Parole Or Nightmare

By Jay Goodman

I received an F-I-1 parole on February 7, 2020. I could never begin to explain how happy and grateful I felt at that moment.  After 15 years of incarceration inside the Texas presence, it is truly the word everyone wants to hear. In my last chapter I talked about how good it felt to leave the prison unit I had been serving my timing. I cannot begin to tell everybody all the different emotions I experienced on my ride here. I arrived at the Walls unit in Huntsville, Texas on March 10th. They informed me that I would be leaving the next day on the 11th into federal custody. I was then given a cell in the far corner of the prison called S line. When I first saw my cell I thought God, it’s small. I was also surprised at how dirty it was, It look like it had not been cleaned in months if not years. So before I did anything I put my property on my bank and got out some detergent I had an old face towel and began cleaning. After an hour or so I felt a little better with my new cell so I unpacked my bag and decided to treat myself to a cup of coffee.

I sit down at the end of my bunk and looked around at this place and thought how glad I was that I was only going to be here for the night. It’s a very old, dirty, and depressing place. As I quickly got my thoughts turn to the next day, I realize no matter how terrible the situation, it’s only for one night. After 15 years in prison I couldn’t help but laugh and think I’ve been through everything imaginable over the last 15 years, one night here is a cat walk. So I made another cup of coffee and thought about how nice it was going to be defined me leave the Texas prison system one more night, so I thought.

The next morning around 5:30 the guard stop by my cell and said Goodman, pack it up you’re leaving. I had already been up for hours sitting there drinking coffee waiting for those magic words you’re leaving. I must admit I was very happy 34 days after I receive parole I was taking up front and dressed out to leave. There’s two other men they’re going into federal custody, a guy going to New York, and another going to Kentucky. The officer running the show started calling us up telling us where we were going. When it came to me, he said” Goodman, you’re going to Austin.” I said Austin, why am I going to Austin? I thought I was moving into federal custody. He said you have a retainer for a bank robbery. I said look, I took care of that back in 2009. He said one of the women check and she said he’s right they forgot to remove that container I’ll give them a call. By the end of the day the detainer was dropped, but the US marshals had already came and left.

So they said your out date has been changed until March 16. Talking about a letdown, I couldn’t believe the madness of the whole situation. The officer says “get your bag Goodman, and get back to your cell.”

I cannot begin to explain the frustration I felt as I walk back to my cell Block. But for those who have had been reading my book up until now no I try to look at the brighter side of things, so once I got back in my cell I sit back and look at my situation and realize it’s only five more days. After all these years I can do this on my head. So once again I unpacked my bag and let all of my frustration go and focus on my new date which was the following Monday. I tried to focus on reading, I still kept with getting up early around three. I’ll put a little work out together that would fit the small cell I have. I can’t honestly say those five days went by fast, but I can’t say I did not sit there mad at the world. I stayed focused on the positive side which is thank God, I do you have a parole. When Monday morning came around once again I was up and ready. The guy came around with a list of names of all the people leaving that morning and passed right by my cell. We came back by I asked why I wasn’t leaving and he told me he would check. Needless to say the car never came back. Later that morning the officer that comes to get everyone who is leaving came into my cell Block and I was able to talk to him. He remembered me from the week before and checked his list and said it had been canceled once again but could not tell me why. Over the next several days I talk to Every ranking officer that came by me and when they checked the computer they all would say that I did not have a release date. So now I not only didn’t get out but I had no idea whatsoever when I might leave

Now allow me to give everyone an idea of how bad my living conditions are. For one the prison I’m at is called the Walls unit, it’s right in the middle of the city of Huntsville, I’m talking right in town. It’s the very first prison built in Texas, back in the 1800s. The present was built to house the Civil War prisoners, so one can only imagine the conditions of the overall living inside this place. Hell, it’s so old a part of it is a museum. The part I live in is underground, there’s no windows, and there’s no hot water. An inmate will bring hot water around a few times each day, if you’re lucky. Showers? Not in the cell blocks. Do you take a shower you have to walk to the other side of the prison, if it’s freezing cold, or pouring down rain it doesn’t matter if you want to shower you have to deal with it. I can stand up in my cell and touch both walls, it’s around three small steps from my toilet to my cell door. Oh, before I forget these cells are for two men. Are they violating federal guidelines by putting two men in the cells? Of course, they are. You see there is a specific size a cell has to be per person by federal law. But Texas doesn’t care about any law federal or state. They have been violating prisoners’ rights in constitutional rights since this present system began.

The Puppetmasters don’t give a shit about breaking the law, as I have said and will keep saying this is a criminal organization. Roaches and rats are everywhere. Right now as I’m writing this, there are two pigeons less than 10 feet away.

Since I got here six weeks ago I haven’t been out of myself for more than an hour a day, and that is to take us to the chow hall. The longest I’ve been out is when my lawyer Francisco had me called out for a phone legal visit. Even when we do go outside we can’t see anything because there is a 30 foot wall built around the entire prison. The overall condition of this prison are way beyond what’s legally considered fit. Does Texas know this person should of been shut down decades ago, how could they not know it? There are laws in certain in certain standards that states have to go bye to house prisoners. The cells alone are not fit to put two people in. I know this to be a fat because I’ve read the federal standards in these cells are not even close to that standard. I’m not A betting man, but I am almost certain that the cells are not even the size that’s required to house one-person in. These cells are so old they don’t even have a small desk so prisoners can write letters or draw. I would go as far to say that I doubt if there’s any part of this present that’s up to federal standards. Just in the six weeks I have here the cell Block I live on has had toilet after toilet just start flooding the entire range I live on. Prisoners are stuck in the cells with urine and feces for hours if not days.

There’s so many things that are wrong with this place it should have been condemned decades ago. I mean it’s not like Texas doesn’t have enough prisons in its state. There are way over 100 prisons, they could close this place without a problem. But as I have pointed out over and over again, the Texas Department of criminal justice is not so much a prison system as it is and industry. To close these old prisons like this place or the win unit, they’d have to shut down the factories. It’s all about the money, and the prisoners are their slaves. After six weeks of living basically like I am in isolation. No TV, no radio or reception, we’re not allowed to use the phone to call my family or friends, they even close my commissary trust fun, so I’m not able to even go to the store and buy things that I need or want. They finally told me on schedule to leave on 24 April. As happy as I am to hear that needless to say I’m not trying to get my hopes up out of fear I won’t leave again. Every day I ask myself what’s it going to take to fix the system so broken that they will house human beings in cells that are not fit for dogs. It can never be fixed from within. The only hope for the 160,000 men and women is for the federal government to step in once again and take total control.

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