This was written by a dear friend and fellow employee of mine while working for TDC.
"Wish I had pictures from my early years with TDCJ, I could top this. During an AC (Aryan Circle) and MM (Mexican Mafia) war in 1996, I caught 3 inmates going o the outside recreation yard. They were looking rather "buffed-up" (inmates who work out a lot tend to get big muscles).
Of course they are routinely searched before going to the recreation yard and were found with 1/2" - 1" thick magines sewn together with thread and wire to form a vest under their uniforms that covered from just below the throat to below the waist band. If that wasn't enough, they even had fashioned a type of shin guard from the same material. Thanks went out to the family and citizens concerned for their "mental stimulation" enough to send the mags to the poor offender.
Oh, and they were "laced up" meaning they each had "picos" (shanks, or stabbing devices), secured inside their boxers, tied up to their draws by a strong woven thread so it would dangle just below the crotch. (We had to be very careful to always strip search since a shank in that area would obviously injure the searching officer.)
During the HPL (Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos) and the TS (Texas Sydicate war, I later found some HPL members at the Garza Unit with "pens" in their pocket, which they innocently carried in their uniform pockets. Upon perusal, we found the blades from standard pencil sharpeners wedged and melted into the ends of the ppens cartridges (ink cartridges removed or chopped off to disguise the weapons. (Pencil sharpeners have very strong blades, about the width of 5-6 razor blades, and quite a bit sharper. They make a good throat slasher.) The cap remained in place and they tried to look like a bunch of "nerds", but their intent was to attack the TS members...Such is the life in prison. Stay safe out there.