Texas Inmates get punished and tortured for something they didnt do


I was sentenced to death in Houston, Texas, September 2nd, 1980. I was brought to death row September 5th and I've been locked up almost 19 years.

The reason I am writing this now is because of the things death row inmates are having to go through right now since the 7 men on the male death row ran off and one was shot and later died.

We women are being punished for what these male death row inmates did and this does not seem fair. We are strip searched six and sometimes 8 times a day even though we never leave the building where we are housed and usually do not leave our cells.We are stripped to walk across the hall to the day room for 1 hr. of recreation and stripped to go back into our cells. We are stripped to walk to the shower and even though there is an officer with us who never leaves us the whole time, we are stripped to go back into our cells. They strip us again when they take us out of our cells to search our cells which they do every day.All of this is done during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shifts, though we never know when they are going to pull us out to strip us again.

One of the times the officers were searching my cell, they closed my lock box on the last picture of my daughter I have with her in her coffin. This put a big hole right through her head so that the picture was really destroyed.

In December I went off the work program and was moved to another building that houses death row inmates. These are seg. Inmates as well as psych. Inmates.They use gas and pepper spray in this area to subdue inmates, but when they use it, it affects everyone since we have no windows or ventilation.Some of the effects are burning eyes to the point of causing infections. When this happened to me I asked to see a doctor twice but he would not see me. He did send me eye-drops which caused blisters on my eyes when I used them. Only after my mother called the warden would they allow me to see a doctor.

This is not humane treatment. Please write letters to Governor and the Warden and anyone else you feel might be of help and demand that we be granted the same human rights we demand of other countries.

Thank you very much,
Pamela Lynn Perillo


A most important issue right now, is the outrageous treatment we are receiving here on the Texas women's Death Row. I'm sure you are aware of the men's attempted and one successful escape on the Death Row in Huntsville?

Since this occurred you would not believe the treatment we are given. Just 2 weeks ago we were informed that not only would we be strip searched for out 1 hour of recreation a day, but also when taken for a shower and to have our cells searched daily. So, for the last two weeks we have been stripped no less than 6 times a day, and our cells completely ransacked. I could understand once a week or even if we were to go on a visit or leave the building, but this is every day. Sometimes at times like 2:30 and 3:00 AM in the morning and, we never leave the building or our cells, for that matter.

Out of seven of us, four of us choose not to work for various reasons of both physical and emotional health. If you are on the work program, you are locked in a huge cage-like facility and only allowed to use the bathroom once every four hours. For some of us that's physically impossible and the emotional stress is just as great. If you work, you are given a project, such as pulling apart huge bundles of cotton into small pieces. And if you don't finish what they expect you to do, you are given a case (citation). It's not fair to assume everyone can do the same amount of work. Some are just slower than others. But receiving a case, no matter how small or minor, can be the difference between life and death in our situation.What's so sad is that these people recognize that, yet almost seem to enjoy writing them.In 18 years, there has never been even so much as a threat of violence on the Women's Death Row in Texas. Yet, instead of receiving any form of credit or praise for such good behavior, it seems we are punished even more.

The living conditions the four of us not working currently are in, is unbelievable. They have us housed in what has formerly been known as the psych center, but was recently renamed the Multi-Purpose Facility. I'm sure they put us in this area because they were completely out of compliance housing. But, the only thing that has changed is the name of the place. I cannot even begin to explain some of the events we have witnessed here.

Patients are brought in at all times of the day and night in various stages of hysteria or fear or anger. We have been subjected to numerous gassings, which, yes, is only supposed to be meant for the individual who, in their words, won't comply. This gas instantly affects everyone around the area and since there is not one single window that will open in this building we are all greatly affected. We have witnessed numerous women who are most obviously out of their senses that have excessive uses of force applied, such as,slamming them to the floor and against the walls.

I can't even begin to name or put a number on how many nights I've sat up listening to some poor woman scream out as officers sit around laughing or making fun of her. I never wanted to believe that the stories I had heard about the officers were true. I always chose to believe that they were professionals who cared in some degree for the people around them and their well-being. But as I sit and watch the events in here it's all I can do to keep from becoming bitter. I constantly try and remind myself that they too will have answer for so much.

I do understand that the six men who tried to escape made a grave mistake and because of it, one of them is dead. But to turn to us women who have done nothing and subject us to such in-human conditions and treatment, is, I believe, wrong. Myself, and the other women have written grievances, talked to everyone we possibly can here at the Mountain View Unit and no-one will listen to us. In fact, it seems the more we request to simply talk to someone, the more we are punished. Almost as if they are simply trying to shut us up.

You know it's sad because I truly try to never complain. I always tell myself it could be worse, but now I think it's at its worst and I'm hoping maybe someone out there can help us. We are women not animals or even troublemakers. I refuse to let my heart become hard because of my surroundings so I pray daily for acceptance.

Please write letters to the Warden and anyone else you feel might be of help and demand that we be granted the same human rights we demand of other countries.