Friday, 10 January 2014

January 21, 2014
1:00 pm
Luzerne County Courthouse
200 N. River St
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
Judge Lisa Gelb

In April 2010, at SCI Dallas (PA), after a series of abuses at the hands of corrections officials, 6 prisoners housed in the solitary confinement unit decided they had enough and decided to stage a protest in response to the inhumane conditions and mistreatment of prisoners. Each prisoner involved in the protest is now collectively referred to as the Dallas 5.    They are Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, Anthony Locke, Duane Peters and Derrick Stanley. They peacefully covered their cell windows and barricaded their doors to protect themselves from harm after guards began beating prisoners one by one. They asked for an outside official to come into the prison and mediate between the inmates and guards, who were abusing prisoners.  Instead of receiving this mediation by an outside official, guards attacked the Dallas 5 with pepper spray, Tasers, and their fists.

For peacefully demonstrating for an end to human rights abuses, these men suffered retaliation and criminal charges of riot.   Contrary to the charges, these men did not incite riot. They did not cause or create riot!  They had no ability to do so within a single cell solitary confinement unit!  These same men contributed to the Human Rights Coalition report which detailed ongoing abuses and human rights violations within the dungeons of this state and especially at SCI Dallas.  These charges are inappropriate; non-violent protests are always handled through internal Pennsylvania Department of Corrections disciplinary actions not criminal court.

As revealed in the Human Rights Coalition report and before the House of Representatives, there has long been a policy within the prison walls of Dallas and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to operate a corrupt administration under an iron wall of silence.   Under this code of silence, SCI Dallas, PA DOC, District Attorney’s Office, Attorney General’s Office as well as the Pennsylvania State Police operates in participation and conjunction with one another to cover up crimes and misconduct by overlooking video footage of officers, the real criminals, committing human rights violations.   The guards should be on trial and not the Dallas 5.