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Mineral Wells Profile, Pt. 1

This is the first of a three-part report to Texas Prison Bid'ness based on research on the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility conducted by Grassroots Leadership. The Mineral Wells facility is a contract-facility under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. For more information, please contact Nick Hudson using our contact form.

After receiving a steady stream of reports about unsafe conditions at Corrections Corporation of America's Mineral Wells Unit, and a reader's report of a large disturbance at the facility in July, Grassroots Leadership filed an open records request for data on the 2,100-bed Pre-Parole Transfer Facility. This report documents the pattern of abuse and mistreatment suffered by prisoners at Mineral Wells that has been corroborated by multiple family members of people held at Mineral Wells.

We requested any documents referencing major uses of force, sexual assaults, riots, or criminal cases at the facility between January 1, 2006 and July 23rd of this year. The documents we received indicate that, between January 1, 2006 and July 23, 2008, the CCA-managed prison reported one sexual assault allegation, opened eight criminal cases involving sexual contact between guards or facility personnel and prisoners, recorded thirty-one major uses of force by officers at the facility, and detailed one large disturbance in August of 2007 involving 36 prisoners and 20 staff members that lasted almost four hours and ended only after CCA staff used chemical agents.

We weren't able to confirm through documents the large disturbance reported by one of our readers in July. TDCJ received our request on or around the day of the reported riot, though, and it's probable that the agency excluded it from disclosure based on the original date printed on our request. If we are able to confirm that the riot occurred, it would be the second large riot at the facility in less than a year. We're following up with further inquiry.

This will be a three-part report. Today, I'll be reporting on sexual assault and sexual contact data. Next Monday, we'll investigate use of force allegations at the facility. On November 10, we'll report on details of the August 2007 disturbance.

Reported Sexual Assault and Sexual Contact Between Guards and Prisoners at Mineral Wells

We were provided basic information on nine files referencing either sexual assault or sexual contact between Mineral Wells staff and prisoners at the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility between January 1, 2006 and July 28, 2008.

One criminal file we received regarded an allegation of sexual assault at the facility during the period of our request. We weren't provided with any information on how the case proceeded, but we will work to determine whether it resulted in any convictions. Below is a brief summary:

#06-2153 a case regarding allegations that a prisoner was sexually assaulted by four other prisoners every night for a period of about six months.

In addition to the criminal case above, we received information on eight criminal cases pertaining to sexual contact between guards or facility personnel and prisoners at Mineral Wells; the contact in all cases was ostensibly consensual, but sexual contact is understandably classified as a violation of the prisoners' civil rights punishable as a state jail felony in Texas. At least one of the cases referenced resulted in the prosecution of a staff member from the facility.

One of the eight reported sexual contact cases remains inexplicably open. An allegation of sexual contact was made in January of 2006, and the case file remains unresolved by the OIG almost three years later.

Two of the eight sexual contact cases, both from 2007, were declined for prosecution; they did not result in a conviction or deferred adjudication. The case files still contain information to support future reconsideration of criminal charges against employees, though.

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Comments

First off it is not a pre-release unit of any type! It is a transit facility for T.D.C.J overflow. A dumping ground for the Texas prison system if you will. I witnessed every type of debauchery you could imagine at that place! the restrooms on the third levels allways smelled like slaughter houses from the fights and gangs clicking their "homies" into their various flocks. I can not go into great detail about the gangs, it goes against my code. But I will straight up snitch on any guard in there that was doing dirt! So if youre working at mineral wells as a guard you better fucking mind your Ps and Qs! There is a reckoning coming you toxic waste of life fucking red necks in mineral wells!

My son has approximately 6 weeks left in this dump of a prison.  He has never caught any cases in the TDCJ system, and has been a trustee with minimal observation for over 9 months.  However, he has started getting harrassed by a guard there, who is threatening that he will file an assault on a guard charge against him, stating "who do you think they'll believe."  My question is, does this sort of thing happen often?  Is it just a way they create cases to get the inmates parole denied?  Is there anything that can be done about it?  I had gotten in touch with TIFA who forwarded my info to the head of prisons.  They contacted the Warden at Mineral Wells, who called me to say they talked with the guard and my son, and everything is fine.  The last time I talked to my son, he told me about everything that was going on, and said he was going to file a grievance against this officer.  Then later that same night, he called me back and said to drop everything, or it was going to get alot worse for him, and he would get this sh** beat out of him.  I haven't heard from him since, and I am worried about retaliations.  I am afraid to call the facility because I don't want to stir up anything else, but I am worried to death about my son.  Any input you could share would be appreciated.  

I know i'm late as hell on my response..but yeah, i believe your son!!! The officers there WILL get u hurt badly if they don't like you!! Not ALL..but some will. All they have to do is spread the rumor that your son was a snitch or a pedophile or some crazy shit like that & he WILL get hurt!! I'm not sure how that can be stopped!!!

You are right yes it does happen and there is nothing that can be done or your son will suffer. All the wardens out there will sugar coat it and say there isnt an issue, I've seen it. It happens to officers to trust me it happened to me to and it sucks but they all cover each other out there.

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