TDCY Needs to Move Out of the Stone Age

By Jay Goodman 

          It’s May 2019, and the Texas prison system is so far behind the rest of the United States, it seems like I am living in a different time and another world. I always wonder how on earth can a place like The Texas Department of Criminal Justice exist in this country, without every politician in Texas screaming for reform. I too would think that a prison system like this would not only be an embarrassment, but it would infuriate every state official in Texas.

          But, first and foremost, you have to have integrity. That seems to be lacking in this state. It starts from the Governor and rolls down to the people who run these prisons. The Governor you say? “Yes,” the Governor has the power delegated to him to pardon or partial pardon prisoners. When was the last time this happened? You would probably have to Google it. “Don’t mess with Texas”, actually means, “Don’t mess with our good old boy system” they have in place. 

          If you know the whole state's prison system is corrupt shouldn’t someone, anyone, have a check and balance system? Did you know state legislators have tried to introduce bills that would make an “Innocence Commission Law”, but they have failed to pass it. Do you know what the differences are between, “Conviction Integrity Units” (CIU) and “Conviction Review Units” (CRU)? “No”. Read this breakdown by John Hollway, Executive Director of the Quattrone Center for the fair administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in a 2016 paper titled, “Conviction Review Units; A National Perspective”. Or you can read the paper written by Robert Mosteller, Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law in his 2016 paper titled, “N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission’s First Decade, Impressive Successes and Lessons Learned”. Published in the North Carolina Law Review. Thank you Criminal Legal News, November 2018, pg. 10 - 13. In this informative article, it shows what we already knew in Texas. They worked hard to get the men and women into slavery, and I’ll be damned if they will allocate money to free them. 

          Ask yourselves, what happens to a man or woman when he or she loses hope? Do you really understand what type of person the Texas prisons are creating? True evil at its base form is not natural. It’s forged in the fires of pain and despair. When will the Governor, Senators and the rest of the Texas politicians say, “Enough is Enough!?” When are they going to hold the people that are in authority over the atrocities, that have taken place, and continue to take place, accountable for their actions? When did we set fire to the Constitution? Because the last time I checked Texas is part of the United States of America. And the Texas prisons are not sweat shops, and the Texas prisoners, are American Citizens, that by federal law are not supposed to be abused mentally or physically. We are not supposed to be kept from sleep, or starved, while the employees eat our food or the Wardens steal it. We are not supposed to be set-up by officers, and then found guilty by a corrupt ranking officer. I am not supposed to be punished for using the grievance system or the court system. Prisoners are not supposed to be kept in cells or dorms that are so hot, they are literally being cooked to death. Prisoners are not supposed to be beaten, raped, or killed by employees. Now unless our Constitution has changed, which as we all know hasn’t, it’s pretty safe to say that the people running this prison system are criminals who do not obviously care about the laws of the state, or the federal laws, that our country is governed by. 

          I want to point out that all of the prisoners that are sitting in here have broken these laws, at least the majority have, because we must not forget there are innocent people in here as well. If everyone in here are held accountable for breaking the law, shouldn’t the people that work for the Texas prisons be held just as accountable? Because you work for the Texas prisons does not mean you are above the law, does it? Nor, does it mean you can violate other peoples Constitutional rights, does it? Of course the answer is, “No”. So my next question is, why does it happen every day throughout the state of Texas, and nobody is being held accountable? Every crime you can imagine is being committed on a daily basis at all of the hundred and nine prisons. Constitutional rights are being violated, and there is nothing being done. 

          I say over and over again, the Texas prison system is a criminal organization. Everything that’s put in place to protect us, such as the grievance system, is only for show. I want people to picture this. A man gets arrested for assault, robbery, rape, or murder. But, when he goes to court his mom is the D.A., his dad is the judge, and all of his brothers, sisters, wife, or kids, are also working for the court. I think it’s safe to say, nothing will happen to him. Well, our grievance system is set-up just like this. An officer assaults, rapes, and violates an inmate and his or hers Constitutional rights, then when the grievance is written, his or hers judge is their family member or friends, of course nothing will happen to them. So this cycle of treatment has been allowed to continue. 

          The Puppetmasters have everything in order to ensure their criminal empire keeps rolling. Every now and again, one of them, or in certain situations, a few of them, get into some trouble that cannot be covered-up. Like at the Ramsey Unit last year. When that happens a spokesman or Director of TDCJ will say how horrible it is something like this happened. Oh, and let’s not forget how they’ll say, “We are going to look into this more thoroughly.” When I hear this bullshit, I cannot help but shake my head with disgust. Because, it’s all an act for the news people and the organizations that are fighting for us, like T.I.F.A.

          The Puppetmasters do their best to appease everybody. They naturally want to look like they are taking whatever the problem is seriously. Then it’s back to business, like nothing ever happened. To use a few examples, let’s take a look at what happened at the Ramsey Unit last year, with the falsifying of mass cases being written and the planting of shanks. The Chairman of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, John Whitmire said, “We don’t condone speeding ticket quotas.” Sounds like he was upset, right? Well, all of the top officials that ran that unit; Sergeant, Captain Reginald Gilbert, Major Juan Jackson, and Warden McMullen, were all involved in this, but all were allowed to keep their jobs. Like I said, it’s all an act by the Puppetmasters to appease everyone. This case was not some simple mistakes, what these men did was criminal. What they did was going to hurt the men not only with restrictions inside the prison but also their chances for parole. The inmates who received cases for the shanks would have also received more time on top of the sentence they are currently serving. Let’s not forget how these ranking officers and wardens actions would also hurt the families of these inmates. But, these men received a demotion and were allowed to continue working and running prisons. I would like to ask the Chairman, Mr. Whitmire and the people controlling the prison system, why on earth would you not have fired all of these men on the freaking spot? I have seen guards fired for paper counting and sleeping. But, it’s ok to falsify disciplinary cases, which is a crime and to conspire to set prisoners up with shanks and drugs, which is a felony. And this is only one out of over one hundred prisoners. Believe me, this type of treatment is a regular thing at all prisons. And why wouldn’t it be that these guards, ranking officers, and wardens are trained to be this way? It’s all part of the Puppetmasters plan to destroy the men and women in these prisons and to keep us in here for the rest of our lives. They, of course, will say I’m crazy, but the question still stands, why on earth did they not fire all of these ranking officers and wardens?

          This prison system has no intentions to change, why would they? I mean, they truly believe there’s nothing wrong with how they act. There have been several guards through the years tell me that they are trained to mistreat us. Then once a guard is assigned to a prison, the other guards and the ranking officers will watch them closely for a while and see how they act. If it looks like this person has Puppetmaster potential, they’ll pull that guard in and start showing them the ropes. If they see a new guard that sees through the garbage they teach them and shows kindness and compassion, they’ll allow the new guard to stay only because there are so many prisons and they need every single man and woman they can get. But, that person will never move up with any kind of true authority. The Puppetmasters will never allow someone to move up that would start trying to push for reform and change. 

          Reform or rehabilitation is the last thing they ever want to hear, and that is exactly why Texas is so far behind the rest of our country, as far as taking their prison system into the 21st century. 

          A good friend of mine named Lowrence Bernal who has 20 years in prison and has gone to prisons where he had to fight for his life many times. And like myself, has been threatened with his life by the corrupt prison staff. He said to me, “Jay, I feel myself slipping into darkness, and despair is an old friend of mine. Who knows, or better yet who cares?” Those words mean more to me than anyone knows, because I have walked in his shoes. I have lost my dad and my mom, and felt a loneliness that no one could understand. Of course, I too have wondered many times while in these prison walls, does anyone care?

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