Well I now can say what is my least-favorite part of prison life. Catching chain for transport to another unit – God, seriously, it sucks. I left my old unit on Friday night and got here on Wednesday. In that time I stopped over at three different units. One is well known for being one of the oldest and worse units in the state of Texas. As you can imagine, that is a bold statement considering the size of Texas and the conditions of many of the TDCJ prison units. But, from my short stay there, I would say it is a true fact. It was insanely HOT. It was also VERY old, VERY dirty, VERY loud, and smells VERY bad. Rusty, creaky, disgusting – right out of a movie. It was gross. It is the old-school style of prison with three tiers and small 6’x8′ 2-man cells. Racial tensions ran high and everybody YELLS for everything. Just crazy feeling being in there.

It was not a good place to be at all and it makes me appreciate the small, boring yet better conditions unit that I have spent the last 7 months in and complaining about. I can see how trouble between inmates would run much higher in these sorts of units, because the conditions would just make you feel like a caged animal, and an animal that is being treated inhumanely too. When you are treated like an animal, chances are you are going to be more likely to act like an animal.

Having said that, I am really not going to miss my old unit a bit. I was done with that place and the people there too. When you are in such close quarters with a bunch of men, their bad points start to really glare after awhile.

But anyway, my two other stops were also in places I am glad I have not been assigned. A lot of the transfer units are pretty large operations, and the more inmates and CO’s you have crammed into a space, well, the worse things get. It’s just natural, I am sure. Also, I should mention being chained to the person next to you and going on god-awful long bus rides in old, crappy buses in the middle of July in Texas in the middle of a heat wave and a drought is not an advisable thing to do. In my last unit, they had me in some classes but about a week before I was transferred the classes were stopped for awhile for “summer break”. That made me laugh at the time because it wasn’t like I was going to the beach to look at the girls or anything. But if that was summer break then I guess this bus tour was my summer road trip. What a bad one it was!

I really want those of you who think prison is NOT THAT BAD to consider how uncomfortable you get when you are forced into a position for maybe just one hour. Think about that for many, many hours, and being hot, and feeling like you are going to puke as well. Not being able to stretch out your legs or bend them in a new position or stretch out your arms and shoulders. I have always been prone to get car sick and this was not a good ride for me. The heat was pretty bad, and we are all kind of nervous about where we are going, whether anybody admits it or not. So, sweat was happening. Lots of sweat. Yeah, this was a challenging couple of days. First the bus ride and at the end of the day you THINK you are so glad to be at your destination, but once you get in your destination it’s SO BAD and SO HOT you start to think, OK, maybe the bus was better, so you make it through the night and are told to get on another bus and find yourself thinking, thank god I am out of that hell hole, and feeling you are lucky to be on the bus, but then the long, horrible bus ride starts up again and you start to feel like you need to take a piss or throw up but you can’t do either, so you start to hope and pray you will get to your new destination soon, and yep, sure enough, you finally do and get off the bus so thankful just to find you are being thrown into an even more hellish hole than the last place… and so it goes on…

I am here now though, and the new unit does seem OK. And the funny thing is, that bad part is fading already. I just don’t advise it to anyone who has a choice in the matter, but as crappy as it seems at the time, it won’t kill you.

I think I will like my new unit. It’s a good change of pace. Right away they gave me a full time job in the kitchen, washing pots and pans. I like it a lot because the hours fly by. Time goes so much faster when you are busy. I lost a lot of my things in transport, including my good work boots because I couldn’t produce a receipt for them. They threw a lot of my things away for no apparent reason, just cause they can, I guess. I am hoping that since I am working in the kitchen they will issue me a new pair without me needing to buy them.

Well – here’s hoping that anyone reading this blog is having way better summer vacations and way cooler road trips than me. When I was 19 I went on an awesome road trip, camping along the way, up to the Smoky Mountains. I have such good memories of that trip, the mountains were awesome and Asheville, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee were both bad-ass cities I stayed in over night. That part of the country isn’t Texas, and Texas is where my heart is at, but it’s some fine country too.

Peace everyone, stay cool. ~ Magnum


  1. Laurie says:

    During these transfer trips, are you permitted to make calls? My boyfriend caught chain Thursday morning from Sanchez to either Cleveland or Estes (he’s going into the PEP). He showed up in the system at Middleton on Saturday, but the unit couldn’t verify, so I didn’t go. I am afraid he waited for me and was sad when I didn’t show. I have not heard from him since Wednesday night. I send a Jpay every day and write almost as often. Do you just stay one night at each unit when you travel like this? Thank you in advance for your time.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Laurie, when being transferred you aren’t really in your normal situation. In my experience you are not able to make calls. I am sure even if he was hoping to see you he is fine and knows its a confusing time. Once he gets to where he is going, he will be in touch and y’all will get back into your routine of writing and visits. Peace out ~ Magnum

  2. David says:

    Editor, thousands of people are injured and killed each year by the drug dealers that smuggle the drugs into the USA.

    I am not picking on Magnum but of people like him did not purchase these drugs there would be no demand for it and our world would be a better place. If he was selling drugs then his role in all of it is even worse.

    Having said that, all inmates should be treated with basic human respect and should not be forced to live like animals.

    • Texas Magnum says:

      Hi David, this is Magnum, on my latest couple of posts you can read that I am now free, and working hard at doing things right. In response to your comments, I was not selling drugs, I was using them, but you are right that I definitely broke the law. I agree the world would be a better place if nobody wanted to use substances – legal or illegal – that alter their moods, but that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

      Regarding our country’s “war on drugs”, that is a whole different subject and as far as I can see, it just isn’t working. I was given a couple chances to straighten up before I went to prison and I didn’t. But, I don’t agree that it is in our society’s best interest to prosecute and incarcerate drug users to the extent that we do. I didn’t see the prison experience was changing most of my fellow inmates for the better. The in-prison rehabilitation program was not run effectively and was seen as a joke by most inmates. It’s too bad, but from the inside, you see the system is broken. I saw a lot of guys leave there with every intention of going right back to what they were doing before. I also saw that not too many people chose to use the time for self reflection or growth of any kind.

      Thanks for your comments. Keep coming back and reading.

  3. Editor says:

    Hello Robert this is the editor who helps Magnum post on here. I wanted to let you know that the charge he is serving time for is personal possession of an illegal substance, so the victim in this case is himself only. He has worked hard to make good changes in himself and is looking towards a good future, not a life sentence in hell. Thanks

  4. Robert Upper says:

    And who’s decision was it to deserve this way of life? And now, on to the Victims story of a life sentence of hell at the hands of an offender.

  5. Misssy2 says:

    One of the things you said in one of your blogs jumped out at me because my son has said the same thing….i will do the time and will not let the time do me (something like that). I was thinking to myself…”you aren’t going to be able to help it”. Especially because, like you said in the Aug 4th blog…if you treat someone like an animal, they are going to act like an animal. I have to say that I expected your on-going blogs to be tainted with the personality of an inmate. I was surprised to see that there was not alot of prison language in your newest post. You are an extremely creative writer….your are not talking in punk prison language, which is enlightening. Because to me one way for the “time to do you” is for you to change from who you were when you went in to a hard prison talking fool :). I don’t know you, but it seems that you are growing up. It seems that you are trying to live this experience and not make it who you are. Keep up the good work….on yourself and on the blog…who knows, maybe someday you take this blog to a writer and make a book to help others learn from your experiences and maybe, just maybe….not go there.

  6. wanda says:

    You are a very talented writer! I really appreciate your ability to share your experiences in a way that is so clear and vivid. I keep thinking that if more people really understood the prison system, they would demand change. Your blog posts play a role in that increased awareness, and I thank you for that! Good luck with your new job!

  7. Kathy says:

    When my son was transferred on a “3 day tour” he said the same thing. I cant even begin to imagine. Sounds like the change is for the better, though. I can imagine that scrubbing pots and pans, while probably not the choice you would have for a job in the free world, would be a much better way to spend time than just sitting and sweating the day away. Heres hoping your time goes faster every day!

  8. Sharon says:

    Oh wow
    Magnum! You are an amazing being! I look forward to your posts….I just know that God uses you far beyond your realization. He certainly gifted you to do so!
    I have no doubt that you will make a great life for yourself…inside and out!
    I will keep you in my prayers……and look forward to your successful journey!
    God bless you!
    Your attitude is point on! I actually felt hot, sick and had to pee the entire time it took me to read about the bus ride!! Every ride is one step closer to freedom!