The letter describing abuse is attached to this post. It reads as follows:
Human Rights Coalition—Fed Up! Chapter
Defending the Rights and Lives of Prisoners
5125 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224
(412) 361-3022 firstname.lastname@example.org/fedup
For Immediate Release January 7, 2009
Bret Grote, Human Rights Coalition 412-654-9070
Andre Jacobs Targeted for Retaliation Following Lawsuit Victory; Criminal Complaint Filed; Press Conference Outside the Federal Building on Thursday at 12:00 Noon
In the aftermath of Andre Jacobs recent victory in a federal civil rights suit against PA DOC employees to the tune of $185,000 the DOC has wasted no time in sending a message to prisoners fighting for their constitutional and human rights that any such efforts to combat the prison injustice will be met with relentless punishment.
On December 17th, while Mr. Jacobs was being led to retrieve legal property of his C/O Miller said, “This nigger thinks he’s a lawyer,” while squeezing the prisoner’s arm so hard that it caused bruising. When Mr. Jacobs asked why he was continuing to squeeze his arm, C/O Miller pushed the inmate in an effort to provoke a confrontation. Mr. Jacobs had alerted both Captain Leggett and recently demoted Unit Manager Abrams that Miller was harassing him in retaliation for the lawsuit the prisoner had recently won. Leggett and Abrams both indicated that this is to be expected. This incident has been verified by personal interviews with Andre Jacobs and Eric Lyons, along with correspondence from Patrick Brown and Tierre Davis. Mr. Jacobs has also been issued several fraudulent misconducts designed to keep him in solitary confinement indefinitely.
Criminal complaints have been filed against Miller, Leggett, and Abrams with the District Attorney’s Office of Fayette County on Andre’s behalf and an investigation is being requested. There will be a press conference on Thursday, January 9th outside the Federal building at 12:00 PM, to discuss the criminal complaint and the policies of repression that attempt to silence prisoners. At 1:30 pm Andre will be back in the Federal courthouse in response to a spurious motion by the state’s attorney to vacate the verdict returned in his favor.
This round of retaliation and repression comes as part of a statewide backlash against prisoners in recent months, particularly those who testified on Andre Jacobs behalf. Michael Edwards and David Smith at SCI Camp Hill have received death threats from staff, and the latter has been assaulted again by guards. Eric Lyons has been issued several fabricated misconducts and has had his ability to pursue legal work deliberately obstructed through the theft of legal property and the breaking of his typewriter. Several others at SCI Fayette have reported the theft and/or destruction of their legal property, including Eric Robinson and Steven Gravely.
Human Rights Coalition—Fed Up! chapter is a project of the Thomas Merton Center dedicated to upholding the human rights of prisoners by exposing the inhumane, degrading, and illegal conditions inside PA’s prisons to the public, and working with families and friends of the incarcerated to fight back in defense of the rights and lives of prisoners.