Life On Death Row: Part 1: Prison Chain Gang

By: Travis Runnels

Working under the hot Texas sun.

Guarded by armed guards sitting on horses.

Reduced to a slave.

The labor is free.

Refuse to work and your placed inside a black cage to sit baking under the sun.

Part 1: Prison Chain Gang

This morning, I roll from my bunk and fold my mattress in half.  Placing the folded mattress back on my bunk, I am able to stand on it and see out my small window.

As I look out, the first things I see is white everywhere.

Beyond the razor wire fences is rows of planted vegetables.

I see 40 or 50 prisoners spread out working in the fields.

Surrounding them are the guards on horseback.  Sitting and watching the prisoners work.

The guards have guns on their hips and I see one way off sitting with a rifle.

Off to another side is a prisoner on a horse with around 8 dogs running around the horses legs.  Hound dogs.

Tracking dogs.

This prisoner is called a dog boy.  He will turn the dogs loose one the prisoners if they choose to run.

I sit for about an hour watching and thinking about the times when I was the one out there.

I used to be apart of the prison chain gang…

Used to work just like the prisoners I am watching now.

Continue reading: Part 2: Prison Chain Gang