By Keith “Malik” Washington, Chief Spokesperson of End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement
In 2013 imprisoned Journalist, Activist, and Freedom Fighter Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
arrived in Texas after being transferred from the Oregon Department of Corrections. Johnson
who is the Minister of Defense for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter)
immediately became the target of a coordinated campaign by the State of Texas to silence his
voice and to harm him both physically and mentally. It wasn’t long after Rashid’s arrival that he
was transferred to the – infamous Bill Clements High Security Unit located in Amarillo, Texas.
While housed there* Rashid witnessed the Murder, Suicide, and Mysterious Deaths of numerous
prisoners housed at the facility.
Rashid wrote essay after essay detailing the grisly abuse of the mentally ill and other
vulnerable prisoners housed at the Unit. In 2014, I had heard enough and with the help of
Professor Victor Wallis Ph.D. I submitted a packet of information and a letter to then first lady
Michelle Obama. In the letter and packet I described the mistreatment
of incarcerated U.S. Military Veterans and the ‘Mysterious Deaths’ of prisoners housed at the Bill
In April 2015 I was surprised when I received a letter from U.S. Department of Justice
Trial Attorney Brian Buehler informing me that the packet of information and letter which I had
sent to the White House, was actually read by MICHELLE OBAMA and the First Lady
forwarded the letter and other information to Buehler at the Justice Department!!
This is the background story to what has now become a campaign in Texas to establish an
Independent Ombudsman Office that will monitor the actions of this extremely unethical, unjust,
and corrupt prison agency known as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (sic!).
A Black Legislator in Texas named Jarvis Johnson, a Democrat from the city of Houston,
Texas has filed House Bill — 363 which calls for the creation of an Independent Ombudsman
Office. What actually is being proposed is that the current TDCJ Ombudsman Office be moved
and placed under the purview of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
There are some serious problems which exist within the current Ombudsman Office. Not only
have we seen on-going acts of cronyism, nepotism, and obstruction of justice tactics when family
members and friends of prisoners submit complaints, there are also noticeable appearances of
Structural, Systemic, and Institutionalized Racism and Bigotry hardwired into the mainframe of
this prison agency.
Lorie Davis is the Director of the TDCJ Correctional Institution Division.. Davis has
actually promoted, sanctioned, and condoned retaliation and intimidation of prisoners whose
family members and friends utilize the Ombudsman Program, but it is much deeper than just
Lorie Davis has created a culture within TDCJ by which Jail House Lawyers also known
as “Writ-Writers” are subjected to a manifold of reprisals for their peaceful and LEGAL
activities. Activities which are supposed to be protected under the U.S. Constitution’s First and
Fourteenth. Amendments!! Davis has also created a Toxic Work and living environment for both
prisoners and her employees. Patriarchy and the Misogynistic behavior of high ranking Male
Officers in the employ of the State of Texas has become the status-quo and norm inside Texas
Prisons. Davis can-hot feign nor claim innocence or ignorance because too many humyn and
civil rights violations have happened on her WATCH!
I actually have been working closely with one of Representative Johnson’s staff members
inorder to provide historical evidence which clearly shows that the current TDCJ-Ombudsman
Office has not only violated the public’s trust., but ignored serious complaints by family
members and friends who have incarcerated Loved Ones inside facilities operated by the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice.
One key point we have been trying to make is this:
MANY OF THE COMPLAINTS HAVE LED TO MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CIVIL
LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST THIS UNSCRUPULOUS PRISON AGENCY AND TEXAS
TAX PAYERS CONTINUE TO FOOT THE BILL WHEN THESE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR
SETTLEMENTS ARE HANDED DOWN, BY FEDERAL JUDGES! !
At the end of the day, our goal is to create an office which will provide transparency,
accountability, and meaningful investigations as well as oversight of a prison agency that has lost
the confidence of citizens and tax-payers. Texas has the largest State prison system in the
Country and establishing and Independent Ombudsman Office has the potential of promoting an
environment where prisoners may be treated with dignity, respect, and housed in humane living
conditions. Representative Johnson has told me in a letter that he believes that the First
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is one of the key foundations which make the United States
unique from other countries.
A prisoner should never be afraid to exercise their right to Free-Speech. If there is one
message that I’d like to give to College Students, all across the United States it is this.:
YOU CAN NOT SAY THAT YOU BELONG OR REPRESENT A POLITICAL PARTY IF YOU
DON’T GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS! Whether you be a Democrat, Republican,
Socialist, or Democratic Socialist don’t ever let anyone tell you that your Vote or your Voice is
insignificant or that it doesn’t count!! THAT IS A LIE! The State of Texas is down here,
attempting to purge minorities from Voting Rolls — so please miss me with all that talk of our
Vote meaning nothing!! If it meant nothing these sneaky politicians and power – brokers
wouldn’t be trying to defraud and sabotage our Rights! Please stay tuned Sisters and Brothers
there will be: much more for me to report from the Lone Star State!!
DARE TO STRUGGLE. DARE TO WIN. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!