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A Riot at CCA's Mineral Wells Facility?

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We've received a steady stream of reader tips about unsafe conditions at Corrections Corporation of America's Mineral Wells' prison, a TDCJ-contracted facility. The latest comes from a reader who reports:

There was a major prison riot in Mineral Wells on 07-23-2008 involving over 50 inmates. CCA was unable to handle the situation as usual and the inmates where ship back to TDCJ.

Racial tensions were the motive for the riot. The white offenders ended up at the Byrd Unit in Huntsville and the black offenders ended up at the Goree Unit in Huntsville, after the riot.

These inmates all had low custody and trustee custody levels being G1-G2. This shows again, CCA is unable to even handle minimum custody offenders.

We're unable to verify these claims at the moment, but have submitted an Open Records Request to determine what exactly is going on at Mineral Wells. As some readers may remember, Mineral Wells was home to a major disputurbance last summer and an escape in May 2007, and drew reader concerns over safety after metal coverings were placed over dorm windows in March. We'll keep you posted on developments from Mineral Wells and all CCA prisons.


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.The CCA Mineral Wells prison riot involved 200 people not 40 or 50. I was informed the national guards were brought in and people were care-flighted out. There are only about 2 guards for 300 in-mates and the food portions are getting smaller. The inmates have no protection from other inmates in gangs or associations. I have heard they do not release inmates on their projected parole date, even if all courses required are completed, have not been in trouble, and are model prisoners. There is always a long waiting list for courses they are required to take. The in-mates are very lucky to receive parole, related to retaining revenues and more profit for CCA.. Recently they have been releasing some to everyone's surprise. There is suppose to be major changes coming in Sept. 2008, resulting from TDCJ. From my understanding the Gatesville parole board lead voter on DWI is J. Gonzales and never paroles DWI offenders as her dtr. was killed or injured by a drunk driver. Is this a conflict of interest as all people should be given a second chance. The treatment is inhumane and CO'S (so few of them) are of no help in time of crisis for the inmates. Visitors have to stand in heat or cold for 2-3 hours to see loved ones. Also if the CO or classification officers do not like the inmates they will give them a case ti be added to their file. There will a a major incident at mineral wells before it's over, just hide and watch. The only good thing is they have A/C and contact visits.

On the darker side, a second chance to kill again... on the lighter side, a second chance to live outside of a prison... now if my daughter were killed by a drunk driver, how will I give her a second chance, when she's done nothing wrong? The DWI offenders everywhere, not just Texas, deserve no such second chance like you are describing. If they didn't kill, they could have. Why should they have the right to risk people's lives when they drive drunk or otherwise intoxicated. I don't understand why people are taking these crimes so lightly. You sell drugs, you use drugs, you drive drunk, etc., you're still breaking the law, and punishment must follow. "It's been two years... why isn't my man out? He just drove home after a few drinks. He can handle it." Well, he obviously attracted the attention of a cop. Further, while behind the wheel of a car, he is deadlier than a sober man. How is this hard to understnad? If a parole board member lost someone in a drunk driving accident, that makes them eminently qualified to sit on a parole board. The sentencing was done by a judge, and a sentence was received - parole is a privilege, not a right... or at least it is now. A DWI offender may be sober now, but he hasn't had the opportunity to get drunk and drive immediately afterwards. To borrow from an old Yiddish proverb, just because a man hasn't had a chance to steal doesn't make him honest.

. Any new information on the Mineral Wells, CCA riot in July 2008, from the open records act? Nothing new posted and I was just wondering what they documented. Thanks

Published: January 02, 2008 09:33 am #9 Top Story - Another prison riot #9 - Another prison riot While the inmates at Corrections Corporation of America’s pre-parole facility didn’t attempt to escape on Aug. 12, debris – from rocks to a toaster – rained down on law enforcement as they maintained a perimeter during an evening riot. The riot, according to the facility’s public information officer Rose Thompson, began when a “small group of inmates [were] unhappy with a recently communicated reinforcement of a standard policy requiring inmates to wear T-shirts while on the outside recreation yard.” The melee lasted approximately three hours, drawing to a close when two Special Operations Response Teams from CCA reportedly used chemical agents to subdue approximately two dozen inmates who refused to comply. They “identified approximately 36 inmates who admitted to participating in property destruction or refusing to return from the recreation yard to the housing units…,” Thompson had said, while an unknown number of those offenders are expected to be transferred to other facilities in the state. Law enforcement from several agencies including the Mineral Wells Police Department, the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Department, Parker County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the scene.

We had a similar incident in New York in 1972. Remember Attica? Except that one ended in a number of deaths.

They “identified approximately 36 inmates who admitted to participating in property destruction or refusing to return from the recreation yard to the housing units…,” Thompson had said, while an unknown number of those offenders are expected to be transferred to other facilities in the state.

To poexali: You are a very narrow minded person. Did it ever occur to you that alcoholism is a disease, and when people get drunk they lose there sense of what is right and what is wrong, hense the term "impared judgement?" And i agree with that they should not have drank and drove as most of them would agree too. However, they made a mistake and do you really think prison will help them in any way? If anything it will push them to drink more, its idiotic and naive to think prison would change a person with an addiction. Wouldnt the correct answer to fix the problem be rehab? Or is your answer to every problem in society throwing people in prison? I bet some day your daughter will drink and drive, and I hope you never have to live with wondering why shes in prison for two years, becuase youre they type of person who put her there. I hope you learn not to say such ridicoulous things.

I was at CCA mineral wells for two years the whole place is a fake and the guards are just as bad as the offenders.. I have seen guards bring in drugs and cell phones alot, I have also seen them steal from the offenders on number of times. CCA is a WASTE of our tax dollars

I was at mineralwells cca there are no protection .some guards get tataoo from inmates.  there are so many drugs ,cigrates and lots of cell phones.

I should think my post was perfectly obvious.  I don't believe in second chances.  I don't believe rehab works with any more efficacy than just not drinking, and according to AA's most recently released success rates (from 1988 - 5%), only a complete retard would believe it did, as just quitting works about 5% of the time... just like AA.  So no, rehab doesn't work effectively.  Suck it up.  Just because these are people you know and love does not exempt them from the law or from consequences.  That is also retarded.  Plug the holes in your bleeding heart and rest easy knowing that if your loved ones are cognizant enough to pick up a bottle and drink with good judgment (before they drink, doof), that they know the consequences of whatever they might enable themselves to do (as every kindergartener knows that drugs and alcohol are bad and either illegal to have used or use while driving, or illegal to use or possess, there is no excuse).  Grow a pair and be a man, even if you're a woman.  Jeeze.  It's people like you that ruin societies.

You're the fucking retard!! The topic here is the fact that CCA Mineral Wells is doing something unethical & if properly investigated, unconstitutional!! You commit a crime...THE JUDGE gives you ur sentence..and THAT in itself should n/be your punishment!! You go to prison AS PUNISHMENT...not FOR MORE PUNISHNMENT!! Now i do agree...repeat fuck ups SHOULD be slammed hard!!! But there are circumstances that people should get 2nd chances!! You scream that ONE SHOT shit until it's YOU fucking up & then I BET your tune changes quick!!

I just got out of mineral wells. i witnessed LT satler tell  a dayroom of inmates it was "this inmate is the cause of everyone getting shuck down" then she trashed the whole third floor and took everyones house up

Lmao!!! Damn...she STILL there??? Yeah she's a crazy bitch!! I wonder if Mrs. Pennington is STILL running the kitchen...fucking with inmate workers!! Lol

I've been to Mineral Wells TWICE!!! I can honestly tell you that the facilityn/ s a complete JOKE!! The staff is consisted of mostly senior citizens and what looks like EX or CURRENT drug addicts!! Seriously...there's staff members there walking around looking like they LIVE off METH, CRACK or ALCOHOL!! The guards are either too lazy or extremely gung ho...there's no in between really. Now don't get me wrong, there are several officers there that are actually both good natured people & are trying to REALLY help inmates think differently. Just imagine your grandparents gaurding a building with THREE FLOORS, no elevator!! You honestly think that they're gonna travel 3 flights of stairs other than  for "count time" or when something breaks out??? Get serious!! Even their SORT team is a joke!! To be honest...the GANGS run Mineral Wells. They control mojority of the cigarettes,drugs,cell phones, and alcohol!! Which is there is an abundant amount of ALL there!! I wuz there for the last 2-3 riots there..and the second one where they said it was because of inmates not wanting to wear shirts on the rec yard is complete bullshit!! Those guys rioted because they where frustrated about the fact that so many people were being denied parole!! People (like myself) with no or very few disciplinary cases & who had been lied to about only having to stay there about 6 months to a year before going home!!! My first stay there...i met guys who had been there 3-5 years!!! So what guys started to do was get into trouble so they could get shipped back to TDC, because SEVERAL people that had been sent back to TDC ended up being released in a few months!! Now think about that...inmates @ a low level facility, living in dorm rooms WITH A/C, NO "hoe" squads,able to watch DIRECT TV cable,able to walk around FREELY & wear FREE WORLD clothes (at that time), EASY access to drugs, cigs,etc. .....are MORE THAN WILLING to go back to TDC!!! Now that alone should raise some eyebrows. The food SUCKS & the commissary is EXTREMELY HIGH. And let's not talk about "count time"!! I've sat and watched as it took the facility 4-6 HOURS to clear count!! Clearing count is pretty much almost an everyday problem!! I've seen guards bring in drugs,cigarettes,etc. &  it's no secret that if a guard doesn't like you...they WILL tell gang members or whoever that you're snitching, which there's ZERO TOLERANCE among inmates there!! You WILL be Care Flighted up outta there!!! And as far as programs go..i'll just say this...i had to take a computer class and truthfully, the ONLY reason we knew the teacher's name was because it was displayed on the door!! He let us in...then went to a back room & stayed there unitil it was time to go!! Enough said!! Female officers easily get involved with inmates time & time again!! All u have to do @ Mineral Wells is be liked by the guards & u pretty much have a free pass to do whatever u want. And to touch on the games they play there with parole....i had a roommate make parole....give away ALL his things...wake up the next morning to be released on the van...only to be told AT THE GATE his parole was taken away!! Talk about a major "head trip"!! I've even heard stories of how inmate's family members had hard times trying to found where their relatives where. TDC may tell them that their family member has been PAROLED to a halfway house..or even PAROLED period!! The only thing i can say is that basically what TDC is doing is shipping inmates to CCA's to technically get the offenders off their books...only to have CCA house them longer so they can keep getting money for those prisoner's, which they share with CCA!! Only thing makes sense to me!

Now...i know plenty of you may be thinking "Awww..he's just an angry ex-inmate bad mouthing CCA Mineral Wells!" And to that I say this....go visit someone there YOURSELF....ask ANY inmate released from Mineral Wells about the building called "the ghetto"....ask them what have they witnessed..and i GUARANTEE you'll hear plenty of the same shit I've said..if not MORE!!!

I hope and pray that you never have to experience bein locked up ever but you will one day. vengence is mine i will repay says the lord. at least we did our time on earth people like you who think they better than us are actually worse. Because your incarceration will be for eternity if you keep with the attitude you have. i will pray God give you a change of heart. for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. To God your no better if you fibb about what your thinkin or if you rape and murder a infant child.... think on that .

I was at this hell hole myself...from march 08 to january 09 and I can tell you that what these guys are saying is the absolute truth...I started off in the ghetto and then was moved to to the building by the baseball field...I had never seen heroin in my life before being sent here...this place was so wide open that you could get everything from a psp to a blow job or sex from a female gaurd...there was a tattoo shop in every building and more cigarettes and booze than you could handle....And they talk about security?...thats a fucking joke...if someone wants to get you in there its as simple as in your hood back home...all it takes is a walk around the block...the food is horrible and you get very little of it...unless you buy it off the inmates who steal 90% of it...the inly good that came out of my stay was I got my ged and did not get addicted to drugs and I came home in one piece...the conditions there are incredibly bad that I would not let my pets live there...its comparable to some third world countries...and the amount of freedom you have is a double edged sword...cause like I said if someone wants to get you its easier than drive thru...I hope one day the state goes in there and gets that place right...for those who may read this if you have been there you know what im talking about and if you have family there please believe from someone with experience the storys they tell you are true its not for pity for more money or sympathy...they are truely going through hell...and for you guys going through it I say good luck and take care...I dont care what color...and for the bitch up there polaxi or what ever I an an excon and im off parole have a fiance and no longer live in fuck you and what your going through...

I'm sorry I haven't replied, but honestly I'd forgotten about all of this.  I seem to have struck some nerves - 

To the guy that says he's been there from March 08-Jan 09: I'm happy to see my emotions are of such concern to you.  I wonder if you still have the fiance, if you still don't live in Texas, and are still off parole.  Statistics are not in your favor, so I'm sure wherever you are, there will be a bed waiting for you, unlike the woman, who may say she's waiting for you.  Honestly, when you were there, how long did it take you to ask someone for money for your books?  Don't pretend to be a victim.

To the guy that's been there twice - statistics weren't in your favor, and it couldn't have been so bad that you never wanted to go there again if you committed a crim again and got sent there again - this is what happens when you give someone a second chance most of the time.

To the guy who says people should walk in his shoes... I have no idea what your point is.  You look forward to God executing terrible vengeance, but then talk about hoping God will change someone's heart... Jesus might call you a hypocrite.  Further, I don't think God is stupid enough not to know the difference between rape and infanticide on the one hand, and fibbing on the other.  Do you?  I know what you think you're trying to say, and you're wrong.

To the one that called me the fucking retard: I don't know what you think you are trying to say about prison and punishment... If you're saying you go to prison as punishment but not for more punishment... I don't know what you mean by that.  The whole experience of prison is meant to keep you from coming back by being so unpleasant that you never want to repeat that experience ever again.  If it's club med for free, why not go back?  I knew a guy who went to prison and stayed in prison so he wouldn't have to pay rent when he got out.  I kid you not.  For him, being in prison for free was better than paying rent and being free.  I am still screaming that one shot shit, and I still haven't committed crime or been convicted.  Do you think there's a reason for that?  It's because I don't want to go to prison!  

I think that's it... But, the facility is closed now, so I wonder what prison will next be "the most dangerous prison in Texas, and third most dangerous prison in the Country" now.  Idiots.

did 8 months there in o6 had the time of my life . I only went to the cafeteria twice pretty much just sold cigs and ate my own food . There was a couple of times when i got worried . I saw the Texas sync ate kill one of there own for something and still till this day I can hear the sounds of his skull cracking. As long as u mind ur bisness there don't disrespect a gang member ur pretty much white and had more problems with my own kind in there than what I did did with any other race but nothing that's led to violence . It's good to have money on your books there though because if don't u will starve if u don't have any friends