CONTINUING EDUCATION

In my last chapter, I wanted to give everyone a different view of the men and women in the Texas prison system. I want everyone to understand that there is so much raw talent inside these Texas prisons, it's unbelievable. And if there was more focus on rehabilitation than trying to control and punish the inmates, there would be a huge change in the population of the system, which would ultimately lower crime rates and save the Texas taxpayers hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. Believe me. If they would implement the changes I've been discussing in these chapters, the results would shock everyone. We know this, because it's been tried and it has succeeded in other states.

I realize that everyone who has read my past chapters and has seen how I repeatedly use the word "Puppetmasters" to describe the people who run the prisons in Texas might think , This guy is overexagerating, with all I've talked about or explained. In fact, even my friend, Mike, who edits my chapters for me, cannot fully appreciate why I so emphasize this word. It's because it's one thing to have control of the system, but it's another thing entirely to use this control to enslave people in your care- to manipulate them and use them for your own advantage, to physically and emotionally abuse them, to spiritually deprive them. In my eye, this makes the Puppetmasters worse than the very worst evils that prison has to offer, and there are many indeed. In fact, as you've heard me say, the only difference between the criminals running the system, and the criminals imprisoned in the system, is that one of these groups has already been caught.

There are people who picture in their minds that everybody in prison is some street hoodlum that they see in the movies, but the truth is that the people in here come from every walk of life. Yes, there are thugs and hoodlums and street punks. But, there are many college-educated men and women, too. Some of my dearest friends in here have bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. I've met police officers, FBI agents, state judges, federal judges, lawyers of every stripe, state and federal Prison guards, and many other officials and professionals. I've met teachers, producers, and decorated war heroes. The list goes on and on.

Now, if you were to ask these people I just named, "What happened to you? How on earth did you, of all people, end up in prison?" what you would hear is that most of them suffered from some type of addiction, maybe to alcohol or drugs or something else. As I mentioned last time, alcohol and drug addiction are diseases, recognized as such by the medical community. I'm sure most of us have a family member or a friend that a has suffered from some form of addiction. And even the ones that don't come to prison might end up losing their homes, their pesonal belongings, their money, and even their own families. If they manage not to kill themselves, they usually end up committing some kind of crime to support their habit. Alcoholics will start driving drunk to get to the liquor store.and maybe cause a car wreck that Kills innocent people. Druggies will steal from their families and then from strangers, breaking and entering into somone's home to pay for their drugs. They start dealing to pay for their habit, and soon enough, blood is on their hands. Finally, they end up coming  to prison.

As I said, the majority of prisoners are in prison because of drugs. I've given this a lot of thought, and I'd say 95 percent of us are in here for some type of drug-reiated activity, whether selling, using, stealing, or robbing to buy more drugs. Once they come to the TDCJ for however much time they have- five, ten, or fifteen years- they get here, and there are no serious programs for them to dreank free of the addiction. Of course, TDCJ will say, "We offer pro grams," and, yes, there is an AA meeting here once a week and some other religious programming. And at the end of the sentence, there might even be a more stringent program that lasts a few months. But let's face it Wouldn't it be better to have long-term drug classes that start at the beginning of the sentence? That way, these men and women have a better chance of rehabilitation. Of course, the answer is yes, and that is the exact reason why so many drug addicts (and thus, prisoners over all) end up coming back to prison. And this is just what the Puppetmasters want. They've planned it to happen this way.

Now, let me take you into the prison system and show you another form of manipulation that the Puppetmasters use. No matter how good prisoners are- no matter how hard we work or how long we go without any disciplinary writeups- there is NO extrensic reward of any kind for doing good. Please understand, I'm not talking about a slap on the back. If you are an inmate that doesn't receive any disciplinary cases, that treats all the staff with courtesy and respect, that does everything possible to educate and better yourself, wouldn't it be nice to get some kind of reward. I'm not even talking about parole, which is a whole other can of worms. How about letting all the good guys live together in the same dorm? I mean, if you have all the inmates together that are focussed on the same goal, and they stay out of trouble, study God, or whatever, wouldn't it be great to let them have a cell block or even a building of their own? I mean, as it is now, it doesn't matter how well you do, they'll come at any time and put someone in your cell that is a complete idiot- straight out of isolation, causing trouble all the time. Plus, in your dorm of 84 prisoners, you might have 20 or 30 people in there getting high, making "hootch", fighting and arguing with staff or just causing trouble every day. These types of inmates draw so many problems, that it causes trouble for everyone else, even the prisoners who are doing good. Remember school? Everyone recalls the "bad kid" who just couldn't get it together. Did you ever have a teacher that held the whole class responsible every time this kid acted up? What if the whole class had to do detention every time this idiot kid blurted something stupid or acted like a bully or whatever? It would be infuriating, wouldn't it? Now imagine that you decide to stand up to this bully, and by doing so, you're told that you now have to go to school an extra year after you graduate because you shouldn't have hit the bully, Crazy isn't it?

These inmates cause so much trouble for everyone else who's trying to do good, that the ones behaving get frustrated, and they start thinking, "What's the point of trying to do good?" They lose hope, because one or two knuckleheads out of 84 will hiae some hootch in the shower area. The officer comes in and finds it, and all 84 people in the dorm are locked down for 24 hours- no rec, no chow hall, no church or religious activities. It means that they're going to eat johnny sacks, which as you already know, consist of a bologna sandwich and a peanut butter sandwich. The reason they do this is because the rank wants us to police other inmates, but, for one thing, I'm NOT a guard, and I don't get paid to be one. And if anyone starts doing their job for them, guess what happens. That inmate will get his ass whipped, or even killed. Now suppose we DO jump on the winos or the toochy heads. What happens now? We get a case from the prison for fighting, go to isolation, receive 45 days cell restriction, no visits, no commissary, all because the officers tried to make me do their job. Oh, and if I hurt the other guy bad enough, I get a new charge on top of everything else. I'll go to the local courthouse and get more time stacked on top of the sentence I'm already serving.

You see, they were forced to do away with the turnkeys, but the Puppetmasters, who can't take no for an answer, are trying their hardest to this very day to get us to con trol and assault each other, to manipulate us into being turnkeys. How can the prisoner focussed on bettering himself make progress if he's constantly exposed to this type of treatment? To set up cell blocks or buildings for inmates pushing to rehabilitate would be easy, because the majority of inmates are already trying to stay out of the way. And now you wold have a block with 84 men all focussed on rehabbing. Imagine how much better and smoother this block would run. Imagine how much more they could learn and accomplish. And there's no lack ot room for this to happen. Remember they have over 100 prisons.

All this is possible ONLY if the prison system's main goal is rehabilitation. If you put inmates in a structure that is violent and force them to live this way for years, not only will he NOT get rehabilitated, but there's a very high probablility he will be worse than when he came in. Study after study has proven this to be true, that when prisoners were put into the right environment and given tools to succeed, tools like behavior therapy, vocational preparation, higher education and religious programs, truly great things began to happen. For one, these prisoners began to have confidence in themselves And, of course, this led them to want to learn more. Their whole attitude towards others started to change, and the way they viewed life took on a whole new meaning. Also, and I feel this is very important for everyone reading this, with this new-found look on life, these prisoners started truly understanding what they did was wrong. They started taking a good look at their crimes, and how it affected not only their victims, but their victims' families. These prisoners also started realizing how it affected their own mothers, fathers, wives and children. But NOW, their eyes are truly open and they see the true, hard consequences behind their actions.

This is where rehabilitation begins.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez