Andre Jacobs has been physically assaulted, starved and harrased by prison staff since he won a case on the Federal Court in 2008
27 year-old jailhouse lawyer who has been held in retaliatory solitary confinement for over 8 years being targeted for repression again.Take action today, tomorrow, and the next.This affects all prisoners and those who love them and fight for their human rights.
On Saturday, October 10th, Andre Jacobs received a visit from a human rights activist.In a letter received later in the week he reported that five minutes after returning from the visit guards orchestrated a shakedown of his cell, his legal documents were destroyed, he was issued false misconducts, and placed on "restrictions" that prohibit him yard, shower, running water, and food.He has been placed on "food loaf," an inedible food-substitute that is used as a tool of coercion.Andre was told by Sgt. Buck and Lt. Bleich-two of the more notorious serial abusers at SCI Dallas-that he was being targeted for his affiliation with HRC/Fed Up!, claiming he brought us to the prison.At the time of writing Andre had been without water in his cell for three days and had not eaten for four days.
In the past three weeks Andre has been twice physically assaulted/abused by C/O Wilkes and had his hand slammed in the tray slot of his cell door by C/Os Kovac and Harrison.Andre, along with Eric Rambert, David Sierra, and others have reported receiving death threats in recent days and weeks due to their efforts to resist and expose control unit torture.
To make matters worse, we continue to receive reports on a weekly basis that guards working the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) at SCI Dallas continue to come to work drunk.C/O Wilkes in particular has been identified by over a dozen prisoners in over ten months as being drunk on a daily basis.
Just last month a federal judge awarded Andre $115,000 in a case he won last November (the verdict initially granted $185,000).This is why he is punished, and this is why the officials orchestrate and approve of this treatment.
Call SCI Dallas: (570-675-1101) today, tomorrow, later in the week, and early next week.Do not relent.We need to push back together!Ask to speak to Acting Superintendent Walsh or Superintendent's Assistant Robin Lucas.
Call Secretary Beard (717-975-4918) and Office of Professional Responsibility Director James Barnacle (717-214-8473)
1)-Identify yourself as a Human Rights Coalition member or supporter, a concerned citizen, or in your professional or academic capacity.Report your knowledge of the retaliation against Andre Jacobs;
2)-Demand that SCI Dallas immediately provide Andre with food and water.Strongly condemn the routine practice of using the deprivation of food and water as weapons of retaliation.Assert that such practices are torture and must be ended immediately.
3)-Demand that C/O Wilkes be given a breathalizer each day as he arrives at and leaves work.Insist that he, along with C/O McCoy, Sgt. Buck, and Lt. Bleich be immediately removed from the RHU.
4)-Inform SCI Dallas and Centraol Office that these retaliatory actions are to be the subject of upcoming criminal complaints to be filed with the DA of Luzerne County, PA Attorney General Corbett, and a thoroughly documented report to the U.S. Department of Justice.Remind Dallas and the PA DOC that media exposure of SCI Dallas has already paved the way for pending civil litigation, and that Andre himself has brought four cases to jury trial against DOC defendants.Finally, let them know that you are aware that the actions against Andre and the pending criminal complaints will be the focus of a greater media campaign.
5)-Request that Andre be given an emergency transer to ensure his safety, his ability to access the law library and courts, and to ensure that he is removed from the control of guards who are constantly identified as being racist, drunk, and sadistic.Tell Dallas and Central Office that failure to remove Andre from their care will be understood as criminal conspiracy by the PA DOC in order to sabotage the victory he won in a lawsuit against them last November.
6)-Don't let them minimize or deny the seriousness of the allegations.Don't believe them if they say they take all these matters seriously and investigate them properly.HRC has overwhelming evidence that the grievance process is a sham, we know it and we refuse to tolerate business as usual.We will not stand by while they torture ours and other people's friends, children, parents, and lovers.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jailhouse Lawyers, and Andre Jacobs
Andre Jacobs has been incarcerated virtually everyday since he was 15 years old till today.His lawyer had him tried as an adult without his consent or understanding.Prior to his initial conviction Andre's childhood involved considerable trauma, exposure to violence and alcoholism in the family, along with his being institutionalized and prescribed medications for mental health needs as young as age six.
Since Andre's first fun in with the systemtill today-12 long years-he has been subjected to numerous false charges and brutalized, beaten, starved, and tortured in solitary confinement units.
Andre has been set up and convicted on outrageous charges of assaulting prison guards and U.S. Marshals in separate incidents, both in which he was in fact the one assaulted.
Indeed, after losing the first of four civil actions he has brought against PA DOC defendants for violations of his constitutional rights, U.S. Marshals beat him in the Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh, PA, dragging him screaming onto an elevator in front of his grandmother while they pummeled him.Andre was beaten unconscious before the elevator traveled five flights and the door opened.Despite being handcuffed, shackled, and having both arms full of legal documents, Andre was tried and convicted for assault of federal marshals and sentenced to seventeen years after a trial in which he was denied effective counsel and state witnesses perjured themselves.
Despite all of the horror that Andre has faced he has survived with his "aura of resistance intact," as renowned journalist, political prisoner, and fellow survivor within the PA DOC Mumia Abu-Jamal would say.
Andre has become something of a prodigious young jailhouse lawyer, successfully bringing four claims to jury trials against PA DOC defendants.Last November he was awarded $185,000 in a case in the Western District of PA (this was recently reduced to $115,000).He has three ongoing civil actions including the one he won in November, a case against the U.S. Marshals who assaulted him, and another against psych staff at SCI Fayette for negligent and malicious treatment.He is also attempting to overturn his wrongful conviction and has recently filed a Habeas Corpus petition in that case.
By emphasizing the struggles of Andre Jacobs HRC/Fed Up! aims to create greater awareness and action around the crucial struggles for human rights in the prison system in particular and the entire criminal legal and political systems more generally.Along these lines we recommend to all supporters and allies that you pick up a copy of Mumia Abu-Jamal's important, crucial new book: Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
When guards at SCI Dallas destroy his property, threaten his life, assault his person, all while ranking officials look on approvingly, it is not simply Andre who is under attack, but the rights and lives of prisoners everywhere.By targeting jailhouse lawyers, those who stand on their constitutional rights and insist on being treated as human beings, the agents of repression in charge of the PA DOC and the prison-industrial complex aim to silence their cries for justice.
We have a responsibility to ensure that all efforts to silence Andre, Mumia, and countless others fail.
Human Rights Summary-Control Unit Torture at SCI Dallas
Below are links to two of five articles published during the last month regarding conditions of confinement at SCI Dallas.Review them when you have time.This exposure is exactly what SCI Dallas and the PA DOC are attempting to silence.Let them know it will not work, and that we will not be quiet.
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for copies of our summary abuse logs for SCI Dallas, describing over 90 reports of human rights violations culled from hundreds upon hundreds of prisoner reports, civil actions, criminal complaints, declarations and affidavits, and all supported with countless conversations with family and support people on the outside.
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