ACTIONS AND RE-ACTIONS
By Derrick Jackson - Texas Death Row
I've been asked more than a few times to write letters and/or articles for different reasons by different people but I have not. But recent actions here caused me to re-act! These actions are not or have not been directed only at me but the entire death row community here on 12 bldg at Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. It started upon transfer and arrival - to me personally it was nothing less than traumatizing and de-huminizing both physically and mentally. Not one single man was sentenced to the physical and mental psycological torture and abuse we daily must endure not to mention the in-humane treatment and living conditions. We were sentenced to execution - not to suffer toture!
Actions and Re-actions - former provisions of or
for „death row inmates“ have been
temporarily suspended for 3 years now, but we here
are constantly told what is eventually going to be
done! No longer do you have death row inmate, we
are now all classified as death row agg-seg inmates
there-fore categorized with or as the worst of the
worst of Texas prisoners.
Actions and Re-actions - a 1998 escape brought about the changes we endure - not because we all escaped (or even attempted to) but because the „snitch system“ failed and a single man did indeed escape! Guards who are paid to prevent this from happening are not being punished for this but the entire death row population here in Texas is. In light of the prosperity of prisons here in Texas I realize that politics govern; I also realize that the policies and the selective enforcement of them are in-acted and innitiated by Warden's Zeller and Massey and Major Lester on down through the ranks. Cival and Human Rights are daily being violated here on the Polunsky Unit - these officials attempt to totally control us and not just with the obviously seen (solitary cell confinement, handcuffs, cages) but by way of deprivation, intimidation threats taunts use of chemical agents and physical abuse of at least 5 man assult teams (even when inmates are secure in cells or restrained by handcuffs with no weapon or intent to harm anyone).
Since I've been on Polunsky Unit, I've known of only 4 physical assults on guards by inmates (3 were the results of female guards disrespecting the inmate and the other involved a mental patient). The most violent dangerous criminals in Texas are most commonly assultive when reduced to throwing body waste. Flooding, starting a fire or simply refusing to be handcuffed when being removed or moved to one place from another, jacking the handcuffs or the food-slots, or simply sitting down in non-violent protest (all done usually only to speak to a ranking official as to a simple yet serious personal matter). One man (Roy Pippin) refused to eat for 35 days! For all these actions (with the exception of Roy Pippin's hunger strike) all have been punished and not one time for one infraction but in general for ongoing periods of time! The cells we live in were specifically designed to break a violent offender who could not be managed in the general prison population or was the threat of another - the cells alone were specifically designed for this but to add the sick intentions and actions of the officials here this definately falls under cruel and unusal punishment. I personally see this as only an experiement. I've been personally told by officials that the did something simply to see how I or another would re-act (this is done to us daily). The officials here have crossed the line, and for their actions this is my re-action.
I've recently been classified to the lowest custoy level for recent agressive behavior (what is known as jacking the tray slot that is guards open on the cell doors to serve and remove trays). I put my arm out and refused to put it back in until I spoke to a ranking officer (at his direction) as to the returning of my personal property that was illegally confiscated by other ranking officers 2 months earlier. This is not the first time my personal property has been confiscated (illegally), discarded and trashed by officials here and I'm not the only one to suffer this treatment. As with much of what daily goes on here you probably would not be made known, but since I'm being so severally (and will be for the next 7 months at least) punished on the leveling system for this single act of aggressive behavior, I'll simply continue to re-act to actions in this aggressive nature (with this pen and paper as I never have before for as long as I'm allowed by the prison officials to have the privilege of pen and paper! Believe me it is indeed a privilege ...).
I am an insulin dependant diabetic and I am forced to be administered my shots in areas where chemical agents are being sprayed and body waste of others is thrown and not cleaned. If one man is gassed all those in the immediate area suffer as I have at many times. Often the chemical agents used are in excess and are not necessary and protocol in use is not followed. Inmates who are secure in their cells, at the whim of an official can be subject to the use of chemical agents by simply refusing to be harrassed by officials in any number of ways. I have been forced to live in cells with the body waste of the previous occupant (and not allowed nothing to clean with as all personal property had been confiscated and held in the property room and no cleaning supplies were made avaliable to me). I have been forced to live in cells that flood when it rains outside (and leak as well). I am forced to live in cells where the ventalation system doesn't work, plumbing doesn't work - all because of my aggressive behavior (writing this is the most aggression I've shown about all of this thus far). I have a big box on my cell door (designed to keep inmates from throwing on guards) and my food is placed in this box for me to eat. I am not supposed to be allowed to clean it and the guards won't clean it but it is filthy with food, juices, coffie, etc. from previous meals - very unsanitary. My aggressive behavior merits this I guess.
Actions and re-actions ... This only scrateches the surface and I am only speaking as I'm personally experiencing and I'm sure that I'll suffer some form of retaliation due to this „show of aggression“ but I already have been so at least now it'll be for a reason. This will be the first of many articles to follow and I'll go into different aspects of the sick situation that is our daily reality here at the Polunsky Unit. If not daily, „weekly surely“ inncidents will be chroniclized and posted on web-sites (until my privilege of mail service and free speach are taken). Every man is not simply willing to roll over and die, many will fight back and show aggressive behavior (as with me and this pen); each will do so in this own way but I must tell you that all is initiated by the environment which controls us - the people and policies etc. The officials will quickly tell „even us“ that they'd not treat their pets (animals) as they do us here! „Ask them to explain it“. None of use deserved to be treated like this, and we weren't until we got tothe Polunsky Unit. There is not much we can do for ourselves being in the position we are and not cause unfavorable results that will have us here seen in the exact light desired by the officials (asd or of animals)! They're attempting to create animals and label us and present as such so now my aggression has prompted me to re-act the same way. These people are sick people!
I can answer any question from anyone reading this in the presence of any official and with stand any challenges from the concerning my answers. They cannot do this. They'll point fingers and attempt to stand behind policies to avert accusations and responsibality. Someone has to be held responsible for all the actions and re-actions stemming from the 1998 escape and/or the 1999 hostage situation (which the hostage was released unharmed), or from inmates refusal to be woke from sleep in the middle of the night, stripped naked and allowed to be handcuffed so officers can search his cell and possibly discard and trash personal property because of something another inmate has done. This is an ongoing and escalating situation that immediately needs to be addressed. It's not any one thing in particular that can be complained about but I do know that many problems that exist now didn't before we came to the Polunsky Unit. Also the re-actions for actions (how-ever justified) will continue to occure until changes are made - the blood is already starting to flow here „literally“; we need help to stop the bleeding as it is not our choice to inflict any wounds but we also refuse to suffer as we await our fate.
Actions and Re-actions ... before I finished writing this at a little past 2 pm, Jan. 25th, inmates were pulled out and all cells here were searched for thermal underwear that was confiscated if found at the time! Although we must go outside at 6 am (chilly early morning hours) if we want to recreate and although many cells do not have the heat working that they all whould. A jacket is avaliable, the same jacket that's avaliable to the inmate who showers once or twice a month! I guess that thermal underwear are now some sort of security risk because Ms. Howell, the woman in charge of property didn't return those who requested to get their thermals returned (from property confiscated) to wear during the winter months. Another thing that Major Lester has done that I don't understand is he's now made avaliable toilet brushes and small brooms and mops to us to use in our cells to clean. It's nearly impossible to get even a towel when your cell floods for what ever reason or state issued cleaning supplies upon request! What is weekly allowed (when avaliable) is only good for 2 uses a most. Major Lester has even went so far as to regulate the amount of soap, deoderant, toothpaste and shampoo that an inmate can purchase with his own money from the commissary. As before mentioned I was forced to live in a cell with human body waste (from toilet overflows and the drainage system backing up) for 4 days without being given any cleaning supplies (not even a rag) while all I owned was confiscated and held in the property room. It wasn't until I refused to go back in the cell (when I came out to see the nurse about my blood sugar concerns as I ony ate when I had to in this contaminated cell and could not take my insulin shots as perscribed) unless I was physically forced by the guards that I was moved to another cell (I just couldn't keep living like that). This particular incident went unheard as do much here on 12 bld. I do not have the contacts or support that many here have such as Roy Pippin and/or Paul Colella so I do thank them and their friends for getting this info where it needs to be. Both Roy P. and Paul C. have taken a very firm stand against the will of the officials here and the tortious dehumanizing environment and both have asked me and inspired me to do what I can (with the help of their person friends and contacts) so I must. Hopefully I can continue to report Actions and Re-actions offering first hand accounts from Polunsky Unit 12 bldg „Death Row“. This is a desperate cry for help from the depths of hell - an exibition of my aggressive nature!
I welcome letters of support and encouragement and
any question as well you may have. Major Lester
also limits our correspondence (by only allowing so
much correspondence supplies, pens, stamps etc.,
bi-weekly). I may not be able to respond to
everyone immediately but I will do so if need. A
close personal friend, Dawn Clark, has assisted me
in setting up a personal web page for the purpose
of establishing a legal defense fund,
Emails to her are welcome (she'll get any and all to me) at
or mail directly to me at the prison
12002 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351
I've been inspired to write Actions and Re-actions by Roy Pippin and Paul Colella. I want to thank them both and Nancy Bailey and Dawn Clark as well. Dawn has been seeking other web sites to link my webpage, to so please Email her with any and all help full info and or support. Thanks from all of us here to all of you who are re-acting to our desperate needs!
Derrick Jackson # 999263