Up first, we have a comprehensive overview of prisoner protests compiled by Perilous Chronicle, who are collecting information about the many prison uprisings and disturbances now occurring regularly. They will be sharing these updates with us each month.
For our feature this week, we share the first part of a conversation with Balagoon, an Indiana political prisoner who has been locked up for almost 43 years, 31 of those years in isolation. Now, at age 61, he is seeking a sentence modification due to his worsening health conditions, as well as the fact that – as he puts it- after 43 years inside he simply isn’t the person he used to be. Balagoon was a participant in the famous 1985 uprising in Indiana’s Pendleton facility.
We’ll talk more about the uprising in our next episode with Balagoon, but this week he talks about the reasons for his sentence modification request, as well as how his perspective has shifted after nearly 43 years inside. He says that his activism has transitioned away from focusing on material conditions to helping people file petitions and advocate for themselves. Balagoon speaks to mentoring younger prisoners, and how the state of Indiana has already exacted a heavy toll from him.
You can read about Balagoon on IDOC Watch’s website: https://www.idocwatch.org/