Incarceration Nation

An Inside Job?

Was the escape of Texas prisoner with ties to a drug cartel an inside job?

By Jason Renard Walker

Another Texas prisoner managed to escape a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) transportation bus, while being escorted from Hughes Unit to a medical appointment, May 12, 2022.

According to TDCJ’s spokesman, Robert Hurst, this prisoner, who was in solitary confinement at the time, managed to board the bus with a weapon; break out of his full body arm/leg restraints; break through the door separating him and the drivers, who are armed with guns; stab one in the hand; take control of the bus and guide it to a safe stop in some grass; get off the bus with a gun; and flee without being shot or later apprehended, all at short notice.

Not only is this fairy-tale scenario highly unlikely and movie-like, the escape in itself rivals past feats, such as the escape of seven Texas prisoners in 2000, who killed Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins during the robbery of an Oshman’s Sporting Goods store. Or that of Jose Salas, who managed to climb a barbed wire fence at the Garza Unit, hike to Mexico, and avoid capture for nearly two decades.

What happens in TDCJ stays in TDCJ—hell no!

I can’t stress the importance and need for the public to become more aware of what goes on in prison, and the daily interactions guards have with prisoners. For those interested in seeing a preamble videoed recording on prison life, visit my website: and share it.

But to give readers a general understanding on how difficult it would be to board a transportation bus with anything, as a solitary confinement prisoner, I’ll walk you through based on my own personal experience stemming seven years.

First, the prisoner is told to strip out in his cell and hand his clothing to the searcher, piece by piece, through the hand-cuff/food port. Second, he opens his mouth, lifts his genitals, etc. Third, he dresses back up under guard scrutiny, then turns around to be cuffed. Fourth, he is taken to another cage, stripped again, and fully shackled, hand and foot, in preparation to board the bus. His belongings are stored under the bus. The only thing allowed in his possession is his plastic ID card. Fifth, while in the bus, there is no standing up or unnecessary moving around.

Not only is it difficult to move or walk in the “three-point restraints,” it is impossible to use the bathroom.

So, in the event that the escaped prisoner managed to remove his three-point restraints by force, he had no way to open the door separating him from the drivers, who are a few feet away and armed. Though, if he did manage to open the door, it’s highly likely he would’ve been stopped, since a thick lock prevents its opening. And the slightest touch of this door is nerve-rackingly loud.

Yet the origins of his escape relate back to Hughes Unit, where he managed to build a cult of celebrity around him, in the eyes of select administrative staff.

And after his escape, an inmate tip led to the discovery of one of his two phones, which were stashed in 12-Building, where he had lived.

I can attest that transport guards sometimes do fall asleep during long trips, and others look the other way during assaults on handcuffed prisoners.

Back in Spring of 2021, as I was boarding the bus for Allred Unit, an inmate named Yuel Valcin had openly made threats against me in front of guards at Boyd Unit. He bragged Sergeant Boykin would help.

As Officer Diaz attempted to remove his cuffs, Valcin dropped a razor tied to a small toothbrush. I shimmied out of my cuffs, grabbed it, and stabbed him on the right side of his cheek.

Though the two transport officers documented the event, a year later Valcin finds his way to Hughes Unit Close Custody, J Pod, in anticipation of inevitable promotion to where I’m housed.

Given that I’m very primed and conditioned to defend myself against any attacks, I wonder how TDCJ will cover up what happens to him when he launches another attack, and guards are unavailable to help him as they did at Boyd Unit.

But in relation to escaping a transportation bus—anything is possible in a system that thrives off squeezing every penny out of a dollar.

Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!

Write to:

Jason Walker #1532092

Connally Unit

899 FM 632

Kenedy, TX 78119