By Jay Goodman

As I sit here in my cell looking over the prison I’m sitting in, I cannot help but look at one of the buildings with a little distaste. Not that every prisoner in this dorm are bad people, because they’re not. I know a lot of good people who live in this dorm, there are quite a few who I call friends. In fact, a guy who has helped me edit my chapters by the name of Julio, moved out there not too long ago. But there are a lot of people who do live out there that, well, are just crybabies, who really do f--- it up for everyone else who want to try to change things. Of course, the Puppetmasters use this building as a tool to manipulate the prisoners that live there. The name of this building is, 5 Dorm.

At the Stevenson Unit there are four ‘buildings 1 through 4, each building has three cell blocks. with 21 cells downstairs, and 21 cells upstairs, with 2 people per cell. Each cell block has to have all of the cell doors shut at all times, and we are supposed to get what are called, in’s and out’s, every hour on the hour. But there are very few guards who are going to follow this policy. Now 5 building does not have cells, they have cubicles. It’s a big open dorm, and the inmates have the freedom of coming and going as they like. I imagine that’s one of the biggest draws for most prisoners out there. 5 Dorm is much bigger than the buildings. While there are three cell blocks in each building, all three of them hold 252 prisoners. While 5 Dorm has four dorms and holds over three hundred men. The prison keeps all of the Trustees in 5 and also has what is called, the faith-based program, in one of the dorms.

Through the ten years I’ve been here I have seen so many of my fellow prisoners do-whatever it takes to go out to 5 Dorm, and once they’re there they will do whatever is needed to stay there. To give examples of what I mean, there was a man who moved here from another prison. At the other prison he had lived in 5 Dorm for a lot of years, and he felt that when he moved here, he should have been moved straight to our 5 Dorm here. Well, the Warden and the lady who runs classification said, there was a waiting list, and he was going to have to wait to move over there. This guy literally went crazy. He wrote grievances, had his family speak to the warden. Well when that didn’t work, he wrote letters to the director of the prison system, and had his family call also. Every day he was on the phone arguing with his family, to call this person or that person. One day he came to me and said, “I am going to make this prison ship me back to the max unit I was at, I hate this prison.” I said, “Listen, do you hear yourself? The prison you came from is locked down most of the time, and the parole rate is almost nonexistent. While the parole rate here is one of the highest in Texas, and we hardly ever get locked down. Just give it a few months and eventually you’ll move to the dorms.” Did he listen? No. Instead he packed his stuff and refused housing and went to lock-up. While I, of all people understand that each man has to do his own time, this man’s decision to go back to a maximum-security unit so he could live in the dorms really made me see the insanity of the people who want to live in 5 dorm. The Puppetmasters at their finest moment developed this dorm with naturally a lot of TVs, no cellie to worry about, no in’s and out’s, to worry about, and make it a place where they put all of the trustees, and wardens boys, the inmates who cut the officers hair, and shine their boots. And the inmates who work in the administration building, school building, and the medical department, and sidewalk crew, those are the inmates who run for the guards all day and night. The Puppetmasters want to make these prisoners feel special, but in reality, they are manipulating these prisoners. Remember, the main goal of the Texas prisons is to turn every person into their slave. They did not create 5 Dorm for no reason, they could just have easily built two more cell blocks. They also take a lot of people who have struggled to survive in the cell blocks and put them out there as well. But the majority of the inmates, in 5 Dorm work either the jobs I mentioned, or a lot of them also work outside like at the Food Bank. Now the inmates who do get these different jobs I have seen the guards, and especially the ranking officers ask them shortly after they move out there, this, “How do you like your new job?” They always ask this with a big smile. The inmates smile back and say, “I love it.” The staff want to make them feel all warm and welcome. Now of course comes the manipulation.

Here is an example. I know some inmates that work in the officers dining hall. Inmates are only allowed to be worked so many hours a week. Most prisoners work either A-card, or B-card, because there are two shifts of officers. But, because these inmates work in the officer dining hall, and were moved to 5 Dorm, they manipulate these men into working all of the time. I have heard these guys say, “Man, they need me in the officer dining hall. “When I hear prisoners say this, I cannot help but laugh, because I know they have these guys actually believing this. Next, the staff will start telling the inmates, “Hey, don’t tell me you don’t want to’ work today. I know it’s your day off but if you don’t go in they might fire you, and then they’ll move you. back in the buildings.” I’ve seen prisoners say, I’ve worked the last 15 days straight, I need to write my family some letters. But the staff will make a mad face and say, well, don’t be upset if you lose your position and get moved. Never mind, this prisoner has worked the last 15 days, never mind, he has worked 12 hours each day, never mind, that he worked 180 hours, they want what they want, and that’s all that’s important.

There are inmates that have been out in the dorms for years, and if someone new comes out in 5 Dorm and, let’s say, wants to watch something different on TV, then the ones who have been there will write an, 1-60 request form, and say this new guy is causing trouble and the administration will move him back to the cell blocks. I have heard these prisoners say, we have watched this program every day for years, I’ll be damn if someone thinks he can come out here and change things up. I always have to shake my head to this because God forbid someone would want to watch something different than one of these crybabies. But, these are exactly the type of prisoners the Puppetmasters want out in 5 Dorm. Why? Because they can use them for their personal slaves, and more importantly they have modified these prisoners thinking.

As I have shown in past chapters, years ago the Texas prisons used turnkeys to beat other prisoners, but when the courts forced them to do away with the turnkeys, they flipped to mind control. To show also how a small prison like the Stevenson Unit uses 5 Dorm to manipulate and control the prisoners who live in 5 Dorm, allow me to give a few examples.

Several years ago we were having trouble with our guards rushing us out of the chow hall too fast, and a couple of men that lived in 5 Dorm, both in their 60’s tried to talk with ranking officers about this situation, but were ignored. So, one day in the Law Library they spoke to me about it, and asked me how they should write it up. I said, “This place was built for one thousand prisoners, and our dining hall was built to feed that many prisoners in this much time. But now that 5 Dorm is here, there are over three hundred more people to feed, so we need a little more time to eat.” Anyway, these gentlemen wrote a grievance and put it in the box. The very next day after the administration received the grievance both men were moved out of 5 Dorm. They both wrote grievances for retaliation, the warden answered, that it was not because they wrote grievances, but that it was a random move, and that they were on the list to move back. But, I want everyone who is reading this to understand something. There are over three hundred prisoners in 5 Dorm. What do you believe the chances were that these two men who wrote grievances, and were both randomly moved off the dorm the very next day? I am not a betting man, but I would be willing to bet one of my eyes that there is no way possible that these two men were randomly moved the day after their grievances were dropped. To even suggest something so ridiculously stupid shows the complete ignorance of these idiots. But, it’s because of things like this it’s very easy to show how the Texas prison system manipulates the prisoners, and abuses the power that’s been given to them. Never mind, that any form of retaliation against a prisoner for utilizing the grievance system or the courts, is not only against the Texas prisons policy, but it’s against the law. And to show once again how corrupt this prison system is, the warden himself had to sign off on these men’s grievances.

Now since the heat lawsuit was won at the Pack Unit and they have to, by law, give us, Respite, which they hate with all their hearts. Once again they found a ‘way to manipulate the 5 dorm prisoner and basically f--- over all three hundred plus men. While the inmates in the buildings can either go to Respite in medical or the school building. They make the inmates in 5 Dorm go to a room not much bigger than a closet, that maybe holds 6 to 8 people, nowhere the room that’s needed to accommodate over three hundred prisoners. Have prisoners complained there’s not enough room? Yes. But are quickly told, if you don’t like it, we can move you back to the buildings. When I see these prisoners accept this without filing grievances or having their families call ACA, and Huntsville it makes me sick.

While I am a firm believer in staying out of the way and doing good. I am also a firm believer in utilizing the “Rights” given to me by the state and by the courts. I am in prison for breaking the law, and I accept that. But, I do expect the State of Texas to enforce that same law on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. And all of 5 Dorm should expect to be treated with the respect you all deserve, not to be threatened and manipulated and abused, because you live in the dorms. Stand up for what is right and stop being afraid to utilize the procedures that have been put in place to protect you against the bullies that try to control all of you with fear and intimidation.

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