How can I forget November 4th 2019? The day a inmate came to me inquiring about how he could be moved to another cell. I told him that I was fighting for a process as well but had not gotten any positive results… I did not know within a few hours this inmate would be murdered.
It was Novembdr 5, 2019 Keyon Wade was his name, feel free to Google it. He was murdered by his cell mate, Anthony Cole, and you know what? Nothing was done to change this system, I went to work the next day, we were all told not to talk about the situation. Yet, I asked other inmates about the incident, I even wrote to the governor asking if something was going to be done, NJDOC stated that the matter was still under investigation. I really did hope that the Administration would change something, I believed in my heart that they could not continue to play “housing roulette” and expect inmates to be safe, but you know what? Deep down custody liked the fact that inmates are fighting each other, they like the fact that they get to respond to scenes where inmates were bloody and and best up, its a game to them. And nothing is done about it.
More than six months later and my proposal is still under review by central offices, there is no way unless you are getting beat up to be moved from a dangerous situation. I have recognized over and over again that I live in a system that is reactive rather than proactive, a system that does not take heed to the warning signs, our fight at justice4demi.org is not just for Demi, its not just for the small changes, its to prevent incidents like Keyon Wade from ever happening again. Its to stop inmates and officers from targeting LGBTQIA inmates, these things are not only real to me but they are apart of the environment I live in. I see the hurt, I see the abuse, and I can’t stand by and be silence. Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of facing the abuse that many of the inmates I advocate for go through, to be given false charges than to be threatened and told that I would be assaulted up if I reported misconduct reallly did make me realize that without public oversight and advocacy prison reform may never happen.