Thursday, August 15, 2013

TDCJ's pigs to get air conditioning but not prisoners

Grits noticed this short item about a vendor with whom the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has contracted to build six "swine buildings" for around $750K. Given ongoing litigation about excessive heat in un-air conditioned Texas prison units, this tidbit stuck out at me:
"Our ‘turnkey solution’ is ideal for environments where the site must be closely controlled for security reasons," he continues. "Our modular AG buildings are completely climate controlled, easy to clean and sanitize, and include the most advanced swine equipment including boar isolation, gestation, farrowing, nursery, finishing, feed study and show pigs -www.artsway-scientific.com/ag-buildings/hog-care.” - See more at: http://www.porknetwork.com/pork-news/Arts-Way-to-build-six-swine-buildings-for-Texas-Criminal-Justice-219775081.html#sthash.is4jqIxj.dpuf
"Our ‘turnkey solution’ is ideal for environments where the site must be closely controlled for security reasons," [Dan Palmer, President of Art’s Way Scientific] continues. "Our modular AG buildings are completely climate controlled, easy to clean and sanitize, and include the most advanced swine equipment including boar isolation, gestation, farrowing, nursery, finishing, feed study and show pigs - www.artsway-scientific.com/ag-buildings/hog-care.”
So TDCJ's hogs get a "climate controlled" environment but the prisoners and correctional officers, not so much. Go figure.

MORE: After tweeting out this post, the Texas Civil Rights Project issued the following press release on the topic:
Texas Civil Rights Project calls prison’s plan to air condition hog buildings “outrageous”

Austin, TX – The Texas Civil Rights Project condemned the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s plan to spend $750,000 on new “climate controlled” “swine buildings” as prisoners die from the extreme temperatures in Texas prisons.

According to a news release from TDCJ’s vendor, Art’s Way Manufacturing, Texas is purchasing “six modular swine buildings” that are “climate controlled” as part of TDCJ’s agricultural programs. 

But most inmate living areas in TDCJ prisons are not “climate controlled.” The indoor heat index can regularly reach 130 degrees – temperatures the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advises are “extremely dangerous.” TDCJ’s own policies recognize such extreme heat makes heat stroke “imminent.” The National Weather Service puts heat as “the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.” On average, heat kills more people than “floods, lightening, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.”

“Fourteen prisoners have died from heat stroke in recent years,” said Scott Medlock, Director of TCRP’s Prisoners’ Rights Program. “It is outrageous that TDCJ would prioritize the safety of pigs raised for slaughter over the lives of human beings. TDCJ has literally made the decision that protecting its bacon is more important than protecting human lives.” A chart showing the recent prisoner deaths is attached.

Each prisoner who died suffered from disabilities that made them more susceptible to extreme temperatures. For example, Rodney Adams, 45, was prescribed psychiatric medication that prevented his body from regulating his internal temperature. He arrived at TDCJ’s Gurney Unit in Tennessee Colony on August 2, 2013 to serve a four-year sentence for driving while intoxicated. He died the next day when indoor temperatures soared over 100 degrees.

“TDCJ claims its too expensive to protect the lives of men like Mr. Adams,” said Medlock. “But they spare no expense to air condition their pork.”

Five wrongful death lawsuits, including one on behalf of Mr. Adams’ family, are pending against TDCJ officials. 
See a pdf of the press release, page two of which includes a chart with details on 14 inmates who died of heat-related causes.
"Our ‘turnkey solution’ is ideal for environments where the site must be closely controlled for security reasons," he continues. "Our modular AG buildings are completely climate controlled, easy to clean and sanitize, and include the most advanced swine equipment including boar isolation, gestation, farrowing, nursery, finishing, feed study and show pigs -www.artsway-scientific.com/ag-buildings/hog-care.” - See more at: http://www.porknetwork.com/pork-news/Arts-Way-to-build-six-swine-buildings-for-Texas-Criminal-Justice-219775081.html#sthash.is4jqIxj.dpuf

59 comments:

Will Yablome said...

I am not a swine expert, but I did spend some time working at the Ag Farm at what was then SWTSU. I recall that we had to continually hose down the pigs because they reportedly do not have sweat glands. Otherwise, they would get overheated and die.

Maybe some of our resident swine gurus can enlighten us on this...

Anonymous said...

Ah, but we make money on pigs and spend money on inmates. And actually this is small potatoes. Did you know the average monthly bill for inmate medication is in the millions of dollars? Let's say an average of $100,000 per unit per month (and that's low) so times 111= about $11 million x 12 months = $133 million yearly which would build and air condition quite a few prisons. Why should tax payers be expected to shell out this kind of money for law breakers, about 20% of whom are illegal aliens?

Anonymous said...

It's very easy for those who have no real working knowledge of what it is like inside one of those old buildings during the hot summer months to be critical. Perhaps if they were to spend a month locked up in 100 degree plus heat, with inadequate ventilation or cold drinking water, perhaps they would sing a different tun.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

6:53, I'm pretty well aware of inmate health costs, but those are exacerbated by excessive heat. Plus, since the federal judge let the heat litigation move forward, there may end up being an even greater cost.

Also, if you're employed at TDCJ then YOU make your money off the inmates. But judging by your cavalier attitude, perhaps you work a desk job in admin; from your comments, you appear not to work a picket in 100+ degree weather.

Finally, you're FOS that 20% of TDCJ inmates are "illegal aliens." The real number is in the low single digits.

Anonymous said...

TDCJ is cooking their employees and inmates. The upper administration and legislature could care less about people. While inmates have committed felonies, the employees haven't and also suffer from illnesses that are heat sensitive in nature.

We are not living in the dark ages. With advancements in medical technology, medications that are heat sensitive are commonly prescribed to employees and inmates. Most blood pressure diurectics and psychotropic drugs increase the bodies heat and can lead to death of persons during hot weather, without climate control.

With increased use of prisons for the mentally handicap, climate control is extremely important in order for most psychiatric drugs to work properly. Although air conditioning is not a constitutional right, access to medical is, and exposing the sick, elderly, and mentally handicap to conditions that can kill them is an eighth amendment violation. Texans will pay for this issue one way or another. Texas needs to go ahead and do the right thing by planning for tthe prison facilities to all be climate controlled in the near future.

Anonymous said...

When is the last time you heard of an inmate death due to heat? It's been hot in Texas since the beginning of time. The inmates suing are spoiled. They get to receive emails. They can get online and join prisoner dating sites. They can earn a college education. What about their victims? These inmates aren't there for singing out of tune in choir. As far as the TDCJ employees, they choose to work there. Prison should be a place that nobody wants to end up, not a country club. I will not take the other poster's offer to spend a week in those conditions - I haven't broken the law!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Actually, 8:14, there have been a bunch of them. Also, inmates have no internet access. You are either a moron or a liar - possibly both - and don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

"When is the last time you heard of an inmate death due to heat?" - Probably "NEVER" because TDCJ would never allow a diagnosis of post-mortem due to hyperthermia.

Actually there are and have been many deaths due to excessive heat. Thus the lawsuit that the courts are allowing.

With all your rhetoric "prison is not a country club", you come across as bigoted, judgmental, insensitive. Yes, prison is not "a country club", but it should not be a torture chamber either...
Why don't we go back to Medieval time or to the time of Russian Gulags..... it would be so much cheaper; in addition, a diet of bread and water should suffice for those who have broken the law! Why feed them almost three meals a day?

Ignorance makes me sad, bigotry offends me, rhetorical, self-righteous BS enrages me.
And this forum is full of bigots.

Thanks GFB for bringing out into the open such scourge!It pains me to realize that many of those are the "officers" that take care of thousands of poor souls stuck into these deplorable ovens.





that's what those huge cement blocks monster in the middle of a stripped-down landscape are. They look like tombs because there are no windows and no ventilation.

It is important, when one's body overheats, to be able to cool it down: on the outside you can. On the inside, prisoners spend months of PROLONGED stress due to overheating. That's "cruel and unusual punishment".
God! Bigotry, ignorance, lack of compassion,twisted arguments ("I haven'e broken the law!" - well f...#@!your not breaking the law has nothing to do with allowing a State to fry people alive)










They all die of "natural causes"!

When the fox guards the chicken coup..... well you know the story.



Anonymous said...

There are and have been many documented deaths due to excessive heat. Thus the lawsuit that the courts are allowing.

With all your rhetoric "prison is not a country club", you come across as bigoted, judgmental, insensitive. Yes, prison is not "a country club", but it should not be a torture chamber either... (The constitution? HAVE YOU HEARD OF IT?)
Why don't we go back to Medieval time or to the time of Russian Gulags..... it would be so much cheaper; in addition, a diet of bread and water should suffice for those who have broken the law! Why feed them almost three meals a day? Also, let's beat them up a couple of time a day, to remind them they have broken the law. After all, the deserve it and such a reminder would deter future crimes!"

Ignorance makes me sad, bigotry offends me, rhetorical, self-righteous BS enrages me.
And, in this forum, they come out of the shadow, supporting one another's perverted thinking.

Thanks GFB for bringing out into the open such scourge!It pains me to realize that many of those are the "officers" that take care of thousands of poor souls stuck into these deplorable ovens. And no, it's not true that they "have not broken the law" - many of them just did not get caught - yet.

Anonymous said...

Just another good reason to avoid doing time.

Anonymous said...

Many of the guards have been brought up in the Bible Belt or in other strict religious environments. I am diverging from the topic here, but I'd like to share the results of a study - an no, I am against "healthy" religious practice, and no, not all religious people are narrow-minded bigots. However, lack of a formal education, intellectually stimulating environment AND fundamentalist religious upbringing, can foster bigotry.

The new issue of *Personality and Social Psychology Review* includes an article: "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations."

The authors are Miron Zuckerman1, Jordan Silberman1, & Judith A. Hall2.

Here's the abstract"

[begin abstract]

A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.

The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior.

For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from .20 to .25 (mean r = .24).

Three possible interpretations were discussed.

First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma.

Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs.

Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.

[end abstract]


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Just another good reason to avoid doing time." No kidding!
(This is a clear example of another asinine and manipulative remark: change subject, tell an obvious truth, then pretend that that obvious truth applies to the present argument. Brilliant, actually. But I, and GFB, are not morons!

Just because one should avoid "doing time" at all cost by obeying the law (an obviously true statement), a civilized society cannot and must condone brutal treatment.
Your asinine remark is a fallacy in logic. It's sad that you don't even comprehend what I am saying.
Thus, I will no longer reply. I am done.

Anonymous said...

For the readers who already understand this, I am redundant. This is for those who don't. Being imprisoned, confined away from your friends, family, home, comforts, etc IS the punishment! You are not confined so that ignorant, cruel, inhumane, persons or a system has access to punish you further at their pleasure!!

Anonymous said...

A typo. The sentence above should read: " a civilized society cannot and must not condone brutal treatment."

Anonymous said...

Not all convicted prisoner are guilty and not all free folks are innocent (they just haven't been caught.)

Just one example:

Court Clerk Fired For Helping Free Wrongly Convicted Man: huffingtonpost.com
After working 34 years as a court clerk in Kansas City, Sharon Snyder was fired in June for giving Robert Nelson a public document that showed him how to properly seek DNA tests, a move that eventually led to his release from prison three decades...

Anonymous said...

This is just one who was caught, but ONLY after he went on abusing his uniform for a few years. Many other "guards", "officers" and "lawful upstanding citizens" have not been caught.So for those who have an "holier than thou" attitude: "may the one without sin cast the first stone!"

Ex-Tulsa Police Officer Convicted Of Robbing Hispanics In Traffic... newson6.com
Marvin Blades Jr. was arrested in August 2012 after an undercover sting. The Blades family weeps outside the courtroom on Thursday. Marvin Blades, Jr. (far left) in the Tulsa County Courthouse Wednesday. A former Tulsa police officer on Thursday was convicted on five counts of robbery with a firearm in a case where fellow officers accused him of targeting Hispanic drivers while in uniform.
Blades' sentence will be split -- 35 years in prison followed by 35 years of probation.

Anonymous said...

Awe, brings back a flood of memories. Pigs, Punks & Shanks.

Grits you are too nice to assholes but it was nice to see you (and others) put 'em in their corners.

Anonymous said...

Regarding: Hot Pigs – After joining the 90% +/- club via plea bargaining because the court (law) allows anyone with a law degree to be a CDL for a day resulted in living in close quarters with a shitload of humans that either wanted me to Ride with them or wanted to get to know my guts up close & personal as guards gambled in the cat walks on the outcome of Gladiator School.

*Enter - Shank Making 101
Day & Night classes taught by seasoned inmates to newboots with complimentary supplies issued by the Unit. Credits and finished products are transferable to other Units and inmates.
#Number Two Pencils
#Bic Pens
#Bic Disposable Razors
#Shards of glass
#Broom / Mop Stick Spears
#Pork Chop & Chicken Bone
All will do a fine job when it comes to keeping one's manhood out of the hands of Punks, guilty or not. Sadly, once you are forced to utilize a food by product to defend yourself, you'll probably never eat chicken or pork ever again.

Anonymous said...

Note: Pigs Farms have bigass fans just like the Chicken Houses do. You'd think that the Dog Barn would warrant at least a window unit since they are basically guards that don't sweat.

Oh well, hot: inmates, guards & pigs lead to violence that leads to an abundance of training ops for old & new employees alike. Since everyone eats the free food (dead / sick pigs go in the grinder snout to tail), everyone gets the shits, and everyone goes to the nurse for free meds. (placebos for inmates).

Anonymous said...

A vicious cycle of WTF? for decades where a simple act air conditioning everyone is and has always been the cure.

It’d be great to see what ties the Vendor has to the correctional community? Brudderinlaw? Wonder if others where allowed to Bid? Don't get me started on Heat and the lack of it in Jan.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shores of Ol' Mexico says that GFB is an idiot. To only have 14 alleged deaths due to heat is not bad when you consider we have 125K plus inmates. Less than 1%. Keeping pigs/chickens alive are crucial to keeping food coming into the chow halls. A dead sow costs the state hundreds. But an alive sow w/babies is worth thousands. Chickens are just as cruicial. There is like 500% profit on the eggs produced. If you don't produce the pigs/eggs, then Food Service has to get more money from Austin each quarter to purchase excess food to feed the system. The buildings are air conditioned, but not with a refrigeration system or refrigerant/compressor. They only use fans on either end of the building and a swamp style system. Which is a fan pulling air across a mess being drenched w/water.
If you want to complain about useless spending, start w/the phone system that is being beat daily. Or the metal detectors they are NOT stopping contraband. Or the $10K paper shredder that has been sitting in the BOT warehouse that has never been used, but we pay a company to carry off our paper waste. Or the fact that we still purchase and repair old style type writers.
If the inmates want a/c, then the tax paying families of inmates should pay higher taxes to support the inmates and their higher cost of maintaining them while incarcerated. NOW SIT DOWN AND STFU!

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet that none of you pro-prisoner whiners have ever lost someone to murder. I'd further bet that none of you whiners have lost your daughter, your only child, to murder. Knowing that the SOB that killed my daughter and left my young grandson motherless has no A/C is the only bit of satisfaction I have had since the trial. He violated my entire family's constitutional rights in the worst possible way. When he killed her, he killed me. Let the SOB stand in front of the fan. There is no fan for me in the hot Texas sun at the cemetery.

Anonymous said...

None of this surprises me when the state is running a concentration camps, aka, Crain Unit and Hobby Unit, Woodman, Hill Top, Plane State, Murray. They say you can judge a society by the way they run their prisons, these units are no different from what the Germans and Russians once ran.

Anonymous said...

I'm hesitant to post publicly on this..... So, I will simply say this...I am a new TDCJ employee who is not a correctional officer. I have many years of experience in criminal justice so I'm not really a "newbie". In any event, I am finding the care of the mentally ill in TDCJ to be shocking... Truly cruel .... I am also saddened by the situation of the correctional officers who are simply attempting to earn a living and are in a bad position as well....

Anonymous said...

texas is the bigest state and has the bigest ass holes, that run it i dont give a dam what any of you gods in this stinking state say on here about how inmates deserve no a.c.and the one talking about the death of his daughter i would be bitter also,but dont blame all the inmates for it,there is more in for a lot less and you are as guilty in gods eyes for wanting to see humans suffer,thers more crooks in high places that commit crimes everyday just havent got cought yet, but you will because god sees all,it's a shame texas holds a pig higher than a person just goes to show what a evil state this is in the judicial system, hope all you saints sleep good, one day you want! tell god how you feel at judgement day!! and it's right around the corner

PAPA said...


Here is a court ruling on HEAT killing INMATES, take that to your bank because TDCJ is going to have to pay,oops there goes your raises, they may cut the AC off to the PITS that you lay in the floor and sleep when it is so hot. Not all Inmates are quilty as several executions have proven,drummed up evidence,lies,hidden evidence,false/bribe witnesses by D.A.s and Lawyers have many wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not committ,so take that to your bank because again there goes your raises when they have to pay the Inmates for wrongful convictions, wrongful deaths...
THis was previously posted:...Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2013 5:08 PM
Subject: Seems some are ? the truth of this, here is a court ruling....Fw: TEXAS HEAT - 108 Yesterday in West Texas, approximately 20,000 plus TDCJ Inmates having to endure

Here is a court ruling on what is going on in Texas concerning the HEAT INDEX in TEXAS, especially in the WEST TEXAS AREA from Amarillo, Lubbock, Snyder, Abilene, Ft. Stockton, Colorado City, and those down way south close the Mexico and Texas Border, and many more, etc...I am not a ROBOT, I have been doing this work for about 25 years, I have seen, heard, read more of this stuff over and over for all these years, have had contact with many of those who have suffered tremendously due to the heat, expecially the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill, those being held in Solitary Confindment, etc.

The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that extreme heat can be a violation of prisoner rights:
"In a case involving a 64-year-old former Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate who suffered from hypertension and other medical ailments, the federal court in New Orleans held that allowing an inmate to be 'exposed to extreme temperatures can constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment.' The case was remanded to the district court for a new trial."
Full article here: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-dept-criminal-justice/texas-department-of-criminal-justice/appeals-court-rules-heat-can-violate-prisoner-righ/?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email
It seems that our cause is not so far off of a goal after all! This is why we need to continue raising awareness and spreading the word! Change will come with the right mixture of civilian outrage and judicial wisdom.
As long as this issue remains in the news, we have more of a chance to enact change. Please continue to share our petition with family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else that may be interested in our cause. Change will not happen overnight, and we can't do this without you!
Samantha Herrington http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-tx-stop-torturing-inmates-with-130-degree-temperatures




From: People Against Prison Abuse
To: PAPA PAPA ; papa ; TX Group ; 2mp <2mp@yahoogroups.com>; PAPA's Facebook
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 7:49 PM
Subject: TEXAS HEAT - 108 Yesterday in West Texas, approximately 20,000 plus TDCJ Inmates having to endure

In the West Texas area yesterday it was 108 degrees which makes it about 120 degrees in the TDCJ Inmates Unit/Cells and more of the same today...the Inmates have to wet down their clothing, bedsheets, towels, etc. to put around them to keep cool, hopefully they "ALL" have fans where there is some breeze because the prison units do not allow any shade trees outside where the Inmates can get out of the piercing hot sunburning sunshine in Texas, this is the desert, no shade, lot of skin cancer comes due to the sunshine in this area, plus lot of eye problems due to the brightness of the sunshine...PLEASE SHOW YOU CARE...YOU ARE URGENTLY NEEDED to HELP...thank you Flo, PAPA

PAPA said...

Here is a court ruling on HEAT killing INMATES, take that to your bank because TDCJ is going to have to pay,oops there goes your raises, they may cut the AC off to the PITS that you lay in the floor and sleep when it is so hot. Not all Inmates are quilty as several executions have proven,drummed up evidence,lies,hidden evidence,false/bribe witnesses by D.A.s and Lawyers have many wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not committ,so take that to your bank because again there goes your raises when they have to pay the Inmates for wrongful convictions, wrongful deaths...
THis was previously posted:...Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2013 5:08 PM
Subject: Seems some are ? the truth of this, here is a court ruling....Fw: TEXAS HEAT - 108 Yesterday in West Texas, approximately 20,000 plus TDCJ Inmates having to endure

Here is a court ruling on what is going on in Texas concerning the HEAT INDEX in TEXAS, especially in the WEST TEXAS AREA from Amarillo, Lubbock, Snyder, Abilene, Ft. Stockton, Colorado City, and those down way south close the Mexico and Texas Border, and many more, etc...I am not a ROBOT, I have been doing this work for about 25 years, I have seen, heard, read more of this stuff over and over for all these years, have had contact with many of those who have suffered tremendously due to the heat, expecially the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill, those being held in Solitary Confindment, etc.

The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that extreme heat can be a violation of prisoner rights:
"In a case involving a 64-year-old former Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate who suffered from hypertension and other medical ailments, the federal court in New Orleans held that allowing an inmate to be 'exposed to extreme temperatures can constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment.' The case was remanded to the district court for a new trial."
Full article here: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-dept-criminal-justice/texas-department-of-criminal-justice/appeals-court-rules-heat-can-violate-prisoner-righ/?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email
It seems that our cause is not so far off of a goal after all! This is why we need to continue raising awareness and spreading the word! Change will come with the right mixture of civilian outrage and judicial wisdom.
As long as this issue remains in the news, we have more of a chance to enact change. Please continue to share our petition with family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else that may be interested in our cause. Change will not happen overnight, and we can't do this without you!
Samantha Herrington http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-tx-stop-torturing-inmates-with-130-degree-temperatures


From: People Against Prison Abuse
To: PAPA PAPA ; papa ; TX Group ; 2mp <2mp@yahoogroups.com>; PAPA's Facebook
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 7:49 PM
Subject: TEXAS HEAT - 108 Yesterday in West Texas, approximately 20,000 plus TDCJ Inmates having to endure

In the West Texas area yesterday it was 108 degrees which makes it about 120 degrees in the TDCJ Inmates Unit/Cells and more of the same today...the Inmates have to wet down their clothing, bedsheets, towels, etc. to put around them to keep cool, hopefully they "ALL" have fans where there is some breeze because the prison units do not allow any shade trees outside where the Inmates can get out of the piercing hot sunburning sunshine in Texas, this is the desert, no shade, lot of skin cancer comes due to the sunshine in this area, plus lot of eye problems due to the brightness of the sunshine...PLEASE SHOW YOU CARE...YOU ARE URGENTLY NEEDED to HELP...thank you Flo, PAPA

Anonymous said...

It's just terrible that the Texas prisons are not A/C'd. However, personally I am struggling financially, law abiding and like many many other people I can't afford to pay for this. So, find a way to do this without burdening the tax payers or forget it.

Anonymous said...

Lets start a group with the acronym of PACA.

PEOPLE AGAINST CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

Anonymous said...

I suggest public service announcements on TV. We do it for DWI. Beware, Texas prisons are NOT air conditioned. If you must commit crimes try Alaska first.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:22

It is tuff enough to improve prison conditions without people like you making asinine statements comparing the Texas prison system to concentration camps in Germany and Russia. It's just this sort of irresponsible statement that stiffens the resistance and makes the job harder. Do us all a favor don't help.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

All the sarcasm is fine - I hope it makes you feel better - but the federal litigation moving forward is no laughing matter. If TDCJ loses, it won't matter whether or not you folks want to pay for it, think prisoners deserve it, etc.. The Eighth Amendment exists precisely to buttress "the least of these" from the hostile vagaries of majority opinion, which is also why courts will decide the issue, not the Legislature. Or anonymous blog commenters.

@9:21, I agree with you about the gulag comparisons, etc.. The problems are bad enough without exaggeration. The US system is beginning to approach Stalin's gulags in raw numbers, but per capita it's not even close, nor are conditions remotely comparable.

Anonymous said...

pigs have been on earth a very long time way before a.c. or fans why do they need it now, god made the pigs not a.c. get real tx. sweat glands or not

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:21 am, I am Anon 8:22 am, I am only telling the world what I have witness personally at the Crain Unit for over ten years. It is no different from the concentration camps I visited in West Germany that were closed at the time but serve as a reminder. Are you one of the evil people who helps run that concentration camp, aka, the Crain Unit. I have witness employee abuses down there not only directed at the inmates but the visitors also. I can and will compare the Crain Unit to a concentration camp, no different than the ones run by the Germans and Russians. Clean up that evil place and treat the inmates as human beings. I have seen those working dogs treated better by staff than the visitors and inmates. One day hopefully those Gatesville Units will be closed and finally opened to the public to serve as a reminder also. But I am sure the excuse would be a security risk even then. Funny how school kids can tour that concentration camp but mature, educated adults cannot tour that concentration camp. Anon 9:21, I would meet you anytime to let me tell you what I have witness from the evil people who work on this unit. But the excuses is I am lying for going to visitation. My comments makes your job harder? That is a joke, you prison employees make your job harder by the piss poor public relation job you do every day to the inmates with your false cases, playing like your a lawyer and judge with a 5th grade education, being jack@sses to the visitors who's only wrong was going to visitation. Let a real outside group go into that unit and see what they say about the abuses. Inmates have to fetch ice for the guards water coolers while inmates get water in a barrel with no ice or dipper. A couple of guards that at least twenty women say raped them and are still holding rank and can call them out into a room by themselves to this day. A reception center that is run by want to be Nazis, instead of the taxpayers paying that joke called the ACA to say this unit is up and up and only after the inmates are forced to cook them a fine dinner meal that none of the inmates could ever hope for. I said before and I will say it again, the Crain Unit is no different from a German or Russian Concentration Camp.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the Texas prisons don't have computers. My husband is in the Estelle Medical facility. The inmates are on dialysis or had had strokes, paralyzed , blind or take medications that can be dangerous in extreme heat. Last year many inmates died , Tdcj just does not tell the reason why, the keep it medical .the inmates are sold ice for a pack of noodles which is illegal but the guards turn a blind eye. Be careful how you feel about how an inmates treated because you may have a family member, or close friend that could be incarcerated . On the subject of pigs, oh the raise pigs out there but the inmates never see the bacon. The good stuff goes to the guards and their family. The inmates get the remains off the floor.

Anonymous said...

I I have a buddy who was at the Michaels unit. He said they injected steriods into their chickens to feed more and get bigger faster. Not long ago 1000's of the chickens died. I thought that was illegal?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

7:30, you are simply ignorant of history and dead wrong. There's no use further debating it.

Anonymous said...

Grits, have you even been to this unit or talked to an inmate on this unit? I guess you have a degree in history too. Why want you go talk to some of the women who have had problems with a couple of male officers on the Crain Unit. The same old answer that we can not tell you because of security was used by both the Germans and Russians. I am only doing my job, that is what the TDCJ employees always spout was deemed wrong at the Nurnberg trails. That was the same excuse used by the camp guards in 1945. So you do not know very much history either. But I will not call you ignorant. But plenty of Austin police call you a liar.

sunray's wench said...

Anon 7.53 ~ so when all of these women get released from Crain, why have there been no criminal procedings started against the alleged perpetrators?

To the lady who lost her daughter, I am sorry for your loss but two things stand out for me in your post: first, you are happy to subject 149,999 other inmates to extreme conditions just so that you can extract continued revenge on one man? How can that be right, or indeed Christian (which I am sure you would say you are)? Second, you say you doubt that anyone who supports an inmate has lost anyone to murder. That is what sustains your approach to inmates, but it simply is not true. Yes I have lost someone to murder, as well as losing people to many other causes. Every murder is different, and almost every murderer leaves behind their own family. How do you think the mother of your daughter's killer would feel if she saw your words against her son?

You'll get better results if you work with people, instead of against them.

Anonymous said...

When a crime is committed (such as rape) in a TDCJ facility, it has to be investigated by TDCJ OIG, no outside agency. Then most of the time if not all the time it will always be denied. When a woman gets out of TDCJ and goes back to her home county they will not file charges, it has to be filed in the county where the crime was committed. Good luck with that because that rarely happens where a county files charges against a TDCJ employee. Rarely if never happens. Sun Ray, have you been on the Crain Unit? I doubt it. Go there and talked to someone other than the people running that god awful place. Your all over those prison pen pal forums, trying to past yourself off as an expert on Texas Prisons, but you don't even live in this country. You have no clue what this unit is like. Work with those people? Yea good luck with that too. Lies is all that comes out of the mouths of the ranks and admin on this terrible place.

Kevin Stouwie said...

There are over 100 prisons in TDCJ, with over 156,000 inmates, and I believe only 2 or 3 are air conditioned in the areas where the inmates actually live. With heat in Texas being so extreme for several months each year, it is quite a hardship on many, many people. Yet, for the most part, the inmates I have talked to do not complain much. They know that complaining does no good, or makes things considerably worse because they will get labeled as a trouble maker and catch bogus cases that they have almost no chance of over-turning.

If it costs too much to provide prisoners a climate controlled environment at a reasonable temperature, then maybe it's time we re-think whether we ought to keep so many people incarcerated (156,000). Most of them are not violent thugs. Most simply made some bad choices or became addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, which led to incarceration. Since when is a drug or alcohol addiction sufficient grounds to kill or torture anyone? The bottom line is that a huge percentage of the people in prison are people society is mad at, not people we're afraid of.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother. Prison is not about justice or rehabilitation. IT IS ABOUT REVENGE!!! I guarantee if the counties had to foot is half the bill for the prison costs to incarcerate, they would had down 5 years instead of 50 years!

sunray's wench said...

Anon 6.05 ~ a person can be an expert on History without living in the past. If you feel so strongly about your topic, are you training to be a lawyer so that you can do something about it?

I don't pass myself off as an expert. I just speak from dealing with TDCJ for the past 9 years, having visited 2 TDCJ prisons, and having communicated with inmates over the past 25 years in the UK, US and Canada. Those include female inmates as well as male.

Your hostility does you no favours. I don't doubt that abuses of power do happen, but I was asking you simple questions and all I get it criticism and xenophobia in return. Good luck with your crusade.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:22 At first I thought you capable of a cool calculated reasoned debate but, you are really quite emotional.

Anonymous said...

Grits it is refreshing to know there are people like you who want to acknowledge the Constitution and adhere to it's amendments. That's the trick isn't it. Now days the government may or may not abide by it. It's not a given anymore.

Anonymous said...

Moron and liars post here. Don't forget the just plain ignorant.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Which are you, 5:46?

And @ the repetitive poster on the Crain Unit, please don't visit here if you can't stand the occasional brush with reality or historical fact. No matter what's going on at the Crain Unit, it is not genocide a la Hitler or Stalin. All future off-topic Crain Unit comments will be deleted, as will comments alleging equivalency between TDCJ and Hitler or Stalin. I'm done with your demagoguery and don't care to hear from you any longer. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

You sir are painting all with the same brush.
Everyone in prison is not a murder, some are in for non violent crimes and some are innocent of any crime.
I am sorry for your daughters death but you are wrong for putting everyone in the same catagory.

Anonymous said...

TRUE

Anonymous said...

Truth

Anonymous said...

ive been a prisoner in various country clubs around texas !! but when u speak about the weather in summer , yes it gets very hot,i do agree with all you this is not a country club but yes the climate conditions are not suited for a human being,they should put some air units!sometimes the extreme heat cuases riots and so thier are lots of guards as well as prisnoers killed !!!

Anonymous said...

I think the state of Texas has done enough by providing fans for these offenders. Let's not forget these are offenders and as such should not be encouraged to love the prison system. A prison is a place that should be hated, period!

Anonymous said...

in response to 10:38 so you think the big T has done enough for the inmates i guess you are right if you think cooking the inmates and the guards, are the right thing to do maybe you need to be locked up in a hotbox for years bet you would think a little differant, nobody knows unless they or a family member is going through it, no it should not be a country club but it should be humane!!

Anonymous said...

Let me just say this...And this is to anyone that feels sorry for the prisoners and think that they should be air conditioned. They get heat, we do afford them that. Air conditioning is a luxery, not a necessity. It may get hot in the buildings but they have access to fans they can purchase from commissary, they have access to running water in their cells. Yes it's true there have been a couple of inmates die due to heat, but I do agree with some of the people talking about them just being spoiled. Honestly, I agree with that. They have way too many rights. And yes I agree that as TDCJ officers working under that condition, we chose that, but did the inmates not choose it as well by their actions in the free world? Until you've worked in a prison and had urine and feces thrown on you, or at you, or a penis shoved in your face through a food tray slot, or been ejaculated on, assaulted, threatened, spit on, etc...You have no right to defend these individuals. Why don't you try upholding the law and join TDCJ correctional staff, and I could almost bet my monthly salary, a majority of you out here putting your 2 cents in, couldn't handle it more than a month after hitting shift. We turned out 59 out of our class, once hitting shift, we have 18 left. This job is not easy by far, it's physically and mentally exhausting. We do it because we care about the citizens in the free world, or we do it because we have a family to support, and every day walking into those gates we pray we get to go home to our families. It's by far a walk in the park or a cake walk.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@8:48, perhaps you don't realize that the guard's union actually supports the inmate's suit? Or maybe you've just allowed your animosity toward inmates to override your self interest. It's not "a couple" of inmates who've died of heat but at least fourteen. And guards work in the same conditions inmates live.

Nobody said your job is easy, but doesn't the lack of AC make it harder, both because of the physical stress on you and the added anxiety and tension among inmates? Seems like you'd prefer to cut off your own nose to spite your face.

Anonymous said...

Stay out of jail/prison its not a hotel and its not meant to be comfortable stop breaking the law in the free world and you wouldn't have to feel the heat in the summer and child in the winter.STOP BREAKING THE LAW

Anonymous said...

having 12 years under my belt,I wouldn't have a problem putting a/c in the units as long as the thermostats were all set to a reasonable temp, such as 76 to78 degrees. But having been there for a bit and experiencing the 60 degree school houses and infirmaries that ARE air conditioned I know this isnt possible...

buddy Good said...

in Texas i have witnessed 2 deaths and 5 strokes due to excessive heat. i have heard of at least 27 confirmed deaths as well from the years of 2005-2010. the infernmory is climate controlled because its a FEDERAL CRIME . NOT TO. AND FORGET THE FACT THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE CRIMINALS, DO WE TREAT PIGS BETTER CRIMINALS ? LIVESTOCK OVER HUMANS ? WAKE UP

Anonymous said...

As a recently released inmate I know the conditions first hand. I spent 18 months at the Gurney Unit before going to Huntsville The heat is almost unbearable at times and on intake such as Gurnee or Holiday there is no access to commissary fans as prisoners are not allowed to have such things in an intake unit. of course during the summertipmeafter inmates going work in the fields for 5 hours in heat using get to go back to your dorm room and sit in the heat for the rest of the day. I have seen the guards just as miserable as the inmates themselves we complain to them they complain to us yet nothing gets done.to give a classic example I was locked up with an elderly gentleman who had a colostomy bag who was forced to sleep on the top rack was forced to work in the fields daily and then when he complained about the heat he was told that if he did not like it he should just go to sleep and not wake up that is a typical TDCJ guard answer