The Pandemic of Anti-Blackness

By Lorin Jackson

From PHN Issue 44, Fall 2020

“These are hard times for Black America,” Lecia Brooks and Eric K. Ward write in an article for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Black communities are disproportionately devastated by COVID-19—one in 500 of us is projected to die from the virus by January 1—along with police violence and criminalization, wage inequities, healthcare disparities, environmental toxins, and hate crimes.”

COVID-19 and anti-Blackness go hand-in-hand. Anti-Blackness is a pandemic and has been for many years. As with COVID-19, anti-Blackness is a global phenomenon that impacts the well-being of Black people.

Continue reading

Medical Concerns and Advocacy in Prison: My Perspective

By Joshua O’Connor AKA “Apache”

From PHN Issue 43, Summer 2020

One concern I would like to address is the deliberate indifference and lack of remedy regarding addressing medical concerns in prison. For months, I have been trying to get a new mattress, because my current one is flat and falling apart. In fact, the mattress is only about half an inch thick.

A few years ago (prior to my incarceration), I was in a terrible car accident. My friends and I were lucky to be alive after the accident occurred. I did come away from the accident with multiple injuries, though. I sustained a skull fracture, major concussion, broken leg, broken ankle, and a dislocated kneecap. I still suffer pain all over my body to this day.

The current mattress I have has made my pain so much worse, so I contacted multiple staff members, including medical staff and the sergeant, to ask for a new, better mattress. Nothing happened at first. It wasn’t until I sent a grievance that the sergeant had me come to his office to discuss my concern.

Continue reading