On this page, you can find excerpts from Mona’s letters to #Justice4Mona. All excerpts are shared on this platform at Mona’s request and with her expressed consent.
Ciara Green, a friend of Mona’s who is also imprisoned at the Lane Murray Unit , has been writing to us to report various abuses that have been carried out by Murray Unit COs. Clara hopes that her reports will raise awareness on this platform about the inhume treatment of prisoners at Murray Unit. After reading Ciara’s reports, please consider reaching out to the Lane Murray Unit Warden’s Office or Senator John Whitmire’s Office (contact info in our “How Can I Help” section) and demanding an end to these abuses.
“I was told by Sgt. Tyson at 2:40pm on 8/10/20, ‘I only allowed you to respite in the chapel yesterday because we didn’t have enough staff to keep you separated from the medium custody offenders so you had respite in the chapel, but read my lips: you will not go to the chapel today and I don’t give a fuck how many chairs are available, you won’t be dyking on my shift.’ I, offender C. Green, am a part of the LGBTQ community and I’m very offended by this derogatory statement. This is not the first time she has made offensive remarks to me or other offenders. She has also denied me respite on several occasions by making me leave respite in the chapel and taking me out of my seat to place other offenders in my seat and placing me on the floor. I have had my family call the unit to speak to the warden about this issue and the warden has made it clear to my family that, ‘no offender is to be removed from respite area so that another offender may take his/her place. If the respite area is full, the officer is to find that offender another respite area.’ But these rules are not being followed because I am still being removed from respite. Every day it is a struggle for the offenders on Lane Murray Unit to be given respite when asked for it because of this one ranking Sgt. Tyson.”
“At 3:17pm on July 30th at Lane Murray Unite Respite Areas Location Line Control, I, offender Ciara Green, #2084115 was standing outside of the respite area door because it was sprayed with chemicals and the whole room was wet. Sgt. Quantina then stated for myself and eight other offenders to wait before entering so that the area can dry. Myself and the other offender lined up alongside the wall of the hallway. The Lt. office and the Major’s office doors were open , which is right nect to the respite area. We were talking about how it is so hard for the offenders to receive respite on this unit. The Major (Jackson) then yelled from her office for us to stop talking. There was Sgt. Quantin and Officer Houston standing in the hallways with the offender and myself. I then raised my hand to ask Sgt. Quantina a question. The Sgt. gave me permission to speak to her so I asked if I could please get some toilet paper to use the bathroom because I’m on my cycle. Before Sgt. Quantina could call the SSI offender for toilet paper, Major Jackson screamed, “SHUT UP, AND GET OUT (of respite!”) I tried to explain to her that I had permission to speak at that time. The Sgt. (Quantina) was aware of the situation but never stepped in to defend me. Major Jackson then threatened to place me in another housing if I didn’t leave out of the respite area. I was afraid that she would G4 me so I left without saying another word. By reporting her actions, I’m afraid she might retaliate against me because she basically denied me respite.”
“On the date of 8/14/20 at 2:30pm in respite at Lane Murray Unit, myself and six other offenders were sitting in the hallway receiving respite. Unit Major Jackson came out of her office and asked us what we were doing? We stated we were here for respite. She asked us who sent us down here? We told her our building officer. It was 30 offenders sitting in the respite area in our dorm which is only supposed to hold 10 offenders because of social distancing. Lt. Easter came out of her office as well and opened the door to a small room that they use for respite and all six offenders went in. IT took me to say to Easter, “Everyone can’t fit in here. It’s not social distancing in here. The chairs are zip tied together.” Lt. Easter spaced us out and she had to send the other offenders to another respite area that tried to come in with us. Within 5 minutes of being in the room, a white and a black offender wanted to leave. At first Lt. Easter denied them but then went ahead and let them leave. About 30 minutes or so after that, myself and a Mexican offender tried to leave but it was also denied. At that time, the Mexican offender made up a story about her medication messing with her stomach…basically she had to poop so Lt. Easter let her leave. I tried to leave as well but was told to sit down. I then stated to Lt. Easter that, “I am done respiting and would like to leave as well. Why am I the only one being told I have to stay?” Lt. Easter said, “Because I said so. I make the rules. You are an inmate so sit your ass down like I said, before I write you a case.” From that point on I felt threatened and also discriminated against because of my race and sexial preference. Lt. Easter is also retaliating against me because I said I would like a grievance form and that I will have my family call the warden. I was never handed a grievance the whole time I was being held against my will. Lt. Easter also stated, “Go ahead and call your people and just know that grievance won’t go anywhere.” At 4pm Lt. Easter was walking around the line control building without her mask on. She not only put myself and other offenders and co-workers lives at risk but she broke a posted rule for all staff, offenders, and visitors to wear their masks at all times. Racism is real at Lane Murray Unit and so is the hate for having to give offenders respite…not all the staff (do this) but the ones you will read about (do) it. Especially the homophobic ones.”
“I’ve been at reception (at Crain Unit) pending a unit transfer. Yet, the Major said she hopes they send me back to Hobby (Unit). Please call the State Board Classifications and let them know that Hobby is not a designated unit for us Native Americans and I can’t receive the physical therapy needed for the healing of my shoulder. The doctor said it could be months before I recover fully. Mrs. Foster, the medical provider, gave me several sheets of exercise to do and some pain medication for up to 60 days. Due to COVID, I can’t attend physical therapy on the unit that has it because there is no traveling between units, yet they have given some inmates emergency transfers. Supposedly, because they were basically just tired of dealing with their misbehaving attitudes. Not sure how they merit which inmates to be moved immediately. I guess they submitted me for a unit transfer in lieu of moving me back to Riverside (Unit). They didn’t ask me any questions, just the Lt. Barnes recommended a unit transfer and Major Garcia said she agreed (immediately) and that was the gist of it.
Hobby is detrimental to my health. There is no way I can receive adequate medical treatment for lupus. Mine is in remission now, thanks to God. One of the inmates stated that Lane Murray has physical therapy there and they also offer a welding course, which would allow me to re-certify my certification and help me hone the skills that I already have aquired. Hopefully the writ (of habeas corpus) that Mr. Bolton is filing will move quickly once things get back to normal after the COVID crisis. Hobby is not a unit that is productive for anyone, be it for rehabilitation to reiterate an inmate into society as a productive citizen or to aquire the necessary skills to amend negative thoughts or actions which is needed to halt the recidivism rate. Overall, it’s not a correctional facility, it’s basically a prison, a lock-up, a dungeon at which unspeakable acts of injustice occur, that the administrators in Huntsville and the government are aware of and yet do nothing to rectify the incomprehensible savagery that is administered by the staff as well as the inmates, some of which have been demoralized by the “injustice system,” i.e broken women that are being subjugated at repressed (kept down) simply because the administration can do whatever they choose to them. It’s not a matter of what they are supposed to do or cannot do, it’s a matter of the staff and their superiors doing whatever they want to, simply because they can. These women have no voice and usually have no one that cares for whatever reason they have been discarded by society as the worst of the worst; therefor some think that justice for them should not be immanent (at hand). Yet, in this great country of ours, this great world of ours, injustice should not be tolerated because one is deemed unjust. Liberty and Justice for “all.” How is society as a whole going to heal if the correctional facilities are not correctional facilities but unjust facilities that are creating a different entity all together and releasing a more broken and diverse individual into society that’s aware of the product the system has created.
“In a world full of hate, be a light,” is sung about and talked about. What is being done about it? Broken women that’s being shattered, A.K.A. the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. P.S- Not everyone is guilty because the court system has incarcerated them. Usually, it’s because the innocent won’t take the “deal” that the District Attorney offers, because the D.A will never admit they are wrong and they have all the resources and money readily available to them to prove it. I am poor, black, female, and homosexual living in the state of Texas. I am expendable, four strikes, you would say. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the men employed by this great nation of ours, trained and adept in every field of study, testified on behalf of the defense (in my case) that ALL the evidence that was presented to the Grand Jury to indict me, came back negative. Yet, the judge allowed the D.A to present evidence that had already been physically and scientifically ruled out.
“Yeah, in a world full of hate, be a light.” The D.A, Connie Spence, came to me once all the F.B.I reports were revealed and asked me to help them find out who really committed the crime. She said the investigators accused me of (LOL) attempting to assist them. My lawyer and Connie Spence discussed some type of “deal” she supposedly offered. Well, my lawyer came and told me, in lieu of the report from the crime lab, he told her to drop all the charges or take it to trial. He said, “You’re innocent, right?” Well, I’m pretty sure that I should have been the one speaking with the D.A to make the decision as to whether I wanted to hear what she had to say.
Oh yeah, I got indicted twice. When I was about to go to trial almost two years later (being incarcerated the entire time). Then, I was handed another indictment. When I asked my lawyer why, he said, “Don’t worry about it.” Once I was in front of the judge, she asked both my lawyer and the D.A what was she looking at here (she had two indictments in front of her.) Both my lawyer and the D.A told her they would discuss it with her in her chambers, sans me. The D.A obviously found Dawnell Ory/Trahan (one of my ex-girlfriends) whom I left (once I found out how deceitful she had been throughout our relationship). She even had sexual relations with my match maker Reginald in order to retaliate against me leaving her. She also told her mom I wouldn’t leave Louisiana because of her until her sister Tracy Trahan came to where I was and asked me for my phone to show her mother the endless messages that Dawnell had been leaving on my phone. I had no room to receive anyone else’s messages because she had left so many. At this point her mom saw proof of her lies. She was also seeing a married man and one other guy besides Reginald. Man, when it rains, it pours. Her sister had been telling me all the while that she wasn’t a nice person. Well, years later (a woman scorned) the D.A had Dawnells’ lies written down on an indictment to the grand jury saying that I had abused her physically and her daughter Brooke too (who had brittle bone disease). She also told the D.A that I had told her once that I was so smart, I could get away with murder. Why wasn’t she given a polygraph before they allowed the jury to hear the deception? I still don’t know why it hurt her so bad when I left her and why she still has animosity in her heart towards me.
Also, the D.A said I had been arrested for drug possession. Yeah, in Collin County jail, I had (one) marijuana cigarette in my sock. I lost my license for 6 months for that. Also, a theft, she said. I wrote a check to Rent-A-Center for $75 and asked that they not deposit the check until the following week. Yet, they did and I didn’t post a date on the check, so I had a cash bond, which I paid. An assault charge too. It was dropped once it was proven that Brian Fields (a man) hit me first and basically I got they best of him, which he didn’t expect. He used to physically abuse my friend Sheila Carr, so I guess he figured he could abuse me also. Sheila had gotten into an accident that left her almost dead. Bryan was supposed to be taking her to physical therapy. Instead he had taken her to a house to have someone administer drugs to her intravenously while she was still in a wheel chair. I called her dad to tell him where Bryan had his daughter instead of physical therapy. Bryan didn’t take kindly to that and accosted me.
Well, this is a lot to type but I hope it gets some more information out there. I think the world deserved to hear the other side of the stories that the D.A paints.
Yeah, Allen Tanner got paid $45,000 to defend me and in the middle of the trial, I asked him why did they fire the attorney that was assisting him and he said they were not going to let him use her anymore and don’t worry because he has some good stuff to present to the court and it was good stuff for appeal purposes. That moment, then and there, I knew they already had decided I was guilty. Once the evidence was revealed from the crime lab, (F.B.I) the news channels stated that it looked like I was innocent . The officers and one of the leuitenants told me that that’s what the news reporter said because my mom told me not to watch the news or read the paper, so I didn’t. The inmates at Harris County also told me they saw it on the news channels where they said it looks like I was innocent. (Sigh).”
Here is a letter Mona recently sent me and asked me to share with you. It is dated October 31st, 2019 and it reads:
“There were people before us and people now who set the precedent (advocate pioneers) of trying to ensure that we are treated with not only humanity but with dignity and legal protection. People who refuse to accept the evil of the moment and are fighting back every single day. There has to be optimism in that. Why else would they work so hard if they didn’t believe that something other than the way things are wasn’t just necessary, but possible?
Stand for something or continue to be treated as if you are nothing.I will continue to fight for what I believe and I am just getting started. The administrators of the Texas Department of Correction value fear over grace. Most officers spend their days at work tormenting the female inmates by being cruel and unmerciful. Some inmates are terrified of telling anyone what is happening so they are put in some horrific situations. The shower in the segregation section located at the Crain Unit’s reception (the first hall to the right when entering the PHD [pre-hearing detention] areas coming from the direction of the chow hall) consists of two shower cells. Only the first operates normally, the second is adjacent to a room that is used for whatever purpose the officers decide to use it for.There is a metal plate in the wall that can be removed and replaced by hand. Some of the women have been watched by officers through that hole and handed things in exchange for allowing various male guards to watch as they undress and shower. The guards deny the inmates food, showers, and accost the inmates for sexual favors. I myself have been housed there and witnessed an inmate being led from her cell just before dawn into that particular room and then 20 minutes later returned to her cell by the same male guard unaccompanied by anyone else. The male kitchen bosses are constantly receiving sexual favors from the female inmates in exchange for make-up, pills, food, and money that’s brought into the prison. Mr. Allen brings store bought items to the women of Mexican descent. Mr. Arellano, who works at reception, usually asks for sexual favors in exchange for passing things from inmate cell to cell at receptions A-Hall, B-Hall, PHD, and segregation, and he threatens to cross them out if they report him [“crossed out” refers to a situation where a prisoner is unfairly moved from a more favorable location, job, etc. to a less favorable one by correction officials as a form of punishment]. Mrs.Maya in the count-room or unit classification [who decides where inmates are housed and how they are counted] usually takes orders from the guards, lieutenant, and sergeant to move a particular inmate if that inmate has upset them or reported some type of abuse. Should an inmate upset any rank or official they will be crossed out, written up, or harassed with the threat of going to G-4 status [isolation]. The majority of the female inmates are afraid to speak outor report any verbal or physical abuse due to the retaliation that occurs after the abuse is reported.
Destiny [Mona’s girlfriend] was crossed out here at Crain Unit, which caused her to be transferred to another unit because of her “prior cases”. If an inmate aquires a certain amount of “cases” or offenses, whether they are major or minor, they will go to G-4 [isolation]. Crain was aware that if they G-4’ed Destiny, it would bring to light the retaliatory measures they use. The officials at Crain unit were under investigation because Destiny’s mom called the Ombudsman and the Human Resources Departments to report the abuses Destiny was being subject to. In turn, the Human Resources Department and the Ombudsman opened cases to look into the allegations. The officials at Crain also got a call from Senator Whitmire’s office, inquiring about the allegations made by Destiny’s Mom. So the officers at Crain automatically started writing Destiny up for out of place cases [meaning Destiny wasn’t standing in the right place for the daily count count]. On October 31st, 2019, they transferred her to Lane Murray Unit. When Destiny was housed at Hobby Unity, before she came to Crain, she was G-4ed when her mother reported the physical abuse Destiny received at the hands of an officer when she was handcuffed. City, state, and federal officials never interview the inmates during such investigations. They only listen to administration. The administration know what questions are coming and they always have well planned out answers. They even relay false quotes to the investigators that they say were given by the prisoner in question. Regardless of whether the inmate is right in any given situation, the guard is always right and the inmate is wrong, no matter what the allegation or accusation may be. What matters is the “paperwork.” However the paperwork is all black and white, no other shades. And in order to obtain the truth, all shades have to be considered. “Anything” looks good on paper and everything can be made to appear bad. For instance, every inmate is a number, not a name.I just received my mail today (10/31/19) that arrived here at the prison on 10/17/19 from jpay [a privately owned service provider that is most prisoner’s only option for correspondence]. It took me from February to August to acquire a pair of underwear from the laundry room. I had to literally drop an I-60 [an official request made by prisoners for services and essential goods] to the warden after exhausting all the other avenues. Then, I was verbally abused for doing so, still didn’t get the underwear (that day). Needless to say the minor casualties (misfortunes) that occur in prison have major repercussions. Many inmates are losing parole dates due to vidicatative retaliatory actions taken by the guards, simply because they can. That puts the power of freedom in the hands of people that have no conscience, which makes them the classic example of a sociopath. The very ones who are responsible for assisting the correctional institution in rehabilitating individuals and releasing a more productive citizen into the society . Rehabilitation being the key word not abuse through misrepresentation and oppression, mental and psychological torment meant solely for retaliatory purposes.
This, to whom it may concern, is just the tip of an iceberg for, it would take hours to describe the physical abuse that I, alone, have witnessed first hand; (Adventently as well as inadvertently).”
“I’m writing to inform that I was handcuffed yesterday (4/18/20) from approx. 6:45-7:00pm by a Sergeant named Sargent “N” (I do not know his full name). He used to be a Lieutenant, I’m told*. I was handcuffed because I told him that I was going to inform Major Alexander that he (“N”) was not wearing his facemask when he entered our dorm.
He also verbally accosted me by telling me to, ‘take my ass back to the damn cubicle.’ I asked to speak to the lieutenant in charge and he said he was rank and he was the only one here so he was in charge.
After handcuffing me he proceeded to take me to the gate to await transportation to PHD (pre-hearing detention). En route we encountered Lt. Labrado. I told “N,” ‘There’s the lieutenant. I need to speak to her.’ When she asked what I did, “N” said I had threatened him. I told him that I couldn’t believe that he lied to the Lieutenant about me. Lt. Labrado (the shift supervisor from 2pm-10pm) informed him to take me to the cell block. Due to the quarantine, I suppose they are housing PHD in the cell block.
On the way to the cell block between building 5 and the cell block, he jerked my arm and squeezed it really, really hard and asked me, actually said to me, ‘You don’t have much to say now, do you?’ I immediately stopped and told him that he will not do that again and Officer Henry and Officer Greenly were coming out of the cell block just as I had stopped so I told them what the Sergeant had done to my arm while my hands were cuffed behind me and he denied it when Ms. Greenly asked me what was wrong. “N” said, “She doesn’t even know my name (so she cannot report on me),” and laughed.
I was put in a cell with nothing and I fell asleep and had to cover myself up with an extra mat in order to halfway stay warm. I asked for rank (the officer in charge) all night.
“N” got irritated that I asked for a grievance order (paperwork that prisoners can file to report abuses carried out by correction officers) and I told him that not only was I going to tell Major Alexander that he was not wearing his face when he entered the dorm but that he used profanity towards me and handcuffed me when I asked to speak to the lieutenant on duty. Major Alexander had instructed us to let him know if any of the officers did not wear their masks.
Several other girls along with myself asked for grievance orders. I have yet to get one.”
*******WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!! Report this abuse to the Ombudsman’s Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (936) 437-4927.
You can say:
“Hi, I’m a friend of Mona Nelson (inmate #1877556). It has come to my attention that on April 18th, Mona was handcuffed and physically assaulted by an CO (name unknown) at the Crain Unit. I’m contacting you to request an investigation into the abuse, which occurred on the evening of April 18th, 2020 at 6:45pm at Mona’s dorm. The CO entered the dorm without wearing the required protective face mask. When Mona said she would report him to his superior, Major Alexander, if he did not don the mask, he handcuffed and physically assaulted her. I’m very concerned about this matter and believe it requires your attention. ” Additionally, if you are comfortable, you can add, “Please reply to this email/call when you are able to update me about what actions are being taken to remediate this situation.”
Thank you for your time and energy!
I received a letter from Mona on Monday 1/14/19 that she wished me to share with everyone:
for context: a sweatshirt of Mona’s was labeled as evidence in her case and sent by the prosecution to the crime lab and tested for DNA. The prosecution hoped to prove that the victim’s DNA was on the sweater.
“There was no blood on the sweatshirt. The crime lab didn’t even test for blood. They tested to see if any DNA was present on the sweatshirt that belonged to the victim. There was not. The only DNA they found (on the sweatshirt) was female DNA. The victim was male. This needs to be clearly stated. The federal crime lab they sent evidence to in West Virginia did a very thorough and detailed job. The F.B.I crime lab found NO evidence that was positive in ALL the evidence that was submitted to them (not just sweatshirt). Mayor Anise Parker (who intervened in the case on Mona’s behalf) made sure that evidence DID NOT go to the crime lab in Houston due to proven tampering on evidence there in the past.
The sweatshirt was entered as evidence and submitted for testing months after all the other evidence came back negative. There was no blood on the sweatshirt.”
“Furthermore, the D.A, Connie Spence was, at the time of my trial, under scrutiny for several false and misleading antics she utilized to secure convictions in my case and in several other cases where she did not have enough evidence to prove the guilt of the individual she was prosecuting.*”
“(For example), The Houston investigators in my case took my cell phone from me as evidence (to try to prove I was in the victim’s location at the time the crime was committed.) They did not have a warrant to access the cell phone. They just took it. Then, when I asked for the cell phone records to be brought forward as evidence to prove that I wasn’t in the location the prosecution accused me of being at the time of the crime, they claimed they never took the cell phone from me. They saw that the cell phone records proved I was innocent, so they disposed of the evidence and claimed to never have had access to it.”
This is not just illegal obtaining of evidence. It is blatant perjury.
*You can read more about Connie Spence’s illegal actions in court as well as the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Associations “vehement opposition” of Spence here:
It is essential to Mona’s cause that the mishandling of her case and the illegal actions of the Harris County D.A, Connie Spence, be brought to light. Share this post with as many folks as you are able to and stay tuned for more information.
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
― audre lorde
In a letter received on June 15th, 2018, Mona reported the following about the day of her arrest back in 2010:
“I was being transported to the jail by investigators in Houston (after days of keeping me from going to my house). Once we got to the jail intake, they took me to Bentaub Hospital in Huston, Texas instead, where I was given Benadryl for pain because I was spitting up blood (I hadn’t eaten and had been drinking prior to the couple of days they had me in their interrogation room).”
“Then, the same investigators took me back to the station to coerce a statement out of me. The he tape recording the interrogation malfunctioned during the end of the session. That’s what they said. I don’t remember the last moments in the interview room. I didn’t confess to anything. I had actually fallen asleep due to the effects of the Benadryl and lack of sleep.”
“The #metoo movement is not just bringing sexual harassment to light but also the psychological affects that harassment, period, have on millions of women. The millions, yes, millions of women whose complaints about physical and psychological abuse suffered at the hands of prison officials here at Hobby Unit over the years are women whose complaints have never been and will never be heard or taken seriously due to the fact that their status at the time the abuse occurred is/was ‘inmate.'”
“I wonder why no one cares how many woman are many women are hurt psychologically, physically, fractured, broken apart by the experience of harassment? How many have been released back into society who have yet to recover fully from their experience here at Hobby? This problem, this massive problem, will never be solved if the higher-ups, not just the actual harassers, aren’t held accountable.”
“Ombudsman Ben Sanders and O.I.G prison chapter for Hobby Unit serve to protect and defend the officers and prison officials rather than the women who need the support so much more. So far there has been no help and the women that are being subjected to this harassment daily experience breakdowns. Some experience late-onset bipolar disorder and often endure some shock to their system, some trauma, some hardship or depression where they feel and have felt hopeless. Some of these women may have a predisposition but they often have to come to extreme levels of stress for it to manifest itself.”
“What do we do as inmates? How do we as humans make sense of it all? While I think the officers and men and women in positions of rank here are pathetic because they act horribly, it’s the higher-ups who should be held in shame. Donald Trump says, ‘Let’s protect our citizens from terrorists abroad’ but the real terrorism occurs daily in his own back yard, front yard, and in his homeland by our own American citizens. I intend to become a lobbyist for a new movement that makes America finally confront the toxicity and failings of the prison system in Texas and the elected officials who have permitted it to continue for so many years because of the money generated through the free labor that the government has capitalized on.