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My name is Jason Renard Walker. I’m the minister of labor for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party prison chapter. And this is the article I tried to send out through the, already, through the mail room on July 15th. But I just learned today, July 30th, that it was denied because they claimed I tipped and send a friend, Noel Leone, cash to purchase [inaudible]. When I challenged this, the mail room officer, which was a male, he ripped it up, and due to a uh complication in the way, but gave the letter. And in da- the letter, it was small, a short note, you know, this article I’m boutta read.
The title of the article is “Retaliation 101.” [inaudible] already used the big no no. Okay, here we go. Andre Shawn Boyen, B-o-y-e-n, number 1750184, is an Allred Unit prisoner, who recently had his share of retaliatory methods imposed by staff towards prisoners with heat sensitivities.
Since 2011, Boyen has been prescribed medication that, in effect, make him sensitive to the hot weather. His daily medication intake consists of 300 cap- milligram capsules of Effexor for depression, 200 milligrams of Tegretol for mood swings, and 100 milligrams of Pro- Promethazine for difficulty sleeping. First, medical staff randomly revoked his bottom bunk pass, that allowed him to be permanently assigned a bottom bunk for ACL and fractured tibia surgery.
And here’s the quote from Boyen. “Someone has been running a scam, snatching our bottom bunk passes and forcing us to see a provider and basically pay $100 to get our bottom bunk back.” Boyen suggests using others who’d had it happen to them too, as backup to this assertion.
Then, on July 12th, 2019, Boyen was removed from the building designed to accommodate heat-sensitive prisoners, to 7 building that does not. I’m at, currently at, 7 building. As he arrived to 7 building with guards, his face and neck were drenched in, and dripping with red chemical agents that contained- that contaminated the entire pod, suggesting he’d just been gassed in the face at close range.
Boyen was denied the chance to decontaminate or shower. Here’s another quote for you. “I was forced to leave the AC pod and move back out to the population in the heat,” he says, prompting his refusal to walk. Here’s another quote for you. “An ICS was initiating me, and I was held on the fence, handcuffed posing no threat at all, when Lieutenant Reyes asked me if I would comply. So, I looked at him and asked, ‘comply with what?’”
At this point, Boyen was blasted in the face with a riot-size can of gas, dragged to the infirmary for non-medical reasons, then thrown in a 2-man cell that was preoccupied with prisoners in front of off cameras, contaminating that cell and their property as well. This is not a unique situation at all. The face gassing of handcuffed prisoners is normal, and the recommended way to deal with righteous protesting of civil rights violations. It goes on because the victims rarely try to expose it or can’t.
And this is another section: Back to the Basics. TDCJ created a state-wide policy called “Respite Training and Education.” It is supposed to alert staff to how prisoners can access respite areas. In part it says:
- One, Inmates are allowed to access respite 24/7;
- Two, inmates do not need to be sick, injured, or feeling bad to access respite, rather they may do so to cool down whenever they wish;
- Three, to access respite, inmates can make the request to any correctional officer;
- Four, if there are problems, ask to talk to a ranking correctional officer.
But what are prisoners supposed to do when ranking staff prep officers on how to deny respite access?
Ranking staff like Sergeant Michael S. Mason, Sergeant Barbara L. Atteberry and Sergeant Nickle- Nikiynecole R. Felder, staff who disregard respite policies entirely out of ill-will and laziness.
Within the chain of command, someone has drawn a policy that allows only one respite area to accommodate over 3,000 prisoners, with access being given to twenty a day. Those who don’t make the cut have to try again the next day. Out of the twenty that go to one building, which is an administration building, for respite, I’ve seen all make turnarounds to avoid bogus disciplinary cases, which are dished out to deter prisoners from using respite.
Michael J Waddell, W-a-d-d-e-l-l, is a racist guard who works the 1 building desk. He is the main one that I’ve seen that retaliates and extorts prisoners into giving up their respite pass to avoid trumped-up disciplinary reports. Here’s a, here’s a quote. “The 1 Building desk officer Waddell tried blackmailing our respite access by intimidating and threatening with falsified cases,” prisoner Jalen Fisher wrote in an affidavit concerning our attempt to access respite.
Here’s another quote from Fisher. “Waddell said if we would deny respite, that he wouldn’t write us up,” Fisher went on to say.
Throughout the prison, a respite randu- memorandum is posted for all to see and read. If we dare challenge being denied by pointing to the respite memo, Atteberry goes into cross-out mode.
Here’s another quote. “Is that a threat?”, “are you refusing housing?”, “you going to do what to me?” Atteberry says, while clutching a riot-use can of gas, ready to pull the trigger. The prisoner has no choice but to walk, frustrated. Felder keeps a “NO” sign on her desk, which is her umbrella answer to any question, including respite. She’s extremely cross-acting too.
On July 10, 2019, I received a false case from Waddell. In it, he lied, saying that I refused to go to the house. A cross-out case.
During the event, I was with Fisher. Our only reason for being in 1 Building was to access respite. We were allowed to go by the [inaudible] in the past.
At this time, it was 100 degrees indoor and around 105 degrees outdoors. Within seconds of our arrival, Waddell threatened and harassed us. He gave several bogus reasons why we would- he would write us up. In example, my collar was flipped up, Fisher was out of place which means too close to the wall, I had a towel around my neck, Fisher’s hair was cut wrong, etc.
But if we refused respite, he wouldn’t write any cases. I pointed out his extortive manner and requested his name and how to spell it.
Here’s the quote from Waddell. “Since you writing me up, I’m writing you up too,” he said, and did. Not only was we denied respite, but I received a false case for trying to access it in accordance to their own policy.
Anyone interested in the extent of staff will go can read all my other pieces on this matter without me having to recite it here.
On July 24th, 2015, Deputy Director Robert Erison, E-r-i-s-o-n, authorized a TDCJ state-wide memo to all TDCJ wardens and regional directors, ordering all wardens to make air-conditioned respite areas available. This included posting notices explaining where these areas are located and allowing staff and prisoners to use them as needed.
But, like at the Allred Unit, Pack Unit prisoners feel threatened just asking for a place to beat, beat the heat. Here’s a pri- uh, a quote from uh, uh uh, a prisoner at the uh, Pack Unit: “I’ve only ever tried to use an area listed on TDCJ’s notice once to offenders once, and that was a bad experience,” said Fred Wallace, a plaintiff in the uh, wa–uh, the Pack Unit lawsuit, in a declaration he wrote to the courts.
The Allred Unit administration are already prepared to counter any heat-related wrongful death claims. Since they do have a heat memo everywhere, they’ll simply recite the stated specifics, then claim prisoners are aware that they can access respite 24/7 but are choosing not to.
The State of Texas requires county jails to keep indoor temperatures between 65 degrees and 85 degrees, which is in Title 37 Texas Administrative Code, 259.160. This is because when it’s high, in the high 90s outside, it can easily get up to 110⁰ inside places that lack adequate air conditioning.
Since 199- since 1998, at least 23 prisoners have died from heat-related illnesses in TDCJ. 75 out of the 104 state prisons in Texas lack air conditioning, and this issue may never get addressed by prison officials alone. TDCJ claimed it would cost nearly $1.2 billion to properly install air conditioning in all 104 state prisons.
The most prisoner heat-related deaths being that of former Michael Unit prisoner, 53 year- 54-year-old Robert Earl Robinson, who died on July 19th of last year. With 2011-2012 being a year that 14 of the 23 prisoners died of “environmental hyperthermia,”which is commonly known as heat stroke.
The acknowledgement of this alone isn’t compelling TDCJ officials isn’t the, the- the acknowledgement of this alone isn’t compelling TDCJ officials to take at least a small measure to ensure the safety of prisoners during the long summers.
One step would be the creation of an independent oversight committee that could monitor the actual allowance of prisoners getting access to respite upon request. And without the threats of harm and false write-ups. This committee would also be composed of concerned citizens that could investigate heat-related/denied respite issues and hold staff that are in violation responsible.
Till then, readers file complaints against the warden’s office, and their subordinates by contacting the ombudsman office and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Dare to struggle, dare to win. All power to the people.
And I also must say that [inaudible] brightness report, they’re not compliant with their little heat [inaudible] at all because, every hour, on the hour, they’re supposed to come check me and other persons down the list, see if we need respite areas, see if we need, uh, ice water, or if we need cold shower. They’re not doing this.
And just last night, between 5:00 PM and about 3 P.M, I asked several officers and they were all asking if I can come out my cell and get cold water, it’s not cold water to, take a shower, and I was all denied no.
And the reason they do that is because they’re lazy. So, if people were to hid cameras, they would see that not only to they not give us access to respite at all, but they’re not even doing their security check or they’re not doing their uh [inaudible] restricted check, which is in compliance of a [inaudible] lawsuit.
And that’s the end.