The Corey Whitsman Story

By Jay Goodman

Not many people will ever understand the effects of prison life, or what it does to someone to lose years or decades of their lives. Why there’s many who will say it’s just, and some cases I would say you may be right. But right now, I’m not talking about justice, I am talking about the effects of long-term incarceration. I have often wondered if the people who run the state and federal prison system have ever considered what human beings go through mentally and emotionally? Why is understandably that security is you’re number one concern. Shouldn’t also be a big part of your job to be concerned about the mental and emotional well-being of your prisoners? I’m sure most people would think so. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not. The last thing on Texas prison systems mine is the well-being of their prisoners. They care less if the conditions that the prisoners live in our safe. In fact, they take a lot of this pride knowing that the conditions of the Texas prisons are the worst in our country. Of course, they will say I’m crazy, but really the history of the beatings, murders, and every other kind of corruption that’s went on since the beginning of its prison system until now speaks for itself. No matter what the spokesman says about my book the puppet masters, or anyone else that works for the Texas Department of criminal Justice for that matter. I would be more than happy to take them on a walk down memory lane and to give them an idea of how corrupt and brutal it still is to this very day.  But of course, no one would ever sit down with me because anyone with half a brain that works for the Texas prison system is well aware of what’s happened and what still going on today.

Millions of men and women that have gotten lost in this corrupt system and done way more time than they should have will be scared for life. Why the “get tough on crime” sounds good and the Texas Department of criminal Justice will beat their drums to it. In reality it’s done nothing to actually make things better. The “get tough on crime” is actually nothing more than a smokescreen so the Puppetmasters can keep all of their 106 prisons full to capacity. But allow me to give everyone a different view of what’s really happening because of this. Imagine if your son or daughter was sent to prison for drugs, say they had a serious problem in the lawyer they had told you and your wife “look your kids got a real problem, I made a deal with the judge and district attorney for 10 years.” At first your reaction might be that’s a lot of time. But the lawyer says look, “your son won’t do 10 years, there’s a good chance if he stays out here, he may die from a drug overdose. The judge is going to make sure he sentenced to a drug program. Your son will be eligible for parole in about a year. And while he’s in there he will have an opportunity to get clean, and get some much-needed help.” Everything the lawyer told you sounds good. No parent wants their child to die. Now the lawyer says, “talk to your son, and let’s get him to take this deal.” So, you and your wife believe you’re doing the right thing. After all you both may be thinking this will be good for our kid, he will get clean and get some much-needed help. So, the parents sit down with your son and say “look, you really need some help, the lawyer said you should sign for 10 years. You’ll go to some drug program and be up for parole in one year.” Maybe this kid has six or seven months in the county jail he’s thinking that’s not bad. I’ll take this drug program and be home in five months. This young man signs for 10 years, and it feels like he’s doing the right thing. So, He gives his mom and dad a hug, and it’s off to the Texas Department of Criminal justice.

On the bus ride to prison he’s a little nervous, but in his mind, he’s thinking about how it’s only five or six more months. Since the judge, D.A. and his lawyer said he would get a drug treatment program, he’s probably thinking it won’t be too bad. As he arrives at the reception center and sees the miles of razor wire and guard towers, he starts to understand that this is not a drug treatment program, this is a prison.

     As he steps off the bus and gets inside the building he will be treated like an animal by the guards and ranking officers. From that point he starts to see the hatred and the hatefulness of the guards. By the end of the day as he finally gets to his cell Block, his mind is racing with thoughts of worry, anger, and depression. But what he doesn’t realize, is the worst is still yet to come.

The next day several prisoners will more than likely go to him and ask him what he’s in prison for? Then they’ll find out if he runs with anyone? Meaning if he belongs to a game? The whole time these men will be sizing him up, to see if they believe he’s weak. More than likely he will get into a fight with two prisoners, if he refuses to fight the beat him anyway, and either tell him to check in or the extort him. They may even try to rape him. But if he does fight now the different gangs will try to pick him up. If this young man does join a gang more than likely they’ll send him on a mission to kill someone. If he gets caught that’s another 25 to 50 years stacked on top of the 10 he already has. Maybe life, or even the death penalty. If he is smart enough to avoid the gangs, by the time he leaves the reception center and makes it to the prison he’s going to be serving his time at he’s been threatened by the guards and belittled in every way possible. He’s been threatened by the prisoners and forced to fight. His mind is racing with questions but no one to talk to. He arrives at his new prison and everything he’s just experience starts all over again. Now he’s probably going to also be put in the field either picking cotton sugar cane. The fieldwork is brutal in Texas heat, the guards that run the fields are usually hateful and cruel. As I spoke about in other chapters, the field officers usually like to start problems to get the prisoners upset hoping to get them to fight. They love to get the prisoners to fight each other for their enjoyment. And what better person to pick on then someone new. So now this new guy is being treated like shit from the guards in rank, they’re fighting to prisoners that wants to see if they’re solid. Now they’re in the fields being forced to fight again for the guard’s entertainment. This guy is having trouble every way he turns, he might even be having trouble with his Sally, he could be getting route disciplinary cases for being forced to fight. So, he’s on 45 days cell restriction, commissary, visitation, and phone restriction. Several things are beginning to happen with this man. Naturally he is overwhelmed with everything that’s taken place since he’s arrived.

Second, he is wondering why he isn’t going to this drug program everyone said he’s going to? As the months pass by eventually, he comes up for parole, what’s the parole board sees he’s been in numerous fights still say he’s not ready to go back into society and more than likely he will receive a two-year set off. Now one year turns into three. Of course, he begins to lose hope, and here’s all the drugs he wants. So, he starts using again. Now two things will happen. He will eventually get a dirty urine, or he will get caught using. Now when he comes up for parole, they see he still isn’t ready to go back into society, and he receives another two-year set off.

It’s about this time that this young man gives up. Also, nothing really bothers him anymore. Seeing acts of violence, or even someone being killed has no effect on him anymore. In fact, he has so much built-up anger and frustration he doesn’t care about fighting. His mom and dad begin to see this drastic change in their son. He may even try to explain to his parents what he’s going through and they of course will feel guilty for telling him to sign for the 10 years. Now after this man has done almost a whole 10-year sentence, the prison system sends him to a drug program for 60 days.

When he leaves prison everything has changed, his friends and family try to help but they don’t understand what he’s went through or the effects of long-term incarceration. The sad thing is more than likely this man is on his way back to prison. He’s been Verbally, mentally, and physically abuse for the last 10 years, so they have nothing really matters anymore. The get tough on crime may sound good but in reality, it’s raining more men and women then it’s helped. The Texas prison system is fully aware of what happens to the men and women after decades behind bars. They not only know it, but the puppet masters set it up to happen this way.

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