Prison Radio

We have recently connected with a courageous, new voice in the Prison Radio community, Charles Carrington. Charles is currently incarcerated at Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute (SCI) Fayette, transferred from SCI Rockview in March 2024. I am deeply moved by Charles’ persistence in the fight for justice inside Pennsylvanian punitive institutions, evident in his June 5th commentary “Guard Hangs Noose.”

Charles recounts severe mistreatment, gross negligence, and blatant racism in a series of incidents beginning in late November 2023, when SCI Rockview prison guards crafted and hung a noose in their officer station, visible to those in detention at the facility. When asked about the noose, an officer simply replied, “It’s Black Friday.” Attempts by Charles and his peers behind bars to raise their concerns and escalate the matter within SCI Rockview were denied, pushed under the rug, and resulted in backlash. While the state does its best to silence Charles, in fear of exposure and attendant resistance, it is ever important that we, the Prison Radio community, do our best to amplify his voice. 

Charles and his others at SCI Rockview reached out to advocacy organizations that connected their testimonies to local journalist Brett Palotto who published an article highlighting the misconduct abuse at SCI Rockview on March 14, 2024. As part of retaliation efforts by the prison, five days later, the inmates at SCI Rockview who filed complaints related to the noose incident were unjustly admitted to the facility’s restrictive housing unit. After days of cruel and unusual punishment, Charles was transferred to SCI Fayette where, although his environment changed, injustice prevailed. Upon his arrival, a sergeant at Fayette told Charles that he “would have hung [Charles] from the noose at SCI Rockview, that’s how we do things here at SCI Fayette.” This threat of lynching is a harrowing reminder of the persisting legacy of American prisons as state apparatuses for repressing Black Americans. Let Charles’ courage inspire you, as it did me, and let this officer’s overt and arrogant racism invigorate our commitment to the abolitionist struggle.

Despite state carceral officers’ attempts at breaking his spirit, preventing him from filing a civil suit, and physically wearing him down since the initial incident, Charles remained steadfast and prepared to share his story with us at Prison Radio.

His voice is essential in our fight to expose and dismantle the inhumane treatment that is consistently and casually doled out in American carceral facilities. I ask for your support in amplifying Charles’ story and holding the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) accountable. Reach out to Charles, read and discuss Brett Pallotto’s article, and write to PA DOC—calling not only for all officers involved in the racism and brutalism of Charles’ experience to answer for their actions, but also for profound change.

Urge investigations into the grievances reported by Charles and his peers; demand that their cruel punishment cease. Your support is crucial for applying pressure to the PA Department of Corrections, bringing attention to the pervasive fallibility of American incarceration, and forging a path towards true justice in our “justice” system. Your support of, concern for, and attention to Charles’ story makes a difference. Thank you for being a part of Prison Radio.

Christie, Prison Radio Staff