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Lane Murray Unit, Gatesville, Texas

6 months in solitary / ad seg



January 25, 2024


Photography by TEXAS LETTERS

 My name is Lanae Tipton I am 23 years old. I have only been in Ad Seg for less than a year, but I would have to say the transition and treatment down here was a huge system shock. It really put into perspective of how wrong the prison system allows their staff to treat the inmate population. In the short period of time Ive been housed Ive had to do some crazy things and Ive witnessed some bizzare acts. How far will you go to get your needs met or have simple request answered? This is how far we go…

    Being in prison is all about asking and waiting, but here in Ad Seg its about asking and not receiving. Unless you act out. Making noise or just ‘going off’ wont cut it down here, you will have to do something to draw attention or make the officer actually do their jobs. From flooding the pod to self harm is the extent people have to take it to be taken serious. 

    When you are initially housed you have nothing. No property, bed dressings, toilet paper or even hygiene. Its up to the officers to supply you with any of the above mentioned items and that is not saying that you will be supplied at all.

    When I got housed all I had was the clothes I was wearing I had been asking for basic property such as toilet paper, towel, bed roll and feminine products. I asked with urgency for over 5 hours until I got demanding due to my menstrual. The staffs dismissal lead to me overflowing my sanitary protection and leaking onto my pants. I banged and kicked the door to no avail. I remember being completely angered and frustrated because of the lack of control I had over my situation and the inconsideration of the staff both male and female. Who had no problem laughing at my distress or brushing me off. I was refused sanitary napkins for a whole 12hr shift with no second thought from staff. I ended up having to use the pants to contain the leakage while I slept or moved around. It wasnt until I waved my pants out of my window to an inmate I knew worked for a ranking officer for them to come down here and supply me with the needed items. No one was written up or reprimended behind this incident.

    As mentioned, before in the beginning of Ad seg you have nothing, not even food. The 3 trays provided daily will be your bestfriends for the first 3 months. Unfortunately here in Ad Seg trays are not a right, but a priviledge. Cautious movement with certain officers and a tame tongue is required if you plan on eating the next meal. Most officers, if not all, hold grudges and your food will be used against you.  

   On one particular day we had a very hateful officer who went about serving chow in silence. No announcement or preperation, just walking past anyone who “weren’t at their doors for chow” She ended up skipping about 10 people for her own variation of reasons. Lets not mention there is a 13 hour stretch between dinner and breakfast. So if you have no commissary in your box, the roaches look edible at that point. Aside from tray refusal, Ive seen officers take it as far as spitting in peoples food or playing in it. 

    Just the other day an inmate was without clothes, hygiene and almost all basic needs for about a week. They became enraged to the point of suicide. When you get so frustrated past your limit and fed up to where you decide living isn’t worth it, it should be taken seriously. They didn’t. That inmate ending up going across their face from ear to ear with a pencil. Once taken to crisis management and brought back it happened all over again. A repeating cycle with mistreatment from officers that push inmates past our boiling points. 

    I experienced a loss in my life recently and the SGT who was sent to give the news told me “someone died, but I wont tell you until the end of my shift so you dont kill yourself on my shift.” They left that night with without telling me who passed. I had no way to contact home to find out and I was drowning in the anxiety, fear and all the possibilities of who it coudlve been for a week. 

    See majority of prisons face the lack of decency in the staff, but in Ad Seg you don’t have the option of retaliating on cue. The treatment becomes intolerable, uncharacteristic and out of pocket because you cant do anything. Being housed is already hard enough on us, yet to top it all off you deal with poor treatment and humane neglection. I dont agree with Ad Seg as a punishment for certain cases. Although, my opinion could be very biased from my complete disdain for housing. Ad Seg is a horrible punishment of itself, the staff who work down here make it a living hell most days. 

    Its simple to say respect is a two-way street or that it is given when received, but where does it start and where does it end? The officers have complete control of what you have and what you don’t. If they don’t feel like working, they dont like you of if you ask “too loud” you will not receive your request. 

    When will the system see the severity of the foul treatment in these facilities? and when will action be taken?

    Unit: Lane Murray

    Tipton, Lanae



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