Hello, my name is Antoine, better known as Indy. I’m a 28-year-old Black, Bisexual man, incarcerated in Pennsylvania. I am an LGBT activist and prison abolitionist. I’m serving an 8 to 20-year sentence and I’m 10 years into it. I have been in solitary confinement since September 26, 2017 on the allegation of assaulting a prison cop. Which is part of why I’m reaching out to you all. This officer attacked me days before. I reported it.
I will be going on hunger strike to bring awareness to the unconstitutionality surrounding this status of long-term solitary confinement in Pennsylvania, which is called “Restricted Release List” or RRL. I’m on this status because of the officer’s actions.
It seems I will be flying solo on this strike, which is why I’ll need as much outside pressure as possible.
Although there are a lot of issues in relation to solitary, I can only list a few of them in my demands because I am riding alone. My ultimate goal is to be released to general population, but I don’t see that happening by me striving alone and with little outside support.
- Access to my mandatory parole programs. I have been past my minimum, and therefore potentially eligible for parole since July 2018. I’m not given access to programs on RRL. So I will continue to be denied parole for not doing my programs. Although it’s not my choice.
- Work. I need to be allowed to come out of my cell and be able to work. I’ve sat in solitary for 3 years with no work, education, or psychology programming structure.
- RRL Review. My annual RRL review was supposed to be in December 2019. It never happened, which is a violation of my due process. And when I started filing grievances about it, I received a stream of false misconduct reports (starting in February 2020). All to justify keeping me on RRL. The duration of my time in solitary can no longer be ignored.
- Sufficient Food, Drinkable Water. The food we get while in solitary is less than 2,000 calories per day. The water is brown at random times.
- A real grievance process. We need a change in the grievance system because these problems never resolved and constantly recurring.
As I said, there’s more. But these are the simplest and most urgent demands. Your help and support is needed and appreciated. Please circulate this to as many as you know. Thank you.
Solidarity from Solitary,
Image thanks to Just Seeds and artists Dey Hernández, Jorge Díaz Ortiz and Sylvia Hernández. Read more about it here: https://justseeds.org/graphic/if-all-lives-matter-cause-were-all-equal-why-are-some-lives-more-equal-than-others/