Monopoly Part III

By Jay Goodman

Let me start this chapter with a quick note. What I am about to tell you is not about the Board Game, but about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Monopoly on the Commissary Services.

I was told that the Texas prisons made 78.2 million dollars from its Commissary Services in 2017. Which I don’t think is correct, because I truly believe it’s more. I have written and written about this corrupt prison system and the stronghold they have on us and our families. Of course, to let them tell it they don’t make a dime from us or our families. But as I have pointed out before, there is no way Texas would keep way over one hundred prisons up and running if they were not getting something out of the deal. There is no way in hell these Texas prisons would keep going after almost 30 years if they were not lining the Puppetmaster’s very deep pockets with lots of money. Allow me to take you inside the Commissary Services.

What you will mainly see are items being sold by a company named, “Barbco” or from the “Texas Correctional Industries” (TCI). I remember when E-comm was first introduced. This was where our families and or our friends could send us a “Care Package”, outside of what we were allowed to spend every two weeks. It was originally supposed to be that our families and or our friends would be able to buy us items from an outside vendor. But leave it to the Texas prison system to grease palms and naturally gain full control of the E-comm business. Of course, to hear them tell us and everyone else they did it under the, “Security Umbrella”.

See, years ago the federal government made the mistake of telling Texas, if it wasn’t directly related to a security issue, they could not stop it. Whatever it was. Now, the Texas prisons have gone as far as restricting who can send you a J-pay letter, which is an “electronic letter”. E-comm, or put money in your inmate trust fund account. It now states that anyone who uses these services must be on your visitation list. What about the church’s that send indigent prisoners’ money? There are thousands upon thousands of prisoners who have lost all of their family members, and the prison system never stopped for a minute to think about this. Oh well, fend for yourself since we don’t pay you. What about your family? You can’t put everyone on your list that sends you money. What about someone’s 90-year-old Grandmother that sends them money? But is too old to make the long drive to visit you? Sorry Granny. How about friends you have made in here, that go home and want to keep in touch. Nope, next. So, what’s next? The Texas prison system is going to say that you can only receive snail-mail from someone on your visitation list? That may sound crazy, but that’s how it used to be for us in the Texas prison system. Of course, Texas will use their most famous lines to say why they’re doing this. Oh, “for security reasons, prisoners have extorted other prisoners.” Well guess what stupid, will it stop it? Absolutely not. That’s why there’s avenues like the, “Safe Prison Act”, so prisoners who are having issues can turn to them for help.

The Puppetmasters know this, but instead of thinking logically, they create rules like this. People might think, what’s so bad ab- out this? Let’s see if I can point it out, you are only allowed to put 10 people on your visiting list at a time. If someone I know sends me money every month, but can’t visit me due to age, economy, distance, or medical issues, what then? By doing this with the E-comm and J-pay the Texas prison system is in direct violation of the, “Texas Anti-trust Act”.

First let’s see what a monopoly is. In the Black’s Law Dictionary 11th Edition Monopoly control or advantage obtained by one supplier or product over the commercial market within a given region. In the modern sense, a monopoly exists when all, or so nearly all, of an article of trade or commerce within a community or district, is brought within the hands of one person or set of persons, as practically to bring the such single control to the exclusion of competition or free traffic therein. A Monopoly is created when, as the result of efforts to that end, previously competing business are so concentrated in the hands of a single person or corporation, or a few persons or corporations acting together, like the, “Texas Department of Criminal Justice / and Barbco”. That they have the power, for all practical purposes, to control the prices of a commodity and thus to suppress competition. In brief, a Monopoly is the practical suppression of effective business competition, which thereby creates a power to control prices to the public harm. I was told that Citi Bank has partnered with Barbco. Why do I bash Barbco so much? Because they make it to easy not to.

Let’s take a look at where Barbco’s located. Don’t think too hard, I am sure if you’ve read my book from start to finish a child could answer this question correctly. That’s right, good ol’ Huntsville, Texas. The capital city of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. You still think this is just a coincidence? I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Barbco uses inmate labor to some extent. I cannot help but wonder, or I mean think out loud. You mean to tell me that Barbco isn’t owned by a former employee, a family member, friend, or of course the Puppetmasters have it under a Corporation. Out of tens of thousands of different companies Barbco gets the contract each time, what are the odds of that? And as I’ve said it’s in the same city as the Texas prison system capital.

Let’s take a look at what the Texas law states about Monopolies. Marlin V. Robertson, 307 S.W.3d 418(Tex. App-San Antonio 2009) - To establish that a defendant “Monopolized” in violation of Texas antitrust act, A plaintiff must show: (1) the defendant’s possession of Monopoly power in the relevant market, and (2) the defendants willful acquisition or maintenance of that power, as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, Business Acumen, or Historical Accident. Let’s look at the first part, shall we.

The defendant’s possession of Monopoly power in the relevant market. Well, since no one is able to sell us anything except through the Texas prison commissary (food, hygiene, stationery) I would say that this fulfills the first part.

Let’s look at the second part. Since the Texas Department of Criminal Justice willful maintenance of that power is clear by their failure to allow any outside source to sell to us; Walmart, Amazon, HEB, etc. etc... As distinguished from growth “or” development as a consequence of a superior product. If this was the case, I cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t want Cheetos or Tostitos over Barbco. Business Acumen? Stop it, this is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice we are talking about. Yes, the ex- act same people who cannot clear count. Historical Accident? Not hardly.

I can remember the Texas prisons used to sell name brand products. Now it’s Barbco, TCI (Texas Correctional Industries) that is where they have us making stuff and then force us to buy it. Or of course made in China. Trust me when I say, China would never use children in their sweat shops, and I’m an astronaut from Mars. How did we go from a tablet of writing paper that cost .850 to writing paper that cost $2.25 and $3.55? Please allow me to answer this question. Because the Texas prison system put out a new policy which stopped prisoners and our families from ordering writing paper, from business supply stores. I used to buy 13 tablets from an office supply store under 10 dollars, legal tablets at that. I told everyone that the price on writing paper would jump. I even wrote about it before it happened. It went from .850 for 50 sheets to $2.25 and $3.55 for the exact amount of paper. Now take a guess who makes the paper they sell to us? Do you give up? That’s right the prisoners. I believe the tablets are from the Hobby Unit. So, I guess they use the whole shipping and handling thing for this huge price increase?

Let’s see what the Federal Government states about this. Stew- art Glass & Mirror V. U.S. Auto Glass Discount, 200 F.3d 307 (5th Cir. 2000) Head Note [6] “Monopoly Power” under the Sherman Antitrust Act is understood as power to control price or exclude com- petition. Sherman Act, §2, As Amended 15 U.S.C.A. §2. Head Note [11 & 12] Texas Law requires no more than proof of “unfair” market practices to maintain a cause of action for Tortious Interference.

If you remember when the hurricane hit Houston, some astute businesses decided to raise their gas prices to make a profit. Big mistake, the Government stepped in and was on them like, white on rice. So, where’s the Government when it comes to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice? Good question, maybe some political subdivision doesn’t want anyone affecting their piece of the pie. Because we all know how much they love their pie. Remember Texas doesn’t pay us, they are robbing our families and friends.

No good time, work time, or bonus time. When I say this is a Criminal Organization, that’s exactly what I mean. Our families and friends send us money, tax payers, they deserve our Government Officials to step in and protect their hard-earned income. Well, Easter is around the corner, I’ll wait for the Easter Bunny. He’ll get here before our elected officials do anything about this Monopolized Organization they call, “TDCJ”.


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