Prison Radio
Joadanus Olivas

“Solitary confinement.”

I must admit during my 12 years of incarceration since the age of 16, I haven’t done much solitary confinement time in comparison to other fellow prisoners, so I didn’t rush into writing on this topic. I’ve been to the hole many times, but not for long periods.
What do you know? Weeks later, I went to the hole for battery resulting in a serious bodily injury. I received the projected 17-month [inaudible] term, but with good behavior I could do 6 months. So I did six months, and I just was released from the hole 3 days ago. If I had to sum it all up in one word, it would be “inhumane.”

This experience has changed me so much. In 4 days, I’ll be 28 years old, but because of this whole experience, I feel much older and wiser. The gruesome habitat that I’ve resided in would drive an animal insane. Inside the housing unit alongside of us prisoners were pigeons who frequently flew in and outside the housing unit, even roosting and creating mess inside the buildings so the filth was obvious upon entering the unit. You could smell it. The noise was torment. It was torture. My peers, my fellow peers, prisoners that is, refused to be silent throughout the night, so sleep basically never existed on my behalf. I watched a fellow prisoner hogtied with shackles on January 22nd at 8:15 a.m. and pepper sprayed remaining like that for 20 minutes, all because this individual cut his wrist and was suicidal.

I almost wasn’t released on time from the hole because of my questioning particular officers about their “Blue Lives Matter” emblems stitched into their uniforms illegally. I asked an officer every morning: “Why are you wearing a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ emblem?” And then his partner threatened to keep me in the hole longer.

I said, “I’d rather die than be silent. My ancestors died. I’m not scared keep me longer than 6 months.” And this environment was torture, but its individuals that have spent decades in that place. I cry for them. This- what I reveal is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s a lot more about this places that need to be observed by auditors and the World Health Organization or someone important that could bring an end to this nefarious tactic of portrait on prisoners’ behalfs.

My eyes are open now. Are yours?

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.