Death row

This is the entrance to 12 building, a two-story facility which opened in 1993 to house administrative segregation prisoners in solitary confinement. This building has three rectangular sections, and a recreational area, in the shape of the circle, is in the center of each section.

This is a Death Row cell. It measures about 6X9, but is not that large because of the odd shape. The very small window is high above the bunk. Notice the thin „mattress“. An average size man can stand between the toilet and desk, stretch out his arms and touch both walls.

Polunsky Death Row cell from the top. The door is on the left. The mirror is above the toilet and you still cannot see the window.

This is the table (these plugs are no longer allowed). Radios and typewriters are made of clear plastic.

Men wash their own clothes and many wash their own sheets, so in order to dry, a clothesline has to be fashioned, even though it is illegal to have one. So they have to use their fans to dry the clothes – remember, there is no open windows and no fresh air at any time.

This is the toilet/sink combo. Many of the men are mentally ill and do not have the best hygiene habits. TDC move the men about every six months and when a man comes in, following a mentally ill man who did not clean up, it takes him days to get the cell just smelling like it is clean. It is unfortunate, but some of the mentally ill men spread their feces and urine all over the place.

This is the window, above the bunk. It measures about 3″X24″. The men have to roll the mattresses up to stand on them and be able to see out.
This is the window, above the bunk. It measures about 3″X24″. The men have to roll the mattresses up to stand on them and be able to see out.
This is the bean slot open. Called a bean slot because that is where the food is passed through, along with legal mail. These windows are „open“ and the man can hear and be heard. Most of the men cover the windows to use the toilet, but many of the guards make them uncover it or write them up. It is a never ending battle, 24 hours a day.

This is „A“ Pod, „A“ Section. It is where the men who have Scheduled Dates are housed. This Pod and this Section is kept extremely clean because it is the Pod that is shown to reporters and „guests“ who tour. Notice how two doors are next to each other, then the pipe chase, then two more doors.

Many of the mentally ill men set the cells on fire.

This is the stairs leading up to 2 Row in the next Section.

This is the inside of the shower on 12 Bldg. The men cannot control the heat of the water and there have been instances where men nearly were scalded. On the opposite end, sometimes the men suffer from completely cold showers. Once the men enter the shower and stick their wrists out to be uncuffed, they are at the mercy of the guards to come and get them in a timely manner. There have been instances where the men are left in there for several hours.

This is the door leading to the Outside Rec cages. There are two of them and this enables two men to go out at the same time for an hour per day. The bars are covered in mesh because the men are never allowed to touch each other. But, they do feel the sunshine and absolutely love it!

This is the Discipline chair. Any man could and has been tied down to it. It has also been used to x-ray men when TDC thinks the men are hiding contraband inside of their bodies.