What Happened at SCI Forest on April 11?

sci forestwritten by prisoner Sehu Kessa Saa Tabansi

Power to the People,

It seems that repression could not wait.  So by the immediate necessities we are now forced to respond rather than hesitate in launching this format for dialogue.  As the revolutionary slogan goes, “repression breeds resistance.”  Way out in the deep forest of the Alleghenies, in the early hours just after midnight on April 11, 2016 at SCI Forest, Security Housing Unit K-block, the cell K-B-10 of Gabriel Rosa Diaz #FH-7313 went up into flames.

If not for the actions of the one sergeant on 10-6am shift, Sgt. Tanner, this writer who lives in cell K-B-9 and others on bottom and top tier would be dead! The other useless officers concerned themselves with whether to spray a canister of O.C. agent into a blazing cell to extract the Puerto Rican native prisoner in K-B-10, ignoring also the fact that the prisoners in K-B-11 and K-B 2 cells have asthma.

Nonetheless, hours later, a day removed, fire extinguished, prisoners extracted and treated, at no time since April 11 to date (April 18) has the warden or deputy wardens of the prison ever appeared to inspect the prisoners nor the property conditions.  There appears to be no mention of the fire outside the prison unit K-block at all.

Just weeks before, guards entered Gabriel Rosa Diaz’s cell and prompted an altercation that left prisoner Diaz with two black eyes and a broken jaw!

Just a few months before that Gabriel Rosa Diaz’s cell door was popped open in a level 5 Secure Housing Unit, leading to a physical altercation with the same staff.

Prior to the fire, an incident had occurred where Diaz broke out all windows, lights, fixtures and cabinet in his cell.

In spite of all these psychotic episodes Diaz, along with a never ending list of mentally ill prisoners, are packed like sardines into SCI Forest J and K blocks in a volatile mixture of the state’s new “Gang Unit” and the state’s Restricted Release List prisoners, the now infamous RRL-Pennsylvania!

The SCI Forest Program Review Committee is a sham and serves as a kangaroo court.  The majority of the RRL prisoners are here on bogus reasons, without adequate notice and with no meaningful appeals process.

Many years ago along the Pontiac in Michigan a riot occurred at Pontiac Prison, led by a group of prisoners who were facing death sentences.  Because of the efforts of the late James Sayless, a.k.a. Atiba Shanna, a.k.a. Elder Yaki, mass attention and support legally was given to the Pontiac brothers, and the state ultimately failed in its repression campaign!

With that historic example in mind, we look to bring Action Alerts and Abuse Logs of Human Rights Coalition and Decarcerate PA and others in on SCI Forest and its RRL Gang Unit and Mental Stability Code Environment on J and K block Secure Housing Unit.  How are prisoners’ cell doors magically opening and why do no guards ever get fired?

Please inquire about what happened the night of the fire, what led to it and why the warden and deputies have not even blinked an eye or made a round to inspect.

Call John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections: 717-728-4109;

Call Shirley Moore Smeal, Executive Deputy Secretary: 717-728-4110

There is power in numbers. Power to the People.