Fulfillment of Needs

Legal Advice: Rule 302: <em>What's Happening</em> Newsletter Issue #11

"Rule 302 Legal Advice" 

Cool Breeze: <em>What's Happening</em> Newsletter Issue #1

"Cool Breeze" 

Just like in genral society, community leaders and organizers on death row take on the responsibility to address the desires of the community, and mitigate any problems that arise if possible. While it is difficult for death row inmates to have their needs met (due to bureaucracy, problems with prison administration, and overall neglect by correctional officers and higher officials), the Texas death row community adopted its own process for need fulfillment, separate from prison bureaucracy. One issue within prisons is access to legal news and resources. To mitigate this, the newsletters post information regarding changes to the legal and appeal process, so members can have the most up-to-date news if they are appealing their case. The community also utilizes resources and peoples outside of the prison to help mitigate their problems if possible. In the summer of 1991, the Texas heat reached upwards of 100 degrees. Many inmates were unable to afford fans from the commissary to keep cool. Gary T Graham (Shaka Sankofa) reached out to Bishop Fiorenza, who is part of the general population, to see if he could help assist the inmates in any way. Bishop Fiorenza organized a donation that gifted less fortunate inmates money in order to buy a fan. These two examples show that the death row  community leaders care about their fellow inmates, and will work proactively to help address their needs, even reaching outside prison walls if necessary. 

Hospitality House: <em>What's Happening</em> Newsletter Issue #2

"Hospitality House" 

Not only do Texas death row community leaders address the needs of inmates, but also the needs of inmate families. Texas is a very large state, and many inmate families can not afford or have the resources to travel and visit with their loved ones inside prison. To mitigate this problem, the Texas Baptists Prison Family Ministry Foundation established the Hospitality House, a motel-like facility for inmate families to stay while visiting their loved ones. The Hospitality House provides a bed and kitchenette, and admission to the House only requires a small donation, in order to keep the place running for families in the future. Today the Hospitality House is still up and running, and the foundation has even expanded their operations. This shows that there are civilians who empathize for death row inmates, and who are invested in their quality of life, their families, and their mental stability. And the evidence of involvement by the people outside the prison shows that the death row community not only operates within the prison, but intermingles with the civilian population.