unit. Instead, what we have is a handful of people with faith. And a plethora of others who are simply just base.
When the minister stood up and announced that 2 million dollars had been devoted to build a chapel, the congregation cheered. I invite anyone to look at the metal building out in front of the Torres unit and tell me it's a 2 million dollar facility. Sometimes there are some cost overruns and construction problems. We were scheduled to begin services in May of 2018. Why is the building still not ready? Who ran off with the money?
Was there any nepotism or favoritism involved with selecting a contractor? Were there inferior products, labor, and/or methods used in order to cut costs and pad the pockets of state officials? Oh sure, there's inspectors, permits, fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Does all that really add up to 2 million dollars worth? Where is all the oversight and accountability?
When good people refuse to stand up for the right things, then bad people will rush in to fill the vacuum with wrong things. I hope the powers that be don't mistake my intentions too critical of their prowess in administration or lack thereof. It's really not their fault. They don't run the criminal justice system. The gangs do. And if anyone finds this an exaggeration, then just ask former officers: Barrientes, Gutierrez, Davila, Woods, and Dinkins. These poor unfortunates suffered from such low self esteem that they found it necessary to prostitute themselves and smuggle in the drugs and cell phones for their superiors. They're the casualties in a very sick and twisted game.
There is an oppressive philosophy of corruption and antagonism that permeates every movement of this unit's operation. An overabundance of malicious guards do all they can to increase stress and anxiety in order to raise tensions to a high enough level where they can hopefully "see a little action." No amount of hate or bullying is acceptable or even lends to anything good. Theft of inmate property and writing frivolous disciplinary cases under the guise of "following policy and procedure" only serves to exacerbate an already dangerous situation. Thus, risking the safety and security for offenders, staff, and visitors alike.
Tragedy should never be prerequisite for prevention. Unfortunately, unnecessary deaths are the criteria our society requires before they take action. I'm sure all of these stop lights and guard rails were not seen as being "cost effective" until enough people died. Rules and regulations regarding safety and security were written in the blood of those who have gone before us. And if we are not willing to take a common sense approach to learning from our past, then history is bound to repeat itself.
Provocation is always a precursor to problems. The old adage of "don't start none, won't be none" rings true more often than not. Still, day after day, practices such as: sleep deprivation; unwarranted restriction of privileges; theft of property; threats; disparity; duplicity; intimidation; bogus disciplinary write ups; hazard exposure; falsification of documents and records; insubordination; misconduct; etc...are rampant within this facility.
The turnover rate for officers here is probably the worst in the entire state. People leave this place like rats from a sinking ship. I know guards treat each other just as bad as they treat me. And it's not just the C.O's. we've had 4 murders in 2 years; major, captain, lieutenants, sergeants, and other staff. The causes must be the complete lack of integrity, professionalism, and respect. If we are supposed to become this premiere faith based facility, then we'd better find us some faith based officers quick, fast, and in a hurry!
When officer Catalin told me to "suck his dick," I did exactly as directed by P.R.E.A. guidelines and told staff. They laughed in my face. I then wrote a letter which opened up a P.R.E.A. investigation. Bringing that kind of attention to myself got me threatened. However, I feel it was worth it to get them to take the issue of bullying and harassment seriously. I tried to keep it anonymous because even though I don't like to get picked on, I never want to be the cause of someone's loss of their livelihood. When Warden Wallace's official statement came back to me listing the incident as "unsubstantiated," I thought that was the end of it. Now officer Catalin no longer works here. Neither does Warden Wallace. Why?
There's nothing worse than a person who thinks position places them above the law. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think we can all admit that most of the people here are incorrigible. However, the few that are trying to change do not deserve to have their recovery compromised. If the only example these men have of authority is tainted by malice, corruption, and manipulation; then we are doing them and society a great disservice.
We still have rogue officers at Torres. Last month Sgt. [Oliviedo?] and C.O. Embers threw our clothes in the toilets, thus exposing us to biohazardous contaminants. Officers: Hughes, Marina, Davala, Luna, Eide, + Cruz; still prowl around with their abuse and harassment. Heaven forbid one of these psychopaths ever gets pushed beyond their limit and we have another "Bryant/Woods" incident. Feet that are swift to run to evil eventually find it.
The sole purpose of me embarking on this endeavor is to save lives. I do this because I care. I can't count the times I've talked someone out of doing something stupid. However, if given a long enough timeline, constant provocation will end in tragedy. Texas continues to misuse its prison system as a default mechanism for its failure to provide proper mental healthcare. Furthermore, the blatant disregard for integrity, equanimity, accountability, and transparency will only yield a harvest of wasted lives and shattered families. This Texas prison industrial complex makes a lot of money. As long as the coffers down in Austin stay full, then who cares if a little blood gets spilled. After all, who's eve going to find out?
Reference and Authority as follows:
And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this is work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it lest you even be found to fight against God. (Act: 5:38-39)
Open your mouth for the speechless. In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth. Judge righteously. And plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. (Deuteronomy 16:19)
Texas penal code 39.03 Oppression by Official
Texas penal code 39.04 Violation of civil rights
This statewide money grab stretches from Dalhart to Brownsville. Subpoena these folks before some grand juries and committees and there will be fingers pointing from Austin to Huntsville. Then they'll implicate each other and the feds will gain necessary information to hand down indictments. The status quo is making lawyers, judges, and public officials rich. All I'm saying is that the citizens of Texas and the United States deserve better. God deserves better!
In God We Trust
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