prison

Liberation Not Incarceration: Hundreds from across Texas unite for a day of empowerment and advocacy at Texas Capitol

WHAT: #kNOwMORE2019 Advocacy Day
WHO: Formerly incarcerated people across Texas
WHEN:   February 4, series of events taking place from 9:30 to 3:00PM; Art Installation from 9:30–3:00PM; Spoken word performance from 12:00–12:30PM (Capitol rotunda); Rally in collaboration with Texas Inmate Families Association from 1:00–2:00PM
WHERE: Texas State Capitol, South Steps

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Jan 4, 2018
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Houston Chronicle

Texas prisons push back against claims of freezing, unheated units

"Lewis Conway Jr., who served time in a slew of different prisons across the state, said officers sometimes wielded control of the heater to make a point.

'If you weren't being compliant or obedient, that thing stayed off,' said the Austin man who now works with Grassroots Leadership. 'Every winter the only choice you have is a heater that blows on high regardless of the temperature so you're in a sweltering hell or if you're in a dorm where there's no central air or heating and it's just concrete and steel.'" Read more about Texas prisons push back against claims of freezing, unheated units

Sep 12, 2017
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Texas Observer

The Road to Huntsville by Jorge Antonio Renaud

Jorge Renaud, community organizer with the Texas Advocates for Justice at Grassroots, published an essay in the Texas Observer titled "The Road to Huntsville" on his experience riding "chain buses" over fifteen times to the Huntsville prison. Renaud writes with profundity and clarity on the absurd treatment of prisoners by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the resilience he claimed for his own transformation. "There is no mystery or romance to prison, not to the iron or stink or violent hopelessness that seeps into its very air, and certainly not to the means of transport by which people arrive or are transferred between the 110 or so TDCJ units... Still, despite all its cruelties, the 1,400-mile 'bus therapy' meant to punish me had the opposite effect. I was away from cages and cacophony when on the chain, and I always accepted the discomfort of bus rides as a welcome respite from the numbing monotony of prison, the rocking bus and green countryside rejuvenating my spirit. Transformation finds few footholds in steel. Life in a cage too often leads to self-pity, not self-improvement. People who are incarcerated understand and struggle with those truths. We seek spaces where the spirit does not recoil: a few moments in a library, a recreation yard quieted by the rain. For me it was the road; the fact that my wrists were bound by iron made little difference. Read more about The Road to Huntsville by Jorge Antonio Renaud"

Humpday Hall of Shame: Is CCA running prisons or fraternities?

For many who are incarcerated and detained, visitation is a lifeline to the community that awaits them in the free world.  The ability to see visitors, which is highly regulated in most carceral facilities, is so powerful that it is generally utilized as a tool to incentivize “good” behavior and compliance with the rules and the culture of prison.  Making visits to prisons, jails and detention centers can be arduous for family and friends who often travel long distances, draw on financial resources, and wait in long lines to connect with the people that they love and care about.  Peoples’ commitment to make these visits is an important public service for helping to ensure community ties and support networks when prisoners are released; factors well-known to have positive impacts on recidivism rates.     

We are appalled to learn of CCA’s recent humiliation of a female visitor, a regular, to one of their Tennessee facilities where she was forced by guards to expose her genitals to prove that she was menstruating.  According to a federal lawsuit filed this week, despite already being cleared through one security checkpoint and offering to relinquish the sanitary napkin that prompted the scrutiny, she was not free to leave the facility without being searched.

Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Is CCA running prisons or fraternities?

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