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commented 2018-08-10 15:04:24 -0700
Long lines at dps in humble. Solve this problem.
commented 2018-08-10 15:04:22 -0700
Long lines at dps in humble. Solve this problem.
commented 2018-08-07 23:56:10 -0700
School Safety / Security / Violence

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Thank you

Julia Samaniego
commented 2018-08-05 16:46:05 -0700
I am a high school student writing in hopes you will be willing to have a 15-minute phone call with me regarding a free program to help you build a student internship program that will help you win your election.


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Would you be open to having a 15-minute call with me to discuss?


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President

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movethefuture.co


Turning young political energy into informed effective action.


P.S. If you are wondering why we are doing this, here’s a bit of our story.


Last summer I was one of 100 student interns knocking on over 10,000 doors, phone banking, writing letters and more on a County Legislator campaign in NY. The interns played a key role in winning a twelve point victory in a primarily conservative district against a Republican incumbent.


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commented 2018-08-01 13:07:43 -0700
Daemon Baizan

2555 Fairoaks

Decatur GA 30033

678.637.6504

daemon@DAEMONpictures.com


July 1, 2018


Senator John Whitmire

803 Yale

Houston, TX 77007


Senator Whitmire:


I am writing on behalf of David Alan Van Houten. Mr. Van Houten was given four 13-year sentences which were stacked twice in July, 2007.


When David entered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, the TDCJ Records Department recorded his sentence as concurrent. When he discovered this, he contacted the Head of Classification on his unit. He was told that he was mistaken, the sentence was actually concurrent. David’s family contacted TDCJ Records in Huntsville and asked them to double-check this. TDCJ Records checked and reported that the family was mistaken because the sentence was in fact concurrent. His maximum sentence date was set at July 20, 2020.


David Van Houten made parole on April 11, 2017 and was tentatively scheduled for release in November. However, as he prepared for release, TDCJ suddenly discovered their mistake and took away his parole. He has now made parole for the “first time” four years later than he should on his first sentence. The Parole Division has offered their apologies for this mistake, as it should have been discovered by their officers when he came up for parole.


This has caused undue hardship on David and his family since they expected him home, but it was suddenly ripped away from them. They have inadvertently received pain and suffering, which is unfair because they did their best to make sure everything was handled correctly.


(I) now write to you in the interest of fairness and mercy. When polled, the jury only wanted David to serve 6-1/2 years which is why they gave him the 13 year sentence, assuming he would serve half. This hardship is due to a mistake on TDCJ’s part and we ask for your help in getting Midland County to unstack his sentence, providing relief for his beleaguered family since you are over the Criminal Justice Committee and have shown yourself to be a fair man with your decisions.


Sincerely,


Daemon Baizan
commented 2018-07-23 07:39:54 -0700
I know that you are aware of the sweltering heat that our loved ones have to endure at the TDCJ units in Texas. Why you are not doing anything to prioritize amending this situation really surprises me. These inmates are entrusted to the TDCJ to take care of however, they have to be contained in temperatures exceeding 139 degrees. This is violating the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. It does not matter why they are incarcerated, what does matter is that is that they should not have to endure this heat because TDCJ will not retain temperatures no warmer than 89 degrees in the hot summer months. Since we taxpayers are paying the bills to house these inmates, I think the taxpayers need to be heard regarding unhealthy conditions in the prisons regarding the temperatures (both summer and winter). In winter, it is extremely cold which ups the chances of illnesses as well.


Please authorize TDCJ to do something immediately to correct this situation before another loved one dies.
commented 2018-07-21 03:29:54 -0700
My name is Jordan Munoz in 2014 I overdosed on heroin in Lubbock tx in the hospital they found less than a gram of heroin on my personal property. Needless to say I needed help and the state of tx have me such help. I was given 2 years tdcj dfz (drug free zone) charge and was offered 5 years probation if I complete substance abuse felony punishment. I went to jester 1 unit for 9 months graduated. Also was given a diploma for most improves gateway client. I then went to the Odessa halfway house for three months. I failed to make all required obligations for my probation and a warrant for my arrest was issued from Lubbock county. I was arrested (for a motion to revoke) I did my time in Lubbock county before I decided to instead of stay on probation till July 2020 I would finish my tdcj time in tdcj. When I was transferred to the Middleton unit in abeline tx I had 3 more months left. At this time my girl friend was pregnant with my beautiful son and his due date was 45 days after my discharge date July 19th 2018. I was in middileton unit on may 24th at approximately 1:30pm I was walking back to my housing location when I was called back to the main walk way in front of the main building where administration resides by a jose sanchez holding the prestiges title of Lt. Jose sanchez. The man said for me to come back to where he was at told me “get the Fuck out of My hallway.” I explained my reasons for being there and explained my permission for being in the hallway was given from another officer named co. Garza. At this time of sanchez interupted me saying “I don’t give a fuck” I saw this as a disrespectful way for this gentleman act. However I complied and turned around when Lt sanchez says “that’s right or ill fuck your ass up” I heard I’m and was shocked but that was how they sometimes act my response to my sanchez was “you can show me better than you can tell me” thinking this officer is going to give a tdcj case. Which would be my first and only case

I received this far in my stay with tdcj. However he meant physically assaulting me by fucking my ass up" because lt threw his walky talky on the ground and started punching my in the face. My hands went behind me for 4 reasons 1. I was falling down. 2. My discharge date is less than 50 days away 3. I would not direspect myself my unborn son and and pregnant girl friend by fighting back. 4 I have had facial reconstructive surgery on my face do to an orbital blowout on my right eye. At this time there was 3 officers on scene I was detained handcuffed and still the assault continues in my mind if I were to yell or panic the officers would take that as a resisting arrest and in many police brutality videos the victims scream "I’m not resisting so I instead pretended to be unconscious and after being punched repeatedly in the back of the head by lt sanchez. The assault ended. And the same officer who had given me permission to be where I was at before assault took place was instructed to record my detention and escort to infirmary. Durring the assault I dropped my glasses was in aware. After I was screened by medical I was place in PhD. Pre heiring detention. I was unshre why at the time till the officers stated was being charged with assaulting lt sanchez by punching him in the nose with closed fist. I was put in seg when or sanchez came to bring me my glasses back at aproximatly 4pm he says. “I would have kept your raybans sunglasses until I saw they were medicated so I decided to be a nice guy.” At this time my injuries were my main concern and i could care less if I had lost them I was assaulted by a human service correctional officer. The next day I was served a case for the assault and was asked what I plea. Of coarse I said not guilty. I had my hearing for this case and was given a chance to give the truth and facts Of the assault on me. Told disciplinary board the only injury or sanchez could have sustained was on his knuckles or elbows from the assault given to me. This time they asked if other witnesses or officers seen the thing I stated it being a transfer unit and my brief time their at Middleton I didn’t know the names of officers however I stated "if you do interviewing and investigating you will find me not guilty because there were 3 officers on scene however lt sanchez said the officers 2 feet away were 35 and 45 yards away. Not only did he lie about the me punching him on the nose but he failed to mention his only elbows were wounded. Like I knew they would because of the brutality of closed fists and elbows I received while already hand cuffed. I was found guilty of assault on staff or sanchez. however council appointed requisted leniency based on my past behavior and compliance thus far. They gave me 45 days restriction from rec,phone,contact visit, and I was stripped of 280 days of my good time. This was reported to state police ombudsmen and the grievance office I have yet to get a strait asnswer from all the proper channels and chain of command. I was moved a week later to the super seg Estelle unit where I stayed until last week the I was discharged on time on my discharge date because the whole case was a fabrication from this violater mr Jose sanchez. I am currently seeking medical treatment for the injuries from the assault which was unprovoked and unjust. I am now a free man no charges were pressed on me because it was all a lie. I know that disrespect flies all over from staff and offenders in the tdcj as does the uses of force most are just. However this was not. Please mr. Whitmore if you could contact me I would like to see that this man is held accountable for his crime and prevented from doing this again to another person who did not deserve to be detained let alone assaulted. I have faith in the justice system. Both of my parents are in law enforcement and the have been in contact with people all over tx. But I heard your name from a officer who told me you are a good honest man who will seek justice if I tell the absolute truth this is my story. My son is asleep beside me and my now fiancee and I’m a blessed man who knew this the day I was saved at covanent hospital in Lubbock tx in 2014. I’m a Texan and believe this is the place where I want to watch my kids have their kids. Thank you for you time and if at the very least letting this reach this page. Maybe the higher ups will stop this man from hurting or killing someone else or giving another inmate more time because of misplaced hostility. No man is above the law. I feel this man needs the same kind of help I was givin minus the assault.
followed this page 2018-07-20 12:29:33 -0700
commented 2018-07-20 12:22:35 -0700
Dear Senator Whitmire,

It has come to my attention that the Tennessee Colony C.o Unit has not clean water for drinking or bathing.My son is a human being doing his time. Something has to be done soon. My son Michael Watkins #1827941 is been doing time in the segregation unit at the C.O Unit already seven years. Plus I have not talked to my son in seven years because of being in segregation. I moved out of El Paso Tx over six years to Palm Coast Fl. To a slow pace town retired folks mostly.At the unit there isn’t any air conditioning and no heat in the winter. He is bipolar Adhd border line personality.His problems for years is drug addiction. He would steal for his addiction. He is a repeat offender.My son’s body has tattoos. From being in prison he got Hepatitis C from the tattoos. My son never had a tattoo in his life till he went to prison the first time.He graduate from Hanks High School in El Paso Tx. Also had three years of R.O.C. Prison for drug addicts isn’t the answer. Its cruel and abuse for the ones with mentally ill.My son gets written up 90% for his bad month.These guards know how to press your buttons where Michael shouts out threats. Because of the guards behavior.So with this am looking at 2021 which will serve his ten year sentence. For buying cough medication and cold pills.Which had my son on several videos at stores.This is what he is in for.He was acciated with a white gang.But that happened after he was beaten up by a Mexican gang had his nose broken. He has nothing to do with the white gang in over two years.And the prison system knows this. The gang shouts out threats through there cell window of getting to him. I have called in the last two weeks to the medical staff to speak to a nurse about my sons health. He lost 25 pounds within two months in the Seg unit. He wrote and told me he is always feeling sick and dizzy. He stands 6"3 and down to 160 pounds. Has no radio but a small fan and some books. He is in the maximum prison its unbelievable that he is with the worst inmates.You think the warden would allow my son call me after seven years. Since he is in TX and we are in Florida. I want my son home with us so he can get the right medications and love that he so needs. Under The Inhumane and therefore is a violation of The Right Amendment of the U.S Constitution. Which prohibits cruel and unusal punishment. Am worried about my sons health. Waiting for the nurse to call has been two weeks. This is the biggest and oldest prison in Tx. This punishment is way to harsh for a person that has mental illness.


Sincerely,

Nancy Gramacy


fgramacy@yahoo.com
commented 2018-07-17 23:29:15 -0700
Senator Whitmire,

I need one person to please hear my story and I’m sure you get these all the time. How can I write my story and you read it and see if you can help me, please My husband is in TDCJ and all I am asking is please read my story he is an innocent man he’s a lot of things but a murderer he is not. Senator, you are my last resort before giving up myself. I have never done anything like this in all my 55 yrs. of living. If you cannot maybe you could lead me in the right direction please our lawyer did him no justice and now we can’t win an appeal and we are up against a wall and we have no money I am indigent after losing my husband I filed bankruptcy and lost it all after losing my mother last year I realized I am not giving up on bringing him home I can’t he is innocent and it is all in the transcripts. I have even talked with habeas corpus people and they agree he got the raw end of the deal with no evidence and a lawyer that wasn’t doing his job. I just need one person to believe in us and give us a chance if nothing else maybe you could listen to or read something from my husband. Please get in touch with me at your convenience and Thank you for your time.


Thank you,

Sheila Jenkins

Tyrone Jenkins

1959126
commented 2018-07-15 15:08:28 -0700
Dear Senator Whitmire,

My name is Dundra Hollins and my brother Willie Tieuel #02061561 is an inmate at the Ferguson Unit in Midway Texas. My brother filed a grievance on officer Jean P Njah Njah because the officer snatched the phone out of his hand while we were talking and verbally threatened him stating, “Let go before I fuck you up”. My brother remained calm and called me later that evening to let me know what happened. He also stated the same officer came by his cell later that evening and said, " In my country, you would be considered a faggot, I could fuck you and nobody would do anything about it". My brother wrote these statements in a grievance and filed it with the unit. He was later called to court and accused of making a false allegation and sentenced to 30 days cell restriction, 30 days without phone privileges, 30 days no commissary, and his trustee status dropped from an S3 to an S4. After the incident, my brother had another encounter with officer Njah Njah who called him a snitch and proceeded to tell other officers about the incident. My brother spoke to Captain Wyatt who told him not to write another grievance and to let the incident go. He did write another grievance but it was sent back stating you can only submit a grievance every seven days. His point was to notify a ranking officer that he was continually being harassed. He was called to a unit classification meeting in which is supervisor Ms. Jones from the law library, another female from the classification office, and Major Bates. Major Bates stated, " I’m tired of you guys accusing my officers of BS, I am dropping you to a G4 status, which was on Friday July 13, 2018. He was also later fired from his position in the law library and given an assignment of work duty in the fields. My brother has a history of Hypertension and currently takes medication which is documented. This is also another attempt to put him in harm’s way. My brother is the victim of verbal abuse and threat and has been punished because he was vocal about his treatment. He has been compliant and has worked hard to maintain a positive attitude and work toward rehabilitation by maintaining his job at the law library, as well as completing the paralegal program, and is starting college in August to get his associate degree. The egregious abuse of power at the Ferguson Unit is alarming and all involved in the cover-up process should be investigated. Within the last six months, an officer was fired for sexually abusing multiple inmates by grabbing their genitals for the purpose of the men to ejaculate on his hands, in return, the officer gave the men watches he brought in from outside the unit. The officer was fired, but it speaks to the sick individuals who are employed at this unit who abuse their power to inflict their own heinous agenda on men who can not defend themselves. I have submitted my formal complaint to the office of the Ombudsman as well as state representative Trent Ashby district 57. Our family has hired an attorney as well as a private investigator to also review this matter. We are also willing to go public to highlight the injustices inflicted upon my brother Willie Tieuel at the Ferguson Unit. Please research these allegations and contact me with any further questions, as I will be happy to provide detailed names, dates, times and other staff members who will go on record and give an account of incidents that have occurred that the unit has turned a blind eye to. We are in fear of my brother’s safety and will do whatever it takes to unmask all wrongdoing against him.

Sincerely,

Dundra Hollins
commented 2018-06-22 18:21:48 -0700
Dear Senator Whitmire:

My son, David Alan Van Houten, recently had something unfair happen to him that may never have happened before. I’m hoping you can either help me or direct me toward a way I can resolve this issue.

In 2007, my son was sentenced with two consecutive (stacked) 13-year sentences. A few years into his sentence, he noticed that his time sheet showed 13 years, not 26. He contacted the Head of Classification at his unit (Tulia), a woman named Mrs. Barrett, to make sure his sentence was entered correctly. She did some research and told him that he must have misunderstood the judge; his sentence was concurrent, not stacked. Unconvinced, I called TDCJ Records and explained how I understood that his sentence was supposed to be stacked. The TDCJ employee told me (rather rudely!) that I was mistaken – the sentence was concurrent and they would not be able to hold him one day longer than what was posted on the TDCJ site. Since we have never dealt with the criminal justice system before, we just assumed we had, in fact, misunderstood the judge.

In April, 2017, my son was granted an FI-4. He finished his program successfully. He (and we) expected my son would be home before Christmas. We worked hard to secure a site for him to live while on parole. However, while checking for his release date, I noticed his parole was no longer listed and his maximum expiration date had gone from 2020 to 2033. My son spoke with the unit parole officer. He admitted that TDCJ had entered the sentence wrong, but it should have been caught by the reviewing parole officers in 2014 and 2017. The parole officer said that all his parole votes had been wiped out since there are different guidelines for concurrent vs. consecutive sentences, and my son would be interviewed for “the first time” on his first sentence, almost four years late! When my son asked what parole would do to fix this, he was told, “On behalf of TDCJ and parole, we’re sorry.” My son pointed out this was unfair and was reminded that “parole is a privilege, not a right”.

When he re-did his “initial” interview, he asked the parole officer why they were four years late. He was informed that parole had taken back his FI, not his 3-year setoff, to technically, he was only a year late. He was also informed parole would not backdate his receiving of parole because “the computer won’t allow it.”

My son was finally granted parole on the first sentence on March 1, 2018. He will now be required to wait another 6-1/2 years before he comes up for parole on the second sentence. He should have had an opportunity to do his sentence in a minimum of 13 years and a maximum of 26 years, but due to TDCJ’s mistake, he will have to do a minimum of 17 years. When you consider that the jury was polled after the trial and said they gave him 13 years because they actually wanted him to do 6-1/2, the miscarriage of justice is more obvious.

While it’s true that we don’t know what parole would have voted in 2014 if they had been aware of his stacked sentences, we DO know that when they granted parole in March, they noted that it was granted because he had no cases and there was a second sentence to be served. That leads me to believe that he would have been granted parole in 2014 and would be eligible again in 2020, not 2024 as the site now states. Also, the granting of parole is a privilege, but the eligibility for parole is, in fact, a right. My son did everything possible to make sure this snafu didn’t happen and TDCJ parole admits the error is theirs, yet my son is being punished for this error.

In addition, our family has been devastated! We were expecting to finally bring him back home based on our conversations with TDCJ. It borders on cruel and inhuman punishment to take this away at the eleventh hour when TDCJ was informed of their mistake years earlier.

That’s where things stand. I pray you are able to advise me or help me resolve this since we are not at fault, yet we are paying for this mess. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Phyllis Zwarich
commented 2018-06-17 21:16:30 -0700
Dear Senator Whitmire:


Thank you for acknowledging that the heat conditions in TDCJ are a problem. Myself, those incarcerated within TDCJ and their families are grateful that the health and safety of our loved ones are important to you.


I am writing because I have a loved one within the TDCJ prison system. As you know most of the units within Texas are without air-conditioning which subjects the inmates to extremely high and dangerous temperatures during the hot summer season. Prolonged exposure to such intense heat puts one at risk for heat-related illness which can result in death. Such exposure is considered by definition inhumane and therefore a violation of the Eight Amendment of the United States Constitution which prohibits “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”.


Since the TDCJ units are made of concrete, brick, and steel, the heat gets trapped in the units and cells (available fans only serve to circulate the already hot air) – and because of this the air is always hotter on the inside than the outside. In fact, the temperature on the inside of the units and cells can reach as high as 149 degrees literally cooking the inmates and the TDCJ correctional officers alive.


Since 1998 there have been at least 23 officially documented heat-related deaths within TDCJ. With the summer months now upon us the inmates and correctional staff are facing yet again another season of what amounts to nothing less than torture. My own friend who has been incarcerated within TDCJ for several years now has personally told me that there were times he had passed out and that he thought he might die from the prolonged exposure to the intense heat. Which, on a hot summer day ranges anywhere from 117-149 degrees on the inside of any TDCJ state prison unit.


Again, these heat conditions violate the U.S. Constitution (as they are cruel and unusual punishment), as well as International Human Rights standards.


The Texas Commission on Jail Standards already requires every county jail in Texas to maintain internal temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees. Other states with hot climates, such as Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, air condition their prisons, and even the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is air-conditioned. Why are our prison units not following suit? This is lawfully wrong and unacceptable.


The recent lawsuit from the Pack unit points to the 23 deaths and hundreds of illnesses related to heat in Texas prisons since 1998. This number will only go up if you don’t take immediate action. And please do not forget that each of these numbers is someone’s son, daughter, father, mother, husband, wife, etc. What would you do if your own family members were forced to endure these conditions? Regardless of why they are in prison, they are human beings and we love them.


There will only be more lawsuits to come if you don’t take action. The cost of adding air conditioning is no excuse when we’re talking about life and death here. At the same time, taxpayers’ money is being spent on the lawsuits. The press has been following these dangerous conditions every year, and we’re still seeing nothing being done while people are dying.


I ask that you will do the right thing and call for TDCJ to provide humane conditions for our loved ones. This means calling on TDCJ and the Texas Legislature to provide AC in all units immediately and holding all Wardens and upper management accountable for COs not following heat procedures. We also need to see a budget line that provides air conditioning in the living areas of all units, and our elected officials need to make this a priority for the upcoming legislative session. This needs to be addressed before there is another heat-related death at TDCJ.


Concerned families are raising their voices about this issue, and we will make sure that this is something all Texans will keep in mind as they are casting their votes in November.


Thank you for your time.


Sincerely,

James Blenkle
commented 2018-06-13 10:41:29 -0700
Senator John Whitmire


Regarding: Your visit to Plane Prison

My Daughter, Jennie Dyer

TDJC # 02183987

SID# 04606844


Bravo Unit.


Dear Senator,


My daughter advised me that you and a few other members from Washington and Cathy Griffin. She was privileged to be in the meeting and is going through the Road To Freedom program.


She is praying for early parole in July.


I have to tell you that the Fan in the ceiling is still not working, although I call and they told me it was but it is not yet fixed. They worked on it one time and something broke on it again. They do not have any Fans in her unit, which I believe in the Justice system but not in such awful conditions. The stories are just deplorable I hear from many people. Hot showers in the horrible heat. Worms in bathroom not enough toilet paper. And being on lockdown for 18 days would make anyone to be sick. During 18 days of bed, they had terrible “brown bag breakfast, lunch and dinner.

To go to commissary and have to wait in line for hours in the heat with no relief in site is another torture.

To have No programs for the inmates to better them self’s except The Road to Freedom gives them to much time on their hands when they could be learning schooling, trades programs to better themselves to transition into productive citizens once released.


Is there any hope for Fans at least, for the Bravo Unit and frankly all the units. This Place has been deemed to be not meeting all of the standards and was supposed to have been closed years ago.

My prayer is that you could make these changes now that you have been there and have seen for your own self.


I am praying my daughter does get out as even her Judge asked her why she pleaded quilty and the answer was because her Court Appointed Lawyer and the Prosecutor said she would get 20 years. Alcohwas the problem and when they took her to jail, she was getting out of the backseat of officers car and he said the door got him. The other officer said he saw nothing and the Tape froze up, therefore the Judge said “Why did you plead guilty “ reason she was scared of 20 years.


Jennie has suffered enough as her cousin was in a Critical car accident and has been through many surgeries. My dear younger sister of 63, passed away in January and it was Jennie’s dearest Aunt and friend. Now her husband, Jennie’s Uncle has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer and is taking Radiation treatments and it’s very agrresive as it has spread to his chest now. Jennie also missed her daughter s birth of her First grandson.


I feel she has learned her lesson from all of this. There are girls in her unit that don’t care if they make parole or have been denied who are basically bullies but Jennie doesn’t join in and they tend to be nasty.


I just spoke with her and things are really rough in there especially with the awful heat. She told me her feet are so swollen and I told her to go to mediate advised that it takes weeks to get in and 100.00 per visit


Anything you can do for my to make July parole Please help her. We are Pastors of a Church. Jennie knows this was wrong but I believe it should have been a Public Intoxication instead a Felony.


Thank you for all your help Sir.


God Bless you for all you can do.


Karen and Tom Charlebois

Cell# 405-535-8802


Excuse my typing as not used to a small phone text.
commented 2018-05-26 08:20:15 -0700
Good morning Sir

I know with all the horrible situations going on in the world this may seem rather small. To me it is life and death for Men who should be treated like humans and not animals. It has come to my attention that the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX does not have and has not had clean water for drinking or bathing for months. I am speaking SEWER problems. This facility needs to be repaired immediately for the sake and health of the Men that are doing time there. Thank you in advance for any help you may provide.
commented 2018-05-22 20:01:44 -0700
I see that you are on the governors committee about school gun violence. My friend lost her daughter in Santa Fe on Friday. The shooter said he wanted his story told. I think the media’s coverage encourages the next misfit to shoot up their school. What if the media didn’t print the name or photo of the shooter? Report the victims not glorify the shooter. The media is putting a target on the school children of this country.

Another thought is to have famous athletes to make tv ads to tell students who feel bullied to reach out for help. There is no shame in contacting an adult to help. Maybe we could have a hot line. We need more counselors at schools and at earlier grades to identify these students that aren’t fitting in and start meaningful programs.
commented 2018-04-16 13:10:13 -0700
Dear Mr. Whitmire:


I am a member of the Texas Inmate Families Association and it has come to my attention that the A-1 wing of the Wynne prison unit in Huntsville, TX is on a Hunger Strike. This is due to deplorable conditions & the inhumane treatment of the inmates by the Correctional Officers.


As one TIFA member writes:


“I have just heard that A1 at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville has gone on Hunger Strike. Due to an incident they have been on Disciplinary lockdown since March 13th and 200 men are being punished and maltreated unfairly. Refusal of showers, lack of food or really bad quality of food, and bogus cases being made up to prolong lockdown and start lockdown over again. The guys are being harassed daily by officers. The runs at A1 at the Wynne are covered in s**t and the floor has not been cleaned in two weeks. The food trays are getting pushed along on the floor by the co’s using their feet/boots. They wear the same gloves all day. Trash piling up and roaches everywhere….., and I could go on and on. This is serious!”


Please look into this matter as soon as possible. The health and well-being of our incarcerated loved ones are depending on your assistance and help.


Respectfully,

James Blenkle
commented 2018-04-01 19:07:49 -0700
TO: SENATOR JOHN WHITMORE

(TIME SENSITIVE, URGENT!)

SUBJECT: DARRINGTON SEMINARY GRADUATION


The first three (3) Seminary Graduation classes allowed the Graduate’s minor (under 18) children to attend the Graduation Ceremony. The 2018 Seminary Graduates were just informed on March 26, 2018 by the new warden, Warden Butcher, that all minor, under age children could not attend this year. That no one under the age of 18 would be allowed.


This came as a complete surprise because no one in the Seminary College Program has done anything wrong and there were no issues with the other three (3) Graduation classes which allowed minor children under 18 to attend.


We realize that this is Warden Butcher’s first Seminary Graduation Class and he hasn’t experienced the great things that are coming out of this program and the impact it is having on not just the inmates graduating but all the other inmates they come in contact with. This ruling is unfair not just to the graduates of this year’s class, their families and children but will impact future classes as well.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu, who is part of this graduation class, has contacted Warden Butcher through the I-60 form and has talked to both Warden Butcher and Warden Danheim about this matter but Warden Butcher still said no. My husband, Fred and I have called and left messages but have not had any success talking to Warden Butcher.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu, has two children, Sierra Cantu, age 18 (she will be 19 in April) and will be able to attend and Michael J. Cantu, age 17, who will be 18 in August who will not be allow to attend under the new ruling. They love their daddy and are so proud of him. Michael J., his son, wants to go to college because of what his father has accomplished and would be heart broken if he can’t attend. Each of these inmates who are graduating this year and their families and children deserve to be at the Graduation Ceremony. No one knows the positive impact this will have on each child that attends their father’s graduation.


Several past Seminary Graduates at Darrington told our son, Michael W. how much you believed in the importance of the children being at the Graduation Ceremony. We know how much you support the Seminary College Program and have seen first hand the positive effect it has made on the inmates and their families.


Since the Seminary Graduation is May 7, 2018, there is not a lot of time to get Warden Butcher’s new ruling reversed. We would appreciate whatever you can do to help in this matter. We know how much going to this graduation means to our grandchildren, Sierra and Michael J and we believe the graduation will mean as much to the other children as well.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu and each of the other Graduates deserve to see their precious children in attendance at the Seminary Graduating Ceremony.


Thank you very much. Words cannot express our appreciation for all your efforts, support and help not just in this matter but all you do for the inmates and the Texas Prison System.


God bless you, your family and staff with His unlimited blessings.


Very Respectfully,


Fred and Carolynn Cantu

Email: Fccan2@yahoo.com

Address: 14402 Barker Pelican Ct.

Cypress, TX. 77429

Cell Phone: 713-298-2231


NOTE: copies sent to:

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Grove Norwood, Heart of Texas Foundation
commented 2018-04-01 19:07:48 -0700
TO: SENATOR JOHN WHITMORE

(TIME SENSITIVE, URGENT!)

SUBJECT: DARRINGTON SEMINARY GRADUATION


The first three (3) Seminary Graduation classes allowed the Graduate’s minor (under 18) children to attend the Graduation Ceremony. The 2018 Seminary Graduates were just informed on March 26, 2018 by the new warden, Warden Butcher, that all minor, under age children could not attend this year. That no one under the age of 18 would be allowed.


This came as a complete surprise because no one in the Seminary College Program has done anything wrong and there were no issues with the other three (3) Graduation classes which allowed minor children under 18 to attend.


We realize that this is Warden Butcher’s first Seminary Graduation Class and he hasn’t experienced the great things that are coming out of this program and the impact it is having on not just the inmates graduating but all the other inmates they come in contact with. This ruling is unfair not just to the graduates of this year’s class, their families and children but will impact future classes as well.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu, who is part of this graduation class, has contacted Warden Butcher through the I-60 form and has talked to both Warden Butcher and Warden Danheim about this matter but Warden Butcher still said no. My husband, Fred and I have called and left messages but have not had any success talking to Warden Butcher.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu, has two children, Sierra Cantu, age 18 (she will be 19 in April) and will be able to attend and Michael J. Cantu, age 17, who will be 18 in August who will not be allow to attend under the new ruling. They love their daddy and are so proud of him. Michael J., his son, wants to go to college because of what his father has accomplished and would be heart broken if he can’t attend. Each of these inmates who are graduating this year and their families and children deserve to be at the Graduation Ceremony. No one knows the positive impact this will have on each child that attends their father’s graduation.


Several past Seminary Graduates at Darrington told our son, Michael W. how much you believed in the importance of the children being at the Graduation Ceremony. We know how much you support the Seminary College Program and have seen first hand the positive effect it has made on the inmates and their families.


Since the Seminary Graduation is May 7, 2018, there is not a lot of time to get Warden Butcher’s new ruling reversed. We would appreciate whatever you can do to help in this matter. We know how much going to this graduation means to our grandchildren, Sierra and Michael J and we believe the graduation will mean as much to the other children as well.


Our son, Michael W. Cantu and each of the other Graduates deserve to see their precious children in attendance at the Seminary Graduating Ceremony.


Thank you very much. Words cannot express our appreciation for all your efforts, support and help not just in this matter but all you do for the inmates and the Texas Prison System.


God bless you, your family and staff with His unlimited blessings.


Very Respectfully,


Fred and Carolynn Cantu

Email: Fccan2@yahoo.com

Address: 14402 Barker Pelican Ct.

Cypress, TX. 77429

Cell Phone: 713-298-2231


NOTE: copies sent to:

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Grove Norwood, Heart of Texas Foundation
commented 2018-03-19 18:19:58 -0700
Thank you for your confirmation that you support father’s paying interest for 40 years to pay back child support for missing only 5 years. Even when they didn’t have a job or where incarcerated. Until now nobody took credit for this horrible policy. Now I have a monster to pin this policy to. I will do everything in my power to let Everybody know how you are against men. Thank you…Ps check out your Wikipedia page.
commented 2018-03-10 14:48:10 -0800
I have information relating to state corruption and unlawful acts committed against me
commented 2018-02-21 07:26:56 -0800
The people that work for/with the Affordable Care , need to be better trained , when explaining to people on how to navigate the system. I was mislead on the second half of the program/payment.
commented 2018-02-16 15:35:18 -0800
Dear Senator Whitmire,


I’m a student at Tarrant County College contacting you to do a brief interview over the phone about the Sandra Bland Act. Please contact by 2/21/18, it will not take no longer then 30 minutes thank you for your time.


regards,


Michael Newton
commented 2018-02-14 09:36:00 -0800
Hello,


This is Free Press Houston Managing Editor Daniel Renfrow. I’m contacting you guys because I would like to do a brief phone interview with Sen. Whitmire. I’ve already interviewed his primary opponent Damian LaCroix, so I would love to be able to do an interview with Sen. Whitmire as well. I would like to post both of these Q&As on our website sometime next week, so if he could fit me into his schedule sometime early next week that would be fantastic. I will only need about 20 minutes of his time.


Regards,


Daniel Renfrow
commented 2018-02-07 15:26:32 -0800
Dear Senator Whitmire, , I want you to know that I am enthusiastically endorsing you in the upcoming Democratic Primary. Prior to Early Voting, at each election I walk my precinct 037 in Montrose with my volunteers, distributing a flyer with my list of endorsements. You will be prominently featured in my flyer. I print and distribute these flyers on my own. If I can, I will also make a donation to your campaign. Please feel free to use my name as your enthusiastic supporter, and thank you so much for your hard work for the people of SD 15.

Very sincerely,

Bill Galbraith

Democratic Chair, Precinct 037

(713) 522-9972
commented 2018-02-02 10:42:40 -0800
Dear Representative John Whitmire:


As students of Bob Lanier Middle School, who care about the future of our education and our public school system, we would like to invite you to our Town Hall Meeting. This meeting would address our concerns pertaining to our schooling and that of all schools in the Houston Independent School District.


This meeting will be held on February 21, 2018 in the auditorium of Bob Lanier Middle School (2600 Woodhead Houston, TX 77098-1534). It will begin promptly at 10:15 and end at 12 noon.


Students have been working on their speeches for several months, and we would like you to come hear our concerns in the hopes that you can help us address these issues:


Excessive standardized testing


Overcrowded classrooms


Need for a curriculum with real life applications


Need for district-wide guidelines for the amount of homework


Lunch options


Among other concerns


Your presence at this meeting is very important to us. We appreciate your favorable consideration in this matter and look forward to your response as well as following up over the phone.


Sincerely,

Nushana Huq

Student Representatives for the Lanier Middle School Town Hall Meeting
commented 2018-01-08 23:31:01 -0800
commented 2018-01-08 23:30:20 -0800
commented 2018-01-08 23:29:52 -0800
commented 2018-01-08 23:29:25 -0800
Re: Criminal Justice reform – Austraila

Dear John,

I had a fantastic criminal justice reform fact finding trip to the United States in April. Unfortunately I was unable to get to Houston. I just wanted to say that I am in awe of all the incredible work you and Jerry Madden did in Texas. Australia is at an unfortunate tiping point so we have a lot to learn from you all. All the very best with you ongoing efforts.

Regards

David Robertson


I met with the following organisations:


Public Welfare Foundation


Prison Fellowship


Addiction Policy Forum


Coalition for Public Safety


Families Against Mandatory Minimums


Justice Action Network


Freedom Works


Right on Crime


Charles Koch Foundation


Steve Teles – John Hopkins Uni


Vera institute


Pew Public Safety Project – Adam Gelb


Georgian Crime Commission


Southern Human Rights Centre


Jerry Madden – former Chairperson of Corrections in Texas ( congressman)
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