We talk with Elizabeth Springer, the grandmother of jailhouse lawyer Andre Jacobs. Andre has been locked up in Pennsylvania correctional institutions since he was 15 years old. Ms. Springer talks about his early childhood, his experiences with harassment while in prison, developments with his appeal on federal charges of assault against prison guards, and the federal civil rights lawsuit he filed this past December against the PA DOC.
In December of 2010, Andre Jacobs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and state law enforcement agents in which he charges acts of torture against him. He filed that lawsuit while at SCI Huntingdon.
On April 8th, Andre Jacobs was transferred from SCI Huntingdon to SCI Rockview. When asked to provide a reason for the transfer, SCI Huntingdon's Public Information Officer, Connie Green, declined to give an explanation.
In 2008, Jacobs represented himself in a case in which he charged Pennsylvania Department of Correction staff with confiscating and not returning important legal property to him. He won the case, and the jury issued a judgment of $185,000 on his behalf.
Subsequently, according to the claims in his recent civil rights lawsuit, he was harassed by prison officials. He has been the victim of physical assault, verbal abuse, and food deprivation.
In addition, Jacobs has continued to be held in soilitary confinement, or the hole, since 2001. This means he is restricted to a cell by himself for at least 23 hours a day.