Narrator: Davon Woodley

Summary: Davon “The Champ” Woodley is a prison reform advocate in New York City. Woodley spent 25 days at Rikers Island in the Fall of 2013 when he was 24 years old. Born and raised in Harlem, Woodley has worked as a job developer and a reentry counselor. He has also supported JLUSA’s (JustLeadershipUSA) #CloseRikers campaign. He is a social justice leader representing, in the words of his oral history, “a movement of individuals who are trying to create change for themselves and for their communities as a whole.” (Summary written by: Annie Anderson)

Interview Date: 10/17/18

Partner Organization: Brooklyn Public Library

Interviewer: Darlene Jackson

Tags: Rikers Island, Incarceration, Prison abolition, New York City, Oral history, Rikers Public Memory Project, RPMP, Intake, First impressions, Psychological impact of incarceration, Prison facilities, Violence in prison, Correction Officers, Getting arrested, Threats and fears, Anxiety / Stress, Officers’ abuse, Solitary confinement, Violence normalization, Coping mechanisms, Social interactions in prison, Gangs, Poor living conditions, Insufficient health services, Personal history of Incarceration,Overcrowding, Detainees exploitation, Police/officers’ accountability, Physical impact of Incarceration, Impact on outside relationships, Visitation Process, Emotional impact of visitation, Going to court, Defense mechanisms, Sexual assault, Close Rikers, NYC Policies, Impact on communities, Rikers history

To read the transcript of this interview, click here