Prison Epistles Summer 2019 Newsletter

There was a time when I thought my life was one big mess. You see, in 1992 I quit a gang called the Texas Syndicate (TS). TS has a rule that says the only way out of the gang is by death. And there I was, surrounded by some members of that gang who felt honor bound and obligated to carry out that rule. In Texas prisons, and out on the streets, there have been many killings, shootings, stabbings, and assaults because of prison gang wars. One result of these Texas prison gang wars was that all confirmed gang members were considered to be a “threat to the physical safety of other inmates and staff” and were placed in Administrative Segregation (adseg) or solitary confinement. Consequently, I was placed in adseg in September of 1986 for the sole reason that I was a confirmed gang member of TS.  Adseg is a prison within a prison. We lived one man to a cell and recreated alone. We ate our meals in our cells and, except for showers, visits, medical appointments, and/or recreation (rec), the rest of the time we were locked in our cells. Twice a week we were supposed to recreate outside for two hours. On the newer units, the outside rec was usually two people at a time. Each rec. yard was divided into two sections that were separated by a double chain link fence and bars. In the older units there was up to 40 individual rec yards, one man to a yard. In adseg, the chances of one convict getting to another were small. Even so, over the years there have been a few gang killings, even some non-gang killings and a lot of assaults in adseg. Some people cut out of their cells to get to someone. Some “speared” others as they passed in front of their cells, and, every once in a while, the doors have opened by “accident.” So, even though the chances of getting hit are small, the chances are still there. In August 1975 at age 21, I first went to prison. In May 1977, in Seattle Washington, I escaped from jail. Then on January 5, 1986 I was arrested in Texas on another charge and in April of 1986 I was given a 45 year aggravated sentence for armed robbery. An aggravated sentence means that I had to serve 15 calendar years to be eligible for …

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