TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINALJUSTICE
RE: DRAUGHON, Martin
TDCJ-ID#000878 - Ellis Unit/Deathrow
Dear Mr. Graverholt:
Your letter to Governor George Bush was forwarded to the TDCJ-Institutional Division Ombudsman for review and response.
In your letter, you indicate that Offender Draughon has had problems with his "typewriter", and has requested to have it repaired. Actually, Offender Draughon had a word processor, instead of a typewriter.
Word processors are a great convenience, but became a security problem. We had offenders organizing strikes and uprisings and running gambling operations using their word processórs. Unlike paper files, they could not be searched without the cooperation ofthe subject. Additionally, the word processors had . proven a little hard to maintain, they were designed for use in air conditioned buildings, and probably for less use than our offender users put them to.
There is no right to possess typewriters or word processors in prison. We were under no duty to make them available in the first place. Offenders maintain them in their possession by permission ofthe prison managers, and that permission can be withdrawn at anytime. We are not happy when offenders who misuse opportunities, thereby make life a little less convenient for offenders who properly use those opportunities, like the use of a word processor.
We could have ordered them taken up or sent home, but we appreciated the sacrifices involved in obtaining them in the first place. As a compromise, we let those offenders who already had them continue to keep them until they needed repair. When they are in need ofrepair, the offender has the option ofeither having them sent home a■ the offender's expense or, having the word processor destroyed.
Safety and security of both offenders and employees is the number one priority of the TDCJ-Institutional Division. As stated earlier, the word processors became a security risk. I hope this information provides clarity for you on this issue.
Offce of the Ombudsman