202 Chapters
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Medium 9781574411522

22 What to do in Emergencies

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter twenty-two

what to do in emergencies


his topic was the birthing idea for this book. In January of 1993, my brother fell ill and my family was not only unsure how to contact me— they did not know the procedure to follow so that I might attend his funeral after he died. This hurt my family and myself deeply, that I could not be there to receive and give comfort. The Texas prison system places many conditions on this type of furlough, but it is allowed. But in such a situation, time is of the essence. If you want to get your relative out in time to see his dying mother, or to attend a memorial service for his daughter, then you must follow TDCJ guidelines, especially the guidelines that specify the people authorized to contact TDCJ with the details of a situation.

For TDCJ officials, this is an issue loaded with problems. Most state officials are sincerely sorry when tragedy befalls the family members of convicts and they do not want to seem heartless. However, security is a priority, and the system cannot allow just anyone to call and say, “John

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Medium 9781574411522

6 Administrative Segregation

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter six

administrative segregation


here are stories about the new Super-Seg and Super-Max Units, stories that focus on the inhumane aspects of those prisons. Marion in Illinois, Pelican Bay in California—they and the prisons like them are the new Alcatrazes. There the supposedly incorrigible are sentenced to years of subhuman life, their movements dictated by shadows behind unbreakable glass, a red, blinking glare of light sensors admitting them in and out of echoing corridors. These are places where life is twenty-four hours of enforced loneliness. The only human contact allowed is when one is transferred, shackled with leg irons and handcuffs, and in some cases wheeled on a gurney, a mask over one’s face, like so much savage freight.

As I write this, there are four super maximum-security prisons in

Texas—Estelle, Smith, Clements, and Allred High Security Units. While they are undoubtedly more secure, with unit policies that result in inmates being isolated from each other in ways not possible on other units, the great majority of Texas inmates in ad/seg are on units where the ad/ seg wings are part of the general prison, not in the four stand-alone high security units. That is not the case in California, where Pelican Bay is, by policy, practice, and physical attributes, set apart from every other

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Medium 9781574411522

7 Medical and Dental Facilities

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter seven

medical and dental facilities


ecause the medical care received in prison is such an important issue, this chapter is broken into two parts. The second, Appendix B, is taken word-for-word from the TDCD-ID Comprehensive Health

Manual, and it outlines what services are available to Texas inmates.

As you will see, they are impressive and are an enormously welcome improvement from the shockingly negligent system in place before


However, there is a huge gulf between what services are available and what services are actually provided. Many factors influence the quality of prison medicine, and the single biggest is the attitude I referred to in chapter one—the system cares little for inmates’ welfare except when it is possible that staff negligence may result in an inmate’s injury and death, and the system will then be held liable.

In this chapter I will again refer to Judge Justice’s March 1, 1999 order in Ruiz v. Johnson, 37 F. Supp 2d and 55 (S. D. Tex. 1999.) While

Judge Justice did not find the medical practices unconstitutional, the testimony of expert and inmate witnesses, and the admissions of medical personnel and TDCJ officials, will help illustrate some of the problems I will point out.

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Medium 9781574414325

Chapter 12 – Religion

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub



If adversity draws one closer to the Lord, the skies over most prisons should be ringing with hymns and the fences humming with prayer. Most convicts were not religious people before coming to jail—that truth is evident in their reckless, hurtful, selfish actions. However, the Lord is active in Texas prisons. Inmates who wish to pursue a spiritual awakening are extended almost every opportunity to do so. TDCJ extends quite a bit of freedom to inmates for them to pursue individual beliefs and practices. All inmates are encouraged to believe, worship, and to study their particular religion. Participation in any worship is voluntary, unless an inmate is assigned to one of the pre-release units that has a focus on spiritual fellowship as a foundation for rehabilitation, such as the Carol Vance Unit, which houses the Inner Change Faith-Based Treatment Program.

Many things contribute to the degree of religious freedom and array of religious activities on a particular unit: the dedication of the unit chaplains; the involvement of community volunteers; the religious beliefs of the warden. In any case, this is one area where what TDCJ practices often exceed what its policy requires.

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Medium 9781574414325

Appendix F – Good Time Earning Chart

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


Good Conduct Time

Good Conduct time awarded per month is broken down into “regular” and “additional” (allowed for completion of educational and vocational plans) with a total shown.

I. Pre-70th Legislature offenses committed prior to September 1, 1987

II. Post-70th Legislature offenses committed on or after September 1, 1987

(Source: TDCJ-ID Administrative Directive 04.10, September 1, 1998)

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Medium 9781574411829

9. Halfway Houses

Gail Caputo University of North Texas Press PDF


Halfway Houses


Halfway houses are community-based residential facilities designed to limit the freedom of offenders while seeking to reintegrate them into society through employment and other services. They are used primarily to help inmates who are being released from prisons make the oftendifficult transition from confinement to the community. Halfway houses are also referred to as adult residential centers, community residential centers/programs, community corrections centers, community release centers, parole residential centers, transitional centers, and residential community correctional facilities. Halfway house facilities are located within communities, were often once private residences, and are designed to “blend in” with the community.

Participation in halfway houses requires 24-hour supervision and offers offenders access to treatment and other rehabilitative services.

Participants are permitted to leave the house with restrictions for work, education, and other responsibilities and they generally spend the evenings at the halfway house. Given its residency condition, a halfway house provides more structure and supervision than a typical probation or parole program, but is not as secure as a jail or prison.

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Medium 9781574411522

Appendix F Good Conduct Time

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574411522

Appendix A Custody Levels

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix A

Custody Levels

The following explains what custody levels exist in TDCJ-ID (Institutional Division), and gives a brief summary of the privileges allowed at each level. For a more detailed idea of the levels and privileges, see the chapters on Money, Recreation, and Segregation.

1. Minimum out, State Approved Trusty I—Eligible for four contact visits each month. Can work outside without direct supervision except for sporadic check-ups. May be assigned to trusty camp. Maximum allowed on recreation, commissary, and property privileges.

2. Minimum out, Line I—Same as above, except that may be from

Line I to SAT II.

3. Minimum out, restricted—May be from Line I to SAT II. Eligible for same privileges as above. Must have direct unarmed supervision while outside the fence and cannot live in trusty camp.

4. Minimum in—May be from Line I to SAT III. Must have direct, armed supervision if outside fence. Maximum privileges on commissary, recreation, and property. Allowed from one to three contact visits monthly, depending on SAT status.

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Medium 9780253001924

2 The Constitutional Foundations of the “Preclearance” Process: How Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act Was Enforced, 1965–2005

Edited by Daniel McCool Indiana University Press ePub

In July 2006, Congress adopted a revision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that reauthorized the “preclearance” requirements set forth in Section 5 for another twenty-five years and amended the legal standards to be applied in its enforcement, restoring the standards for assessing the purpose and effect of voting changes that had been altered by two recent Supreme Court decisions.1 Section 5 is often regarded as one of the act’s two most powerful provisions.2 In the preclearance process jurisdictions covered by Section 5, for the most part states of the former Confederacy, must obtain federal approval of voting changes, either from a three-judge panel in the District of Columbia or from the Department of Justice, before these changes become legally enforceable. Approval requires proof by the jurisdiction that the change “does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.”3 Shortly after its adoption the Supreme Court ruled that Section 5, like the rest of the act, was constitutional. “Congress concluded that the unsuccessful remedies which it had prescribed in the past would have to be replaced by sterner and more elaborate measures,” wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren.4 Twice since then the Court has upheld the constitutionality of Section 5, as amended.5

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Medium 9780253017314

Rubber Stamp or Robust Tribunal? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

David P Fidler Indiana University Press ePub

Rubber Stamp or Robust Tribunal?
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Controversies stirred up by the leaks of the telephone metadata and Section 702 programs included debates about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a court unknown to most people and opaque even to those who study U.S. national security law. Congress established the FISC and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review in 1978 when it enacted FISA, but this secret court did not draw much attention until after 9/11. The FISCR heard its first appeal of a FISC decision in 2002 and published redacted, unclassified versions of decisions in 2002 and 2008. In the wake of Snowden’s disclosures about the telephone metadata and Section 702 programs, critics called the FISC a “rubber stamp”—a charge amplified by citing the FISC’s approval of almost every FISA application it reviewed. As seen in Robert Litt’s speech (Document 3), supporters argued that the FISC is a serious court that provides robust oversight. The U.S. government released the next document in September 2013 to counter the “rubber stamp” accusation. In this 2009 decision, the FISC suspends the NSA’s access to telephone metadata because the U.S. government violated FISC orders and made misrepresentations to the FISC. The U.S. government also declassified a 2011 decision (not included here) in which the FISC criticized the NSA for misrepresenting aspects of “upstream” surveillance conducted under Section 702 and held that NSA’s targeting and minimization procedures for such surveillance did not comply with the Fourth Amendment. The seriousness of the FISC’s analyses and decisions in these cases did not fit the “rubber stamp” critique. Critics, however, emphasized the NSA’s violations and misrepresentations as evidence that the FISC process needed major reform.

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Medium 9781574414325

Chapter 3 – Food

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub



Inmates in Texas prison eat in the chow halls because they have to, not because they want. Any chef will tell you that the quality of a meal drops with the amount of people you have to feed. In TDCJ, minimally trained cooks prepare from 1,000 to 3,000 meals three times a day, under minimal quality standards, and with only the pride they and an occasional professional wearing TDCJ gray bring to their jobs. The courts have ruled, and rightly so, that good taste cannot be dictated. The standard applied to institutional meals is that they be hot and nutritious. In turn, state dieticians and various medical experts set out the nutritional standards TDCJ follows. Inmates get three meals a day, and if an inmate eats all that he is offered, he will be assured of the minimal daily requirements of vitamins and minerals that medical experts say he needs to survive.

Meals consist of: three four-ounce servings of three different vegetables; a four-ounce serving of beans; a scoop of potatoes or rice; a piece of meat (except at breakfast); two pieces of bread, or two biscuits, or a three inch square of cornbread; and dessert at lunch (which can be cake, pie, gelatin, or pudding). That’s it. If you complain, or ask for more, chances are good that the staff will take your tray and order you from the chow hall.

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Medium 9780253020925

2 Ottoman Legal Practice and Non-Judicial Actors in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul

Schull, Kent F. Indiana University Press ePub

Hadi Hosainy

ON 31 AUGUST 1666, the Istanbul Court exonerated the imam of the Bucakbağı neighborhood of the homicide of a woman named Ayşe, daughter of Abdullah. The homicide took place a day earlier at the house of the imam, Mustafa Efendi. A grand vizieral order (buyruldu) was already issued for the investigation and registration (keşif ve tahrir) of the case. Accordingly, the court sent a group of investigators to the location of the homicide, i.e., the house of the mentioned imam. At the head of the investigating team were a high-ranking judge from the court and the chief police officers of Istanbul. They examined (mu’âyene) the dead body of Ayşe and arrived at several findings. İsmail Beşe, the elder son of the imam, had loaded a gun and put it at a window sill. In the meantime, Ayşe went to the imam’s house for some business. When the minor son of the imam tried to put a copy of the Quran on the same sill where the gun had been placed, he unintentionally touched the trigger. The gun went off and the bullet hit the right side of Ayşe’s neck and came out the other side. The investigating team concluded that this was the cause of Aşye’s death.2

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Medium 9781626562691

Introduction Into the Hole

Schenwar, Maya Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” I’m crying with my mother over the phone. It’s late evening, December 25, 2012, and Kayla,* my only sister and best friend, has been arrested for the seventh time in the past six years. She’s in jail again—and this time, we’re sort of hoping she’ll stay there. “If she asks,” I tell Mom, “I’m not bailing her out.”

“Well, you know we’re not,” Mom says, her voice low and far away, a weary echo of words uttered in months and years past. “If she’s in there, at least she’ll be safe.”

Jail, we agree, may be the only place that can save Kayla’s life, staving off her burning dependency on heroin. Neither of us acknowledges that regardless of whether Kayla stays clean while incarcerated, sooner or later she’ll be getting out.

“Do we know what she’s in for?” I ask Mom.

“Does it matter?”

I think of Kayla, cuffed and listless, being dragged through the doors of the Cook County Jail, catching the eyes of women she’s known before—in court, on the street, in juvenile detention, in jail, in prison. I wonder whether a part of her is relieved to be back.

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Medium 9781574411522

23 The Echo

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter twenty-three

the echo


he Echo is the Texas Prison Newspaper—our newspaper. It is tabloid-sized and published every month or two, then distributed via truck mail to the units and then to the living quarters. The Echo has been published more or less continuously since 1928 and has a circulation of

100,000 or so, giving it some standing among Texas papers.

The Echo’s contents can be divided into three types of articles: reprints of penal-related stores written for other papers; occasional columns or editorials written by the Echo’s staff; and recognition-type pieces: graduation notices, results of sports tournaments, and similar short articles submitted by inmates.

There is a Letters to the Editor page, and an advice column written by a mystery convict. This columnist, who like Madonna and Elvis has reached first-name status—Dear Darby—offers sarcastic and hilarious advice to letters that are genuine but often sound made-up. His column is a tradition and undoubtedly the most-read part of any given issue.

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Medium 9781574411829

2. Development, Goals, and Structure of Intermediate Sanctions Programs

Gail Caputo University of North Texas Press PDF


Development, Goals, and

Structure of Intermediate

Sanctions Programs


Prior to the 1980s, the standard sentencing options for judges consisted of probation or incarceration. Although community-based programs, such as probation, restitution, community service, and halfway houses, were available in the 1960s and 1970s, they lost credibility and support mainly because they were shown to be ineffective in a number of ways

(Tonry, 1997). It was not until the early 1980s as correctional crowding became a serious problem that alternatives to incarceration, or intermediate sanctions, were formally organized into state correctional options (Lurigio & Petersilia, 1992). Boot camps and intensive supervision probation and parole emerged in the middle 1980s and the other, fragmented assortment of programs, such as community service and home confinement, were “repackaged” and formally implemented as intermediate sanctions. Three main correctional issues prompted the need for change in corrections and led to the formal development of intermediate sanctions in the middle 1980s: a lack of success with felony probationers and to a lesser extent, parolees, severe overcrowding in prisons and jails, and inadequate sentencing choices.

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