Death Threats On Jailhouse Lawyer in PA. Take Action!

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Huntingdon County

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The Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up! has received reports that Andre Jacobs, a Pennsylvania state prisoner in solitary confinement, has been physically abused, issued death threats, denied medical treatment, called racial slurs, and had his legal property illegally withheld and confiscated by prison staff at SCI Huntingdon in the past week.

On January 3, 2011, prison guard Cook yelled out to prisoners on the solitary confinement unit, “You niggers are always complaining, we’re about to turn it up!” He then told Andre, “We already know you file paperwork, file a grievance and you’ll die here!”

On January 4, 2011, prison guard Cook told Andre, “We got a shitload of your legal mail out there. Either you sign an agreement to not try to sue about yesterday or you’re not getting it. That’s per Lt. Taylor and approved by Wakefield and Eckard [ranking staff].” After other prisoners spoke out, Andre was given some-but not all-of his legal mail.

On January 6, 2011, guard Uzenski (sp?) made obscene comments when conducting a visual strip-search prior to escorting Mr. Jacobs to a physical. When Andre requested to see a Lt., Uzenski grabbed his arm, which was still in the door slot, and the other guard present slammed his arm in the slot, causing an abrasion. Uzenski said, “You got a problem with me looking at your f***ing c**k?! I’ll break you f***ing neck, nigger!” Mr. Jacobs was deprived a physical examination as a consequence, which he has been waiting on for 3 years.

Just last week in Rhode Island, “problem” prisoner Dennard Walker mysteriously died in solitary confinement.  Walker’s family has not even been told if it was a violent death or not.  The investigation is underway.

In 2008, Mr. Jacobs was awarded $185,000 in a lawsuit against the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) in which he represented himself. Andre has been held in solitary confinement since 2001, when he filed his first lawsuit at age 19. He is now 28 years old.

Since that victory he has been transferred to three different prisons, repeatedly assaulted, attacked with electro-shock and chemical weaponry, strapped to the “restraint chair” for 18 hours at a time, held naked in a cell without property for 7 days on multiple occasions, deprived of food and water, and subject to other human rights violations. Andre has also been issued dozens of fabricated misconducts in order to keep him buried alive in solitary confinement.

The PA DOC has been made aware of these criminal violations on multiple occasions and have taken no action to hold perpetrators accountable.

Andre has recently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania over these acts of torture, naming more than 100 DOC and state law enforcement agents as defendants.

Please call and write prison officials and inform them that you are aware of these severe human rights violations. Demand an end to the repression of human rights defenders.

The repression is escalating and Andre and others at SCI Huntingdon are in real danger. Please tie up the phones and faxes – people’s rights and lives are on the line.

Phone Calls: Superintendent Raymond Lawler:Phone 814.643.2400

Superintendent Lawler’s Address: 1100 Pike Street, Huntingdon, PA 16654

SCI Huntingdon Fax: 814-506-1186

Secretary of Pennsylvania Prisons, Shirley Moore Smeal Phone: 717-975-4918

Secretary Moore-Smeal’s address: Central Office, 2520 Lisburn Road, PO Box 598, Camp Hill, PA 17001

Talking Points

1)    Patiently report the above incidents. Don’t let them brush you off.

2)    Ask what steps they are going to take to stop these abuses.

3)    Ask what other officials they have contacted about these reports.

4)    Demand an answer as to why Superintendent Lawler is not permitting Andre to have his legal property.

5)    Ask for email addresses so you can more readily send reports in the future.

6)    Inform officials at Huntingdon and Central Office of other media agencies, legislators, governmental officials, or law enforcement you intend on contacting so that they understand that they are being watched.

Please take it upon yourself to contact one further person-legislator, reporter, friend, family member-and insist that they play a part in speaking out against the torture of Andre Jacobs and the racist repression of human rights defenders.

Sample Letter:

January 11, 2010

 

To:

Acting Secretary Moore-Smeal

2520 Lisburn Road

Camp Hill, PA 17001

 

Secretary Moore-Smeal,

I have recently become aware of the decade-long series of abuses inflicted against Andre Jacobs by guards and officials throughout the PA DOC. Recently, acts of retaliation have escalated.

On January 3, 2011, prison guard Cook yelled out to prisoners on the solitary confinement unit, “You niggers are always complaining, we’re about to turn it up!” He then told Andre, “We already know you file paperwork, file a grievance and you’ll die here!”

On January 4, 2011, prison guard Cook told Andre, “We got a shitload of your legal mail out there. Either you sign an agreement to not try to sue about yesterday or you’re not getting it. That’s per Lt. Taylor and approved by Wakefield and Eckard [ranking staff].” After other prisoners spoke out, Andre was given some-but not all-of his legal mail.

On January 6, 2011, guard Uzenski made obscene comments when conducting a visual strip-search prior to escorting Mr. Jacobs to a physical. When Andre requested to see a Lt., Uzenski grabbed his arm, which was still in the door slot, and the other guard present slammed his arm in the slot, causing an abrasion. Uzenski said, “You got a problem with me looking at your f***ing c**k?! I’ll break you f***ing neck, nigger!” Mr. Jacobs was deprived a physical examination as a consequence, which he has been waiting on for 3 years.

I am requesting that you put an immediate end to this abuse by transferring Andre to another facility where he can finally re-enter the general population. A legitimate investigation into the criminal acts of staff working in the solitary confinement unit at Huntingdon is urgently necessary.

As the first African-American woman to be Secretary of the DOC, we are counting on you to work with a concerned citizenry to put an end to these acts of racist abuse.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

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About Bruce Reilly

Anti-Prison activist and artist of many genres.
This entry was posted in Actions, Prison Conditions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Death Threats On Jailhouse Lawyer in PA. Take Action!

  1. Pingback: Unprison 2011-2013 Index | unprison

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