This is what you must Remember: the ending of one story is just the Beginning of another.
My name is Israel garcia Cajas JR. It’s Been Awhile since I’ve written to you, and Believe me alot has happened in that time? I will get to that later in this letter. But for now let me say first and foremost I thank you for what you do for us inmates in Restrictive housing, and for giving me a chance at Broadcasting my voice to those that are passionate Advocates that shape my words into message’s for the men and women of diverse color and culture’s who have lived and survived threw this struggle and that have overcome their traumas or at least have a Better understanding of it! It’s Real! I am a survivor who lives to empower, encourage and uplift others. I am more than a name or number lost Behind these walls.
Please allow me to personally share my vision, mission and purpose with you! We are all called to use our experiences to help others and i want what i have to say to help and empower you! this is for all those who have to fight for the Respect that everyone else is given without question! that said, its a new year and thier has Been change in my life? Ive Been diagnosed as a sufferer of post traumatic stress disorder and have social Anxiety? Was it a surprize for me to learn this after all the years ive spent in Ad/Seg? hell no it wasnt ive had to deal with insufficient Rehabilitative programming for years because it wasn’t Readily available to me in Ad/Seg! Well im here to say ive had help to push forward and im in a Better place mentally and have a Better understanding of my mental health its Been A process to overcome my life controlling problems? ya i still struggle At times But i know my triggers and Avoid shit that aggravates them! Its hard at times for the simple fact that there is a short of staff all over TDCJ. and us Back here in Ad/Seg get the worst of it. Like for example we are lucky if we get one day of Recreation a week, showers maybe twice a week. and its not just those issues that have to Be Addressed. the staff leave’s our mail unpassed if they dont feel like passing it out? When that happens its left in the picket or lost altogether! and these new tablet TDCJ has issued us. would Be a good thing if us Back here were allowed to have Access to the media store to Be Able to order movies and music and have the phone App Approved? again us inmates in Ad/Seg are not allowed those privileges? you wonder why? Well they say its Because of our custody level, or that thier is a security issue? I cant Really Speak on it Because I dont understand it my self? I just hope they Rectify the situation and allow us the privilege.
On another note I have completed the therapeutic mental health program and am waiting on my answer for parole? thats also A struggle for us Back here in Ad/Seg. Parole! Ive come up 6 times for parole in almost 8 years. and each time i get Refused for the following Reasons.
1. criminal history 2. adjustment during supervision 3. gang affiliation
these Reasons never change? I am here on A none violent drug charge. It feel it is to often Relied upon as a Reason to deny my parole for my past criminal history when i have already served my previous sentences and paid my debts i say this is not only on the Reflections of the efforts ive put in due to the programs i have completed and the focus i have now on trying not to come back to this hell hole! on my adjustment during supervision: again i dont Believe i should Be Judged on my past mistakes i’ve had to much individual growth Both mentally and emotionally that I know i have an effective way to measure my Ability and unwillingness to not Become involved in the same Bullshit that got me here in the first place. enough said on that!
you know what the stigmA is that effects the majority of us Back here in Ad/Seg that are suspected of Being involved with A security threat group, (STG) from my experience with dealing in TDCJ on this issue. TDCJ has no effective way to prove or disapprove my suspected involvement! Its A fact that TDCJ full confirmation process is not made known to suspected STG’s nor am i Able to Appeal or view the evidence used to confirm me? that is a total lack of transparency on thier part. that not only keeps me Back here in Ad/Seg it makes it hard on me to make parole? as it stands now on the parole issue i have to do ½ of a 25 year sentence for a nonviolent drug charge? Crazy Right and take into Account my charge is not habitual or enhanced, and ive never had a STG case filed on me in all this time ive Been in Ad/Seg over 17 years all together. Well that’s all for now, in closing i feel i deserve A Better future I have a mind set and i know whAts Required of me if they give me a chance to Be Released! I have An Awesome support system out there waiting on me! But the Reality of it depends on me and the decisions i make when i do go home.
Im out with peace and strength to all in the struggle thank you for your shine.
Israel garcia Cajas JR.
3872 FM 350 South
Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas
16 years in solitary / ad seg
January 15, 2023
Words by ISRAEL CAJAS JR
Photography by TEXAS LETTERS