Dear Ombudsman

I am writing this to lodge a formal complaint for a friend on death row at the Terrell Unit in Livingston. This complaint is about the confiscation of nail clippers.

Guards have ordered prisoners to hand over nail clippers or they will be written cases. These cases would affect their level status and result in the loss of property. As the death row prisoners have now lost their clippers, they are unable to groom their fingernails or toenails when needed.

There has never been any restriction on fingernail clippers, and I am not aware of any major security problems caused by the clippers.

The prisoners have been told that they would be allowed to submit a sick call to the clinic asking for a nurse to bring a pair of clippers to the cell, but nurses have complained about this being too much work, and they now say that when prisoners go to get a haircut, they will also be allowed to get their nails clipped. However, prisoners only get haircuts once a month, if even that often. They are also handcuffed behind their backs, so the prisoners that cut the hair would also have to groom death row prisoners' fingernails and toenails. The general population prisoners that cut hair do not even clean clean the trimmers after cutting each person's hair.

Several prisoners having to use the same clippers would cause additional sanitary problems: all kinds of fungi and infections would spread.

I am requesting that all death row prisoners who are not on any restriction be allowed access to nail clippers just like any other TDCJ-ID inmates. Those and only those that misuse the nail clippers should have them confiscated.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this urgent matter. I am aware that your office has ten (10) days to respond to this complaint. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours