In this week’s episode, we air the first part of a conversation between Jok Huerta from Focus Initiatives and Rodney Jones, known as Big R. Both men share stories of their own incarceration, and describe life in a Maximum Restraint Unit. As Big R puts it, when you leave general population for the MRU, “you’re in a whole different place now.”

Big R talks about growing up in Indiana, contrasting it with the daily life of Indiana prisons. Later, in talking about the “tight grip of the MRU,” he lays the groundwork for understanding the the 1985 Pendleton prison uprising, as he was a witness to the beating the sparked the revolt.  We will air Big R’s recollections of the ’85 uprising next week.

This conversation is part of a series put on by IDOC Watch and other organizations, including Focus Initiatives, LTD. We encourage you to check out their projects, which focus on inside/outside prisoner and re-entry support.

IDOC Watch has written several articles about the prisoners involved in this uprising and its aftermath:

We will are more of the conversation next week. In the meantime, you can read about the 1985 uprising in DOWN: Reflections on Prison Resistance in Indiana.