By Jay Goodman

As I look back and think of my past experiences in the Texas prison system, I can not help but wonder why no one has come forward and truly done something that would urge our state officials to make some drastic changes to this corrupt prison system. The Puppetmasters have stolen, abused, manipulated and taken advantage of both prisoners and staff members. They have even gone as far as plotting and committing murder. This prison system is so far out of control it would take a miracle to drive it into the twenty-first century. I have written about the CO's and the ranking officers. The quality of the people working here had dropped drastically. It wouldn't be any crazier if the prison system was put together by a muddle-headed circus monkey. Just when I think it could not get any worse, they have never failed to prove me wrong: Taking'a look at the Wardens I've seen through the years, I wonder how they have reached the position they are in. To me it's as if they come here with the agenda of screwing over the inmates and staff members both as thoroughly as possible.

I can not tell everyone how many times they have changed Wardens over the past nine years. Each time there is the anxious anticipation as to find out what kind of Warden we will get this time by both inmates and officers. Each time I also ask myself will this be the one to make some great changes? Of course, some Wardens come here and do a few things to make the prison life a little better. We are never allowed to take our shirts off outside on the rec yards. I do not know where this rule originated from, but whenever it's hot and the inmates are out playing their sporting activities you must have a shirt on. We did at one time, have a Warden that allowed us to take them off during recreation times, makes sense right? Well, the very next Warden did not think so and changed that rule back. Our current Warden did let us cover our windows this year so the hot Texas sun wouldn't overly heat up our cells, I must admit this was really nice. I have not witnessed anyone to come here and use their position to make some changes that would really benefit the entire prison.

There are actually two Wardens at each prison. An Assistant Warden and Head Warden. From what I've noticed through the years, the Head Warden will let the Assistant Warden, run things, that way they can stay in the background. That isn't always the case, like now: Our current Head Warden is Castro, she will walk around and communicate with the inmates, but she is a rare case. The Asst. Warden is Garza, and I must say he does come off as a likeable man. He does also communicate well with the prisoners. The only problem I see with individuals like Mr. Garza, is they come here with good intentions, but there are over one thousand three hundred prisoners here, and after a short period of time they become overwhelmed with all of the inmates trying to talk with them. Let's face it, prisons are full of people with problems. Whether it's a situation with an officer, visitation, or maybe someone has lost a family member. To everyone in here, the Wardens are the ones that can truly help them. They are also the people who have the power to change things. Now they may come here with the intentions of being a good Warden, but they soon realize they can't handle all of the problems coming in from all angles. They begin to back off from the inmates and push our troubles on to the ranking officers. They don't even run an honest disciplinary court, so you know they are not going to help us with any problems we have.

There is a time in everyone's life when we have to decide what's most important. No matter how we have lived in our past there will come a point when we have to say I have accepted this position of authority, how I've lived before and how I act from this day forth has to be different. Maybe you and your spouse at the beginning of your marriage lived a carefree lifestyle. Now all of a sudden you have a baby to care for. You both have to make a serious decision of what's important. There is an old saying: "A baby changes everything." Why? Because you are now responsible for another human beings life. I compare this theory with the individuals who become Wardens. No matter how you've presented yourself in the past, you have accepted the role of a Warden, the highest position in every prison. You have taken a position that requires you to think reasonably and make correct and honest decisions. As a Warden, you have accepted the responsibility over other human beings lives.

It's not time to kick back and ride along with your CO's or Rank, allowing them to abuse their authority or take advantage of the inmates. Every single day throughout the state of Texas, inmates are being mistreated. The Wardens are fully aware of how bad this situation is, but every day they turn their heads to what's happening. They know that bogus cases are written against the inmates. They fully understand that the officers are the ones that are helping themselves to all of the foods that are supposed to be for the prisoners. The deserts, condiments, and meats. They are not only aware of this, but are permitting this to happen in every prison across the state. Our last Warden Mr. Beard, was not only aware of it, but actually had stolen so much that we were lucky to even get meat at all. The Wardens know we are not being fed the way we are supposed to be, this is in violation of federal law, but none the less they continue to turn their heads. It seems like the worst to the best Wardens will look the other way to this situation. When the Wardens are confronted with the facts that their staff are abusing, harassing, lying or writing false reports, instead of doing the right thing, they stand up for those officers. Even when it is totally obvious these officers are in direct violation, usual response is, I'll take care of it or I'll look into it, which means that nothing will be done so go sit on your middle finger.

It puzzles me why these men and women become Wardens. You would think after working their way to the head of a prison, their virtues would include integrity, honesty and safety. I would assume they would demand that from all of their staff also. Instead, they allow them to get away with pretty much anything and then cover up for them. This has created an environment where CO's and ranking officers feel like they can do anything to us without any worry at all from the Wardens. This is all similar to when the mafia pays off the local police. They can operate without any fears that they'll get into trouble. At first maybe the police are just turning their heads and allowing theses criminals to run numbers or set up gambling houses. Over time these men start feeling comfortable enough to start selling drugs, then hey, I don't like this guy let's set him up or maybe just kill him.

Of course, when they read this or are confronted about these scandalous situations they'll say there are plenty of respectable Wardens out there and what this guy is writing about must be a lot of nonsensical insanity. If anyone takes a look at the history of the Texas prison system, you'll see that it's much worse than what I've written about in my book. Believe me, the Puppetmasters run this criminal organization, and withevery move they make, there is only one agenda on their minds. How will this all affect my criminal empire? Every person that's chosen to become Warden, the Puppetmasters know without a shadow of a doubt, this man or that woman will run that prison exactly how they want it ran. Naturally, whoever they choose to take the reigns of Warden, they know personally most of the time. One thing for is for sure about this individual though. He or she is easily manipulated, definitely is not a leader, and if needed to do so without any hesitation whatsoever, will lie not only to the inmates but most importantly to the courts. This vicious cycle of corruption is what allows the Texas prison system to get away with everything that it does. This is why they are stuck so far in the past. You almost think you've stepped back in time to the days of Cool Hand Luke.

It absolutely amazes me that Texas does not want to move their prison system into the 21stcentury, but of course that would mean change. The very last thing the Puppetmasters want is change. Why? Because that would cause them to actually trying to rehabilitate prisoners. This would naturally cut the recidivism rate down. This in time would force them to start shutting down prisons, and they would lose millions of dollars. Let's say they close down 50 prisons, remember now, not just 911 prisons but 50 industries. So, for now, the Puppetmasters will pull their strings moving the hapless marionettes along to the tune of their wretched orchestra, with one hand picked idiot placed as their Warden, leading the show.

The Puppetmasters think they have put together this well built criminal organization. Take a hard look at the rest of our country and see where the Texas prison system stands today. It's really an awful thing to witness, that this system prides itself on slavery type tactics allowing so much abuse to the prisoners. Times are changing and many great organizations are fighting hard for us. Just like all of us prisoners, someday you will also answer for all of your wrongs.

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