June 26, 2012
by Karyn Hendrick (author's profile)


Reply ID: AMC2012

June 17, 2012
AMC 2012

I've received your post card seeking blog posts for "Communication Strategies Against Mass Incarceration".

I am incarcerated in the state of Texas and there are many issues arising from the prison system here that affect the Tax Payers and Society as a whole.

My first concern is how the Texas legislation has approved/passed a law that allows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to extort inmates for their Healthcare. H.D. No. 3386 amending chapter 495.027(d) Texas Government Code.
This allows T.D.C.J. to Take 100.00 a year from any/all inmates who request medical care. This practice is unconstitutional and extortion is illegal.
First off the Tax Payers already pay a tax for the maintenance of keeping prisoners. The people who send us money for necessities, hygienes, etc have already paid this Tax, then T.D.C.J. turns around and takes that money also.

T.D.C.J. inmates are not paid to work, and inmate Labor is the backbone that enables these facilities to operate. Can you imagine how much money it would cost the state of Texas to replace every inmate worker? These units cannot function without the help of these same inmates who are being charged for the medical care that is needed to attend health & physical ailments created by the work they do to aid those who keep us hostage. A very large percentile of inmates here do not receive good time. Oh it shows up on paper but is NOT actually applied to any tangible action.

This legislation allows and promotes extortion by T.D.C.J. officials. If they are going to charge us for services rendered, they should pay inmates for services rendered. However, this is not a change that can be instituted from the inside.

The mass incarceration that occurs in Texas is largely due to the parole practices here. The parole board does not follow guidelines that were put in place to assure that the release of inmates benefitted the State of Texas. However - it does not, and there is no grievance procedure concerning parole issues, they answer solely to the Governor and no-one else. A lot of financial troubles that the State of Texas experiences would be alleviated if the parole board actually granted parole to all those who are eligible. Terminally ill and other special needs people whose healthcare costs are exceptionally high. The parole board does not recognise how this handicaps the system.
I have actually seen the parole board deny someone because she did not have a disciplinary record - they cited that she must be manipulating the system. They would not accept that she simply obeyed the rules. Things like that prove that there is no encouragement for rehabilitation...

Yes, the media reaches the tax payers, and the tax payers ultimately decide the law. I have prayed that some investigative reporter would find these issues to be interesting enough to collect the information and present it to the tax payers so they can see just how the administration of the Texas prison system and the parole board do not have their best interest at heart. Larger sentences are given because juries BELIEVE that inmates get out on parole & get supervised so they can work and pay money back into the communities. It doesn't work that way!

The Texas Government Code states:
"Any interested person may petition the parole board to create a new rule..."
How about someone petition them to use the ones already in place?

I would like to continue, there is so much more to touch on, however I feel like this is going on & on, I don't want to bore any who may be interested.
I will be happy to provide more input if someone wants to further explore what can and should be done.

I'm not sure exactly what you need or how I can help, so please tell me.

Sincerely in the struggle,

1916 N. HWY 36 BY PASS


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