Prison Radio
Bryant Arroyo

The American Criminology Society, hello there. First, I want to thank the entire panel of the American Criminology Society and Fight Toxic Prisons for inviting me to speak from the cages of where I’m geographically located- in the thick of the Eastern anthracite region of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. I’m literally at the epicenter of the highest rate of cancer clusters per capita in the country. To begin, I’d like to address and answer a few questions regarding the reflections on climate chaos and incarceration. The environment includes everything around an individual: the air one breathes, water we drink, and the place – prisoners- he or she- lives. As such, the environment serves as a protective factor and promotes one’s overall physical, mental, and emotional well being. Certainly, you must wonder, how is every day life, for those of us who are disenfranchised and marginalized from society? Living encaged- Superfund sites, prisons, reflected in the minds of prisoners being forced to drink contaminated water for many years. Breathing polluted air every waking day and night, and receiving three meals cooked with witch’s brew for us to consume daily. It is perhaps very easy for the people outside to mistake their perceptions, a concept mingled with sentiment and pity. Little does one know about the true fight for existence that rages in these cages amongst the nation of prisoners. This is an unrelenting struggle for daily survival, life itself, while we are deteriorating by breathing, drinking, eating unseen, unimaginable carcinogens, which I hate to admit, undoubtedly, I believe this is why I was just diagnosed with stage one kidney disease. There’s no blinder spot for organizers, advocates, protesters and supporters on the outside related to climate chaos than those of us caged diamonds under constant siege, bombarded and buried alive in these carcinogenic cages designed deathtraps, negligent to the lives of people throughout the nation of prisoners. Let’s not be ignorant about the ignorance of the government. Let’s not be ignorant about the government’s devices. In closing, the perspective on the role of academia and climate justice should be to educate ourselves in climate justice by searching out those of us inside the nation of prisoners, to learn from our personal experiences under these environmental conditions to gain insight from our firsthand accounts, inside from caged diamonds, prisoners. Education should not only be progressive but result-orientated. I’m truly humbled, as the first jailhouse environmentalist in the globe, to be invited to speak to this distinguished panel of the American Society of Criminology. And for giving me the magnanimous opportunity to speak and collaborate with you, and the rest of the environmental students, colleagues, advocates, mobilizers, organizers, supporters and stakeholders to continue to fight to expose the environmental protections that are taking place in the four corners of the entire globe. Therefore, as caged diamonds inside of the cage (?), I’ll leave you with this final quote: “A diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor be perfected without it.” Continue to constitutionally forge, to educate yourselves, to protect planet Earth, which we were birthed to protect. Peace, liberty, justice, and freedom from the first jailhouse environmentalist in the globe. Bryan Arroyo for Prison Radio inside the nation of prisoners.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.