Gainful Employment

As the 1990s came to an end, it seemed like the Puppetmasters had set their criminal empire up to be pretty much untouchable. Almost all of the hardcore gang members are sitting in super segregations. Over one hundred prisons with industries are up and running, and they are making hundreds of millions of dollars. Inmates are doing everything from working miles and miles of fields and planting personal gardens for all the wardens to fixing and painting all of the state vehicles. And let’s not forget working on their personal cars, too, along with cutting their hair, cleaning their clothes, cooking meals 24 hours a day for all the staff, and each meal made to order.

I have talked about a lot of these things in previous chapters, and I pray the people reading this can see the magnitude of what the Puppetmasters have created. There are abut 247 officers that work on the Stevenson Unit. This, of course, doesn’t count all the people who work in medical, the factories, theschool building, an other civilians working various jobs on the unit that the inmates take care of on a daily basis. And let me just ask you, can anyone tell me of another job, besides maybe being the President, where you could get al these perks for free? Any that’s why when I say we are their “slaves”, that is exactly what I mean. That’s what we’ve beome to the Texas Department of Ciminal Justice. We’ve always been slaves to the State of Texas, but not to the extent and sixe of its present-day empire.

When my friend, Mike and I hear someone say on TV or read in a newspaper that the Texas prison system needs more money, we both look at each other and laugh, because the TDCJ has had over one hundred prisons since the early 1990s. It damn sure hasn’t has any trouble in keeping all of these places running, so what in the hell do you need more money for? A summer getaway house on the ocean? Because, if anything, the TDCY employees I’ve seen around here are way over paid.

I don’t mean this in a hateful way. Many of the officers I’ve met through theyears are good people, as as a whole, I cannot blame the officers for how we are treated. I know it’s how they have been trained to treat us. A lot of guards see through the Puppetmaster’ propaganda and realize what what is happening to us in wrong. Certainly, a lot of guards come here and hate, hate, hate – from the time they step inside the front gates to the moment they climb into their cars at night. Some spend their whole day believing that it is their personal duty to try their very best to make every inmate in prision as miserable as possible, and they do it in the name of reformation.

Here is something, though, the Puppetmasters never took into account when they built all these prisons, however, a slip up on their part that they don’t know how to correct. When this prison boom took off and all of these units started popping up faster than mosquitos after a week’s worth of rain, the TDCJ soon realized that they did not have enough family members to handle all the prisons they’d built. The quality of officers that have always run the Texas pens have had a certain mentality - work us, starve us, or beat us to death. But because of this proliferation of prisons, they’ve had to go out and beat the bushes, hiring all different types of people, and some you’d never imagine working inside a prison. In fact, the system took some of the ranking officers and turned them into recruiters. They’d go outto the malls and set up tables, and they started selling this pitch on how greait it is to work for the TDCJ. They told the prospects how they would have great insurance for their whole family. I laugh to myself sometimes, becauseI can picture in my mind how they would say, “You can eat and drink all you want. Your haircuts are free from here on out. We’ll take care of that laundry for you, too.” And in case that hook didn’t work - “After you’ve been around a while, you’ll make rank, and we’ll teach you how to start stealing everything that’s not nailed down. In fact, if you make warden, we’ll give you a house, and then you can pilfer all the meat, rob the food bank trucks, and sell it out the backdoor to make a killing.” Well now, I’m getting sidetracked by Warden Beard here, but you see what I mean. No doubt they’d get the fresh vegetable garden, free landscaping and irrigation, free car washes. In fact, I heard about this new bill they’ll be introducing at the next session of the Texas congress. It will require that all inmates keep toilet paper handy so that if any officer needs his ass wiped, we’ll be ready to do it for him.

I know I’m exagerating with a little humor there, but please allow me to take you through the system and show everyone the insanity that the Puppetmasters went through to put guards in all these prisons. First, let’s talk about the Africans. No, not African-Americans. Africans. Straight off the continent this time, I am NOT trying to be funny. These people came straight out of third-world dictatorships to become TDCJ prison guards.

I was at the Central Unit at the end of 2008. When I stepped off the bus, I was greeted by two Africans. They talked to me and several other prisoners for the next ten minutes. As hard as I tried, I never understood a single word, and I speak three languages. One word they kept repeating over and over that we picked up on was “fahku”. It became obvious that they were trying to tell us something, but for the life of us, we could not figure it out. Soon, three more Africans showed up, and the first two are telling them something, but they all looked mad as the devil. The newcomers were holding these long broom handles, and they started beating them rhythmically on the ground. It was like a scene out of a Stanley and Livingston movie. All five of them were screaming, “Fahku! Fahku!” at the top of their lungs. Truly, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and all of us were laughing at the spectacle. I couldn’t help but think someone was playing some kind of joke on us, or on them. Along comes an American officer, and he asked us what was happening. We all told him the Africans were trying to tell us something, but we didn’t understand them. He goes over and takes a minute trying to calm them all down. This done, a black inmate asks the officer what they were trying to tell us. He laughed and said, “Fahku means fuck you.” But now, the inmate was pissed and told them, “No. FahKU!”And here comes a whole other round of stick slamming and yelling and a language nobody could understand.

That prison was saturated with Africans. All of the prisoners fought hard to understand them, along with their fellow American officers. Later, I saw two of the Africans get into a fight. The Americans told us that they had come from two different tribal groups and hated one another, so fights were commonplace.

So, here we are. The Central Unit, the Darrington, and many other prisons are being run by officers no one can even understand. Moreover, someone must have told them how easy the job is, because they pretty much do nothing but sit around. If a problem comes up and you try to talk to rank about it, they don’t even want to address the problem, be cause they can’t communicate or get along with the Africans any better than the inmates. How the Puppetmasters came up with all of these Africans, I’ve no idea, but it helped them solve the labor shortage for a little while and helped them find the guards they so desperately needed.

Next, the recruiters went and took stacks of applications to the welfare offices. These women would come in there, looking to get help for their families. Texas made them fill out these applications. All of a sudden, all of these inner-city females straight off the welfare roles started working in the TDCJ. Now, DO NOT misunderstand me. I don’t have anything against women working in the prison. And I SURE don’t have anything against former welfare recipients going out and finding work. In fact, a lot of times, these women were faster to understand and sympathize with our situation in here than the men. But this tactic brought a whole new kind of woman to the prisons. Before, women officers were usually a male guard’s wife, mom or sister. Now, these new women came in with tattoos from their necks on down. They showed up drunk or high on weed or pills. Many were obviously addicts battling heroine or meth. And when they came, brother, they brought the drugs with them. There was a steady flow of anything you wanted as long as you could give them cash from inside or have someone from the streets wire them money. Your relatives could even meet up with them personally and give them drugs or other contraband and pay them in cash to carry it in. Not just drugs, either. You cold get cell phones, too. Phones are $500 each. Fifty phones is $25,000. Believe me, one lady might have two or three hundred inmates buying phones off her. That’s $150,000, just from selling phones. Usually, at some point in the year, there are shakedowns, and these phones get flushed or broken up or thrown out with the trash, so all of these inmates will have to buy the phones all over again. By the way, if I just sold you a $500 phone, and shakedown comes, and I KNOW you have a phone, I’m going to come and make sure you trash it just so I can collect all over again.

Another big thing was prostitution. Yep. The world’s oldest profession exists even in here. And just like the phones and the drugs, if you have the money, you can get the women. It didn’t take long for the African immigrant women working in the TDCJ to jump in and start doing it, too, after they saw the city girls making hundreds of dollars a shift. Darrington was and is renowned among prisoners as nothing short of a brothel. This is the same prison I spoke about a few chapters ago where prisoners were sent to take the life-saving Hep-C medication, but found out that all of it had been stolen after they got to the unit.

Next, the TDCJ recruiters went to the high schools and talked to the kids that were graduating, convincing them to work for the prisons. Of course, a lot of them did, and let’s face it, what are most 18 or 19-year-olds doing? They arepartying and having fun. They showed up and saw all the money being made, and here comes the dope, another endless supply of drugs and phones. These kids were making tens of thousand of dollars, so they are on top of the world.

They tell all of their friends and family members, and before long, there are whole prisons being run by these kids and their friends.

The next wave of TDCJ recruits must have thought this job was a godsend. They were the disabled and the morbidly obese. Now, don’t get upset with me. I don’t have a problem with overweight people, and I’m certainly not trying to make fun of them in any way, but I can say without a doubt that 30 to 40 percent of all Texas guards can’t even pass the physical fitness test the State requires of them. The consequences of this for staff and inmates is terrible. Basically, you have three guards to a building, and inevitably, one of them is so out of shape that two of them are doing all the work. They get tired or pissed off, and so they stop doing the in and outs that are supposed to be every hour, or worse, they decide they don’t care if the water jugs get filled up no matter how hot it is. Meanwhile, the fat guy’s in the air conditioned picket, falling asleep.

In my next chapter, I’ll show how the TDCJ started using all these different people to start lining their pockets with cash while still keeping their hands clean, and we’ll see how the TDCJ found an even crazier source for new guard recruits - active gang members.

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