Tyler Texas / State Wide Parole Lawyer Erick Platten
The TDCJ’s internal prison disciplinary system is, to say the least, problematic. This is how it works:
-- A prison guard or other prison employee writes up a disciplinary case against a prisoner.
-- The prisoner receives notice of the charge from his "counsel substitute." A "counsel substitute" is a TDCJ employee (not a lawyer) who "represents" the prisoner at the disciplinary hearing.
-- The prisoner attends a disciplinary hearing at which another TDCJ employee acts as the judge ("disciplinary hearing officer"). His job is to determine whether the prisoner is guilty or not guilty and then assess a punishment which can range from commissary, recreation and cell restriction, to solitary confinement, to the loss of good time, to a reduction in line class.
As a result of this disciplinary system, in which TDCJ
employees act as the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and the judge,
many prisoners want to sue for being wrongfully and/or falsely charged
and convicted in a disciplinary proceeding, or for losing good time or
line class as a disciplinary sanction.
Many people believe that federal civil
rights lawsuits are the only way to have the false disciplinary cases
reversed. This is not correct. In fact, the majority of such lawsuits
are very quickly thrown out of court.
There are legal and
administrative avenues available to challenge a prison disciplinary
case; however, in deciding which route to follow, the specific facts
and circumstances of the prisoner's situation, the false disciplinary
charge and the resulting disciplinary action against the prisoner must
Erick Platten has successfully represented a
number of prisoners in challenging their prison disciplinary cases,
having the cases removed from their records, getting their good time
credits restored and even having their favorable Parole Board votes
(which were withdrawn because of the disciplinary case) reinstated.
For information on representation in a disciplinary challenge, please contact Erick Platten. (903) 593-9100
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