Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Interview with Journalist Linn Washington on the Recent Judicial Victory for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

In the wake of the recent decision by the Third U.S. Court of Appeals declaring Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence unconstitutional and granting him a new sentencing trial, we speak with Philadelphia Tribune journalist Linn Washington. As a blogger, writer with the Tribune, and a public speaker, Washington has been reporting on developments in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case for years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Update on Jailhouse Lawyer Andre Jacobs.

Thanks for joining us for another edition of On The Block Radio, the show that takes a critical look at the United States criminal justice system.

On today's show:

PA Prison Report Headlines.

--A woman in solitary confinement is repeatedly denied medical care by prison authorities

--"Ban the Box" legislation is proposed in Pittsburgh and made law in Philadelphia

--Victims of police attacks in Philadelphia win a chance at publicly demonstrating the extent of police brutality, and more...


We talk with Elizabeth Springer, the grandmother of jailhouse lawyer Andre Jacobs. Andre has been locked up in Pennsylvania correctional institutions since he was 15 years old. Ms. Springer talks about his early childhood, his experiences with harassment while in prison, developments with his appeal on federal charges of assault against prison guards, and the federal civil rights lawsuit he filed this past December against the PA DOC.

In December of 2010, Andre Jacobs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and state law enforcement agents in which he charges acts of torture against him. He filed that lawsuit while at SCI Huntingdon.

On April 8th, Andre Jacobs was transferred from SCI Huntingdon to SCI Rockview. When asked to provide a reason for the transfer, SCI Huntingdon's Public Information Officer, Connie Green, declined to give an explanation.

In 2008, Jacobs represented himself in a case in which he charged Pennsylvania Department of Correction staff with confiscating and not returning important legal property to him. He won the case, and the jury issued a judgment of $185,000 on his behalf.

Subsequently, according to the claims in his recent civil rights lawsuit, he was harassed by prison officials. He has been the victim of physical assault, verbal abuse, and food deprivation.
In addition, Jacobs has continued to be held in soilitary confinement, or the hole, since 2001. This means he is restricted to a cell by himself for at least 23 hours a day.

Special Thanks.

The PA Prison Reports are compiled by Andy, Bret, and Amanda of the Human Rights Coalition based on the accounts of prisoner correspondents and the investigations of HRC members. From the compiled data, the reports are re-written by Andy into the narratives you hear on "On The Block Radio." Tonight's report was read by Hannah of the HRC. Many thanks. To access written transcripts of the PA Prison Reports, please go to: