The Texas Prison System - What's It Really Like?

The way it really is in TDCJ and Prison Units in Texas

GUEST ARTICLE: How Corrections Help Prisoners Reform

Today we have a guest article submission. Daphne Holmes article is about reform programs within prisons. Based on my own experience I have to be honest and say I doubt the effectiveness of many of today’s typical prison reform programs — for instance one prison I was at, rehab class consisted of us sitting in a room, without instructor or instruction, for a designated amount of time so that the prison got the credit for a rehabilitation program — but I do agree that “reform” ought to be the main objective, for drug cases. Hope you enjoy the read, send

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Short Timer Here

I feel like I am a short timer on my parole these days. I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t wait. it will be the first time in 7 years that I am not either locked up or on paper. My choices will be mine. Nobody looking over my shoulder. Just got to mind my business for another couple of months. I can do it, that’s not a problem at all. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but I can’t help but start to feel anxious for this all to be

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How to Find Someone in Prison in Texas and Elsewhere

I have found that over the past couple of years, the page on this blog that gets the most traffic, comments and questions is the Inmate Locator page. It is a nerve wracking time for family and friends when a person is incarcerated, and a lot of the time there isn’t very clear information about how to find out where they are, what prison they are at, and how you can communicate with them. I am going to write today’s post with some explanations of all of this, hopefully it will help y’all find your people who might be incarcerated

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Felons – Reality vs. Fiction

Hey everyone. Sometimes I catch something on television or see something online about prison or prisoners, and I have to laugh at the stereotypes that persist about us felons. Today I saw a thing on the internet news about a recently released prisoner coming to the rescue of a little girl that had fallen into a septic tank and was drowning. Now that is cool whether the guy is an ex-con or not. But what is troubling is that this was reported under “Odd News”. Like, it’s ODD that a man who has a record would help someone. Here is

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The Holidays – Then and Now

While I was in prison, the holidays were sad days. I couldn’t help but feel alone and sad and think of my family and friends more than usual. I think it’s safe to say that was something almost all of us in prison dealt with, although some tried to act like they didn’t care. Maybe they didn’t, who knows. We did try to make the best of it. We were given a better meal than usual, with baked chicken and turkey. Baked chicken is one of the few things that prison cooking can’t screw up, since it’s relatively simple and

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Correctional Officers Join Lawsuit Over Texas Prison Deaths Due to Extreme Heat

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/02/texas-prison-guards-union-to-reportedly-join-inmate-litigation-over-hot-state/ I’ve not been paying attention. Looks like getting the correctional officers behind the push to provide some cooling for Texas prisons might be the final straw to make it happen. Anybody have more updates on this news?

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It’s been awhile – Now I am married and a father!

Hello all, I have been very lax in keeping up with the blog. A whole lot of real life got in the way. Just let me take a minute to brag. I am married to the most awesome woman in the world. We got married on 9/11. A funny date for a marriage but that was the same day I had parole, and I had to consolidate everything so I didn’t miss much work, lol. The way I look at it, that is a good and happy thing that occurred on a day remembered for something unhappy and bad. Maybe

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We refuse to abandon our loved ones

Passed on by a friend today: “We are tired of being made to feel inferior or unwelcome in churches, clubs, organizations or society in general simply because we refuse to abandon our loved ones…………” We are everywhere– For those who forget that the incarcerated humans in this country are indeed just that – HUMAN – I would like you to think on this the next time you talk about “inmates, criminals, convicts, etc…”. These humans have families and those who love them despite whatever they did. Look around you and wonder, because this is who we are…. We take care

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Changes in my life, changes for this site

While I was locked up I spent a lot of time dreaming about being on a river in Central Texas, listening to music, playing my guitar or harmonica, singing, and just having a good ol’ time. I have done just that as often as possible this summer. I want to share a song I really enjoy, by Jason Boland, called Backslider Blues. Fantastic lyrics on this one. Friends, I have really slacked off when it comes to writing blog posts. I had already known that once I got out, the site was going to need to change it’s direction, because

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Texas Prison TDCJ News: Court of Appeals Rules Against Prisons

U.S. FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULES AGAINST PRISONS IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES CASE Appellate court finds extreme temperature conditions can violate 8th Amendment The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a Corpus Christi federal judge’s ruling dismissing a prisoners’ lawsuit claiming extreme temperatures violated his Eighth Amendment Rights. Lawyers for the Texas Civil Rights Project and DLA Piper represented Eugene Blackmon, a sixty-four-year-old prisoner suffering from hypertension and other medical conditions. Temperatures inside the prison, which was not air conditioned, reached a heat index of 130 degrees. Expert testimony established the temperature during the summer of 2008 temperatures reached

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A new job, some alright friends, and a couple tough days

Well – what’s been going on with me for the past 2 and a half months? The usual I guess. It’s hard to describe in a way, what your mind goes through when you get home from prison. But I will try to let you know what this next part of the journey has been like so far. At first, that first day when Texas Department of Corrections let me out their front door and I saw my mom sitting there waiting for me, it was pretty strange driving away. As the prison became just a bad memory in the

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I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be

I am about to write a post to update everyone on what’s been going on the past 2 months that I’ve been home. But first, I am posting this song by Tim McGraw, it has some good lyrics about bettering yourself. I hope all the mothers had a good Mothers Day yesterday. “Better Than I Used To Be” by Tim McGraw I know how to hold a grudge I can send a bridge up in smoke And I can’t count the people I’ve let down, the hearts I’ve broke You ain’t gotta dig too deep If you wanna find some

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I have served my time and I am going home!

This is the post I have been waiting for all along. By the time it is received in the regular mail and posted on here, it will just about be real. I AM GOING HOME! I AM GOING HOME! I – AM – GOING – HOME!!! I am so ready, I can’t wait. Time is crawling now but it’s OK, it’s almost here. Just 10 days to go. I can’t wait to look up at the sunshine, to breath in the fresh air. I can’t wait for a pizza! I am damn excited and happy to go home and see

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So this is Christmas…

This week  I sit here, away from my family at the holidays once again, and I find myself thinking. I am where the universe wants me to be, or else I wouldn’t be here. Since I don’t want to be here, I realize I need to look for the lesson in the situation. Christmas is in just a few more days. It is hard to believe that last year at this time of year I was in prison too. And, the year before that I was in a long term rehab at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years… and the year

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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Hello all. I recently read an awesome book that I would like to tell you about in today’s post. A guy in here recommended it, and loaned it to me. It is long, close to 1000 pages, and it is intense. It is written based on truth, about the author’s own life, and it is an amazing story. Considering that I don’t really have any news of interest to tell you about, let alone an amazing story about myself, I think it will make an excellent subject to change things up a little. The story is about a heroin addict

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Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

I am tired. Tired of being here, tired of the classes I am in, tired of the work I do and mostly REALLY tired of this dorm I live in. I am tired of the loud mouths and the bad attitudes. I am tired of the CO’s and tired of the other inmates. I am tired of writing letters to family because there really isn’t any news to talk about with them anymore. I am tired of drinking coffee that tastes like rusty nails. I am tired of having to strip down for every little thing and I am tired

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We’re All Doing Time

Update from Inside: Life here continues to be busy for me, work is trucking along, and so is the rehab program. The days are going by fast overall. Over all I am in very good spirits. I got a book called “We’re All Doing Time” by Bo Lozoff. It’s a spiritual book, not a religious book, but it pulls from all the major world religions. It quotes the Bible, Buddhist teachings, Hindu, Native American, and more. It talks about Christ and Mother Theresa and Gandhi. It is REALLY, REALLY good. The author Bo Lozoff puts in words just what my

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