The Philadelphia Inquirer, 08/08/22: “During the 37 years that I was incarcerated, I quickly and continuously learned that the prison system prioritizes arbitrary control over humanity.
One day, I found my friend laying on a staircase with severe stomach pain. Although he had been vomiting and could not walk, the guards denied him access to the medical unit. In protest, I refused to go back to my cell, ignoring a guard’s order, until my friend received medical attention. Due to the commotion I caused, the staff finally agreed to examine him, and he was almost immediately sent off to the emergency room. While my friend was getting a lifesaving colon surgery, I was handcuffed and moved to solitary confinement, charged with disrupting the order of the prison.
Doctors said that my friend would have died within 24 hours if he had not received medical care. My disobedience saved his life. But it sent me to solitary confinement for two years.
That wasn’t the only time I was sent to solitary confinement; it’s how I spent over a third of my time in prison.”