JCCF, Beaumont, Texas
13 years in solitary / ad seg
August 23, 2023
Words by JOSEPH COLONE
Photography by TEXAS LETTERS
When I think about being thrown into solitary-confinement upon my arrival to this Jefferson County jail….. my thoughts immediately turn to my ancestors, who were kidnapped from the Motherland of Africa, and held in dank/dark cages (until) their arrival to these North American shores.
When I feel the belly-chains (wrapping) around my waist and being locked onto the chain of the wrist-cuffs, and the chain of the ankle cuffs, that I’m forced to wear (everytime) I exit this solitary-cage….. I wonder (what) my ancestors thought and felt (when) they were being bound by chains, and ropes, and other manic-devices (during) the trans-atlantic trade routes all around the world.
When I am in the presence of male-jailers, and being stripped naked and routinely searched without cause (whenever) I leave and / or return to this solitary-cage…… I sink deep in the moment of realization, that my ancestors were forced to endure over 400 yrs of slavery (under) some of the most evil, and wicked conditions ever imposed on man, woman, and child, and it absolutely breaks my heart !!!!
The late politician / activist, Barbara Jordan - once said, that “if the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.”
Like many other slave owning confederate states here in the south, (Texas) systematically engages in the psychological and physical torture of their captive Death-Row and solitary-confined inmates. (Note): It is vitally important that you understand, that (torture) is not always the horrible signs, that are palpable to the human-eye, and/or keen to the sense of touch, such as scars upon the human-flesh. This form of torture, that I describe to you, is the worst form of mistreatment, that could ever be imposed on a human-being. Surely not many people (reading herein) are capable of estimating this immense amount of torture and agony, that this dreadful punishment….. prolonged for years, and even decades, (inflicts) upon suffers such as myself. But (if) you can open your mind, (try) to imagine yourself as a prisoner, and being locked inside a regular sized bathroom, and/or walk-in closet. There you have immenities such as a iron-bunk, a thin-lump mattress, a steel sink that’s attached to a steel toilet, a writing-desk with a sitting-stool…… and then there’s commissary purchased items (if you can afford them)_such as a radio, cell-fan, night-lamp, hot-pot, and hygiene items and over-processed/price gauged food-items. There’s also a small-little window, that you can barely see out of, and serves no purpose than to seperate day from night. All meals-(breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are serve thru a little portal-slot, that’s cut into the door, and you eat all those meals alone (confined) within that solitary-space. The only time, that you get to leave this itty bitty confined-cage is for a two-hour indoor or outdoor recreation, a two-hour visit once a week with family / friends, attorney legal-visits, and / or maybe medical or dentist appointments (whenever) the officials decide to respond to your sick-calls. You also get one opportunity (a day) to shower. This goes on…..day-in and day-out, for years and even decades.
As I write, I am currently being detained at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, (after) having my capital conviction and sentence (overturned) due to prosecutorial misconduct. Like (TDCJ)-Texas Department Corrections of (In)-Justice ….. The system here at JCCF is rigidly rigged, and the powers that be have devised a wicked policy/plan of keeping harmless men/women (confined) in these solitary-cages, without any disciplinary infractions…..locked-down 23-22 hours a day with little to “no” meaningful interaction with other people for long, long, very long extended periods of time. People are social by nature, and need social interaction to maintain a healthy mental state of mind._After the math….I’ve been a slave to the state of Texas for approximately 13 years. 7 of those years were spent (here) @ JCCF on solitary-confinement as a pre-trial detainee and another 5 years were spent confined in solitary on TDCJ - Death Row/Polunsky Unit. I’ve been back (here) at the Jefferson Co. Correctional Facility for approximately 1 year now, and the conditions (here) are harmful to my physical-health, and are also jeopardizing the stability of my mental-health. I am literally being deprived of my basic necessities of human-existence, and the seeds of illnesses are being planted with each passing day. The United Nations Human Rights has ruled, that more than 15 consecutive days (confined) in solitary-confinement for 22-hours or more (a day) without meaningful human contact (is) regarded as a form of human torture. Hence, 13 yrs. consecutively served (caged-up) in solitary, is definitely cruel & unusual punishment. Science, has accurately proven that single drop of water, repeated and endlessly (will) eventually bore thru the hardest of stone”._I am, like many other men/women, that’s trapped in these solitary cages, that suffering stone, and denounce this secret form of punishment, and extort this “cry of humanity”- for your human-ears to hear. #Abolish the Death-Penalty, just as slavery was abolished, and #Stop Solitary-Confinement.
#Free Joseph Colone !!!!