The Grievance System, Another Paper Work Failure

By Jay Goodman

One of the first things I wrote about was the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Grievance procedure. Of course, the Texas prison system never implemented the Grievance procedure on their own, hell they never implement nothing on their own that’s beneficial to the overall prison population. And they damn sure will never implement something that’s going to expose them for all the wrong they do.

The Grievance system was put in the Texas prisons during the David Ruiz lawsuit as one of the stipulations they had to abide by. Of course, the federal judge had basically taken over the entire Texas prison system and had federal monitors at every single prison. So naturally, at first Texas had to pretend they would follow the courts orders. But, like with everything else inside this corrupt prison system they find a way to manipulate it. They lied and connived and did everything in their power to get their golden egg back, which they did finally succeed. I have nothing but admiration for the Federal Judge William W. Justice, for standing by David Ruiz and all of the other prisoners who filed the class action lawsuit.

A lot of times judges and prosecutors are willing to turn their heads to the injustice that goes on in here. I am not exactly sure why, maybe they believe we have it coming since we broke the law. But with that being true, I have often contemplated what’s the difference between a prisoner who has broken the law opposed to a prison employee who has stolen, falsified state documentations, assaulted, sold drugs, raped, or murdered? I mean a criminal is a criminal, whether he has on a prison uniform or a guard’s uniform. Like I said for some reason the court system feels it’s alright to give the people who work here a free pass. But little do they know by doing that through the years it has allowed this prison system to turn into a full-blown criminal empire, that feels they can abuse us any way they want. It also has given them the green light to steal millions of dollars through the years, and flood the entire prison system with drugs and cell phones.

The court system has to take credit for allowing this criminal organization to thrive and grow into the criminal family they have become. I use the words, “Criminal Empire”, and “Criminal Organization”, because the state of Texas, and the federal government both have what is called, “Organized Crime”. That is when two or more people engage in criminal activity of any kind.

Let’s take a look at one of the mob bosses in New York, there are many different levels. There of course is the boss, known as the Godfather, there is also the under boss, captains, lieutenants, and the soldiers. Why do they have it like this? For one, it’s to keep the boss safe, he will tell the under boss, who will tell the captains, who will keep right on passing it down until one of the soldiers are told to commit the criminal act. That way he has no way of knowing who told him to do this.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has their prisons set up with this same system. each prison has their chain of command, and each part of this prison system has exactly who ever they want at every leadership position. Remember what I’ve been saying in my past chapters about how they have every single position throughout the prison infiltrated, because if they didn’t, they would have trouble running their Criminal Empire.

To show what I’m saying is true, right here at the Stevenson Unit, there are guards who have years, if not decades in the system longer than a lot of the ranking officers. Why were those guards past up, who have way more time in the prison system than the ones they gave the rank to? There are some guards who don’t want to be ranking officers. Some have told us they don’t want the BS that comes with it, and a lot have said they don’t want it because they won’t lie and cover for the stealing, lying, and everything else that comes with having a rank position. But more so than ever a lot of the guards get past up because the Puppetmasters know they don’t have what it takes to become part of what they do.

With that being said, that leads back to what this chapter is about, the Grievance procedure. After the federal court finally gave full control of the prison system back to Texas, the Puppetmasters swiftly began to make the necessary changes that would allow them to run this prison system the way they wanted to. They quickly realized that the most dangerous weapon the prisoners had was the Grievance procedure. If Texas learned nothing else from twenty years of litigation from David Ruiz, was that the pen is truly mightier than the sword. So, they infiltrated all of the Grievance positions, they knew they would have to stop, or at least slow down the prisoners who utilized it. First, they began to rubber stamp everyone’s Grievances with, “no evidence to substantiate your claim.” Next, if they saw an inmate who continued to utilize the Grievance procedure, they would start writing him false disciplinary reports, and tell him we will continue to write these types of disciplinary cases until you stop writing Grievances. And if the prisoner still wouldn’t stop, they will put him on what’s called, “Bus Therapy”. That is where the prison system will stick a person who is writing Grievances on the transportation bus, and move him from prison to prison every day for a month or two to try and break him from writing Grievances. Note, any kind of retaliation for using the Grievance procedure is against not just the Texas prison policy, but it is against the law. But what’s the inmate going to do? Write a Grievance?

The federal court put the Grievance procedure in as a safe guard to stop the abuses, but Texas has done everything in their power to break prisoners from using it. Also, if the Texas prisons see that there are groups of people that are willing to write Grievances, they will ship all of these prisoners to different places. Why do they do this? Because everything is looked at by numbers. If one inmate writes a Grievance, no matter how serious it is, it’s easy for the prison to say, this isn’t true. But if 50 inmates drop 50 Grievances all at once, on the same issue, now they would be worried. Every single Grievance has to be logged into the Grievance lady’s computer the same day she receives them, and each of the Grievances are given a number. So, the last thing they want is 20, 30, 40, or 50, Grievances to hit the computer at the same time. And to ensure this never happens, they will do whatever is necessary to keep that from happening. This is why once they see there are groups of prisoners utilizing the Grievance procedure the prisons will ship them all to different places. Especially if they see these inmates are knowledgeable of how to file, and if they see that the Grievances can expose them for their criminal activity

Now I want to give an example of something that happened this year. At the beginning of this year our food was getting bad, we never got any eggs even though we are supposed to get them every other day, per their menu. All of our meats were chopped up and put in large amounts of rice, pasta, or their favorite, “potatoes”. There were so many times that I cannot even count that we went to eat and it was supposed to be beef and rice, but there was no meat whatsoever in it. When we would ask, why there’s no meat? The ranking officers would laugh and say write it up. Meaning write a Grievance.

After the prisoners found out that in the Officers Dining Room, they were eating double cheese burgers and cake, which is against policy, because they are supposed to eat the same thing we are. Prisoners from all over the prison decided to write Grievances. They dropped over 20 in the Grievance Box on Monday morning. Later that afternoon some guys who lived in the same cell block as me were called to the line building to the Grievance ladies office, which normally never happens. Once the Grievance is received by the Grievance lady, she never speaks to anyone, not even witnesses the person who’s writing the Grievances may have. They will speak to the guards or ranking officers the Grievance was written on, and that’s usually the end of it. So, when these guys were called down, it was very unusual. I spoke to one of them I have known for a long time, and he said, when he walked into the lady’s office the captain of the prison was sitting in there with her. He told me she said, “I see you have written a Grievance on the chow hall?” He replied, “yes”. “Can you tell me why so many people decided to write Grievances and put them in the box at the same time?” And to my surprise he said, “look when one or two people complain or write Grievances nothing ever happens. So, we decided to write over 20 from all over the prison, we thought that might get your attention and hopefully Huntsville’s attention.” She said, it doesn’t matter how many Grievances are written, which is a lie. Because as I said, when 20 or more get dropped on the same issue, Huntsville will do a special investigation. And as I said the last thing this prison or any other prison wants is that to happen. That’s why they were calling people in. The captain of our prison at that time, a Mr. Hernandez was sitting in there for several reasons, one was for intimidation. The second reason he gave up when he asked, “can we informally resolve this?” Which is illegal by the Texas prison policy, and by law. Because once a Grievance is put in the Grievance box, it has to be processed no matter what. The person who wrote the Grievance is not allowed to tell her, “I changed my mind.” The Grievance must be processed.

Well over 20 Grievances were dropped, and not one of them to this day has been returned or answered. The Grievance lady has 45 days to answer a Grievance. She can get a 35-day extension, but after that the Grievance must be returned. Here it is over a half year later and not one person has gotten their Grievance back. Why? Because they steal our food and they feed our food to the people who work here. They of course did not want that many Grievances to show up on the computer at once. And of course, once again this shows how the Puppetmasters have infiltrated another department inside Texas prison system for their illegal activity.

Prisoners have complained and complained about this issue at all of the prisons throughout the state. Different organizations like, Concerned Christians For Inmates, and TIFA have tried to get Texas to get an outside agency to handle all of our Grievances, but the Texas prison system never entertains this idea. The only true way to do it is bringing in federal monitors to view all of the Grievances. If Texas did bring in an outside agency, they would hand pick the people they would know who would cover for them. It would just be another department infiltrated by the Puppetmasters. The Grievance system must be taken away from the Texas prison system, or the abuses will never be stopped.

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