Jawanza, Sundiata (Darvin Allen)
Sundiata Jawanza has been in prison since 1995 on a life sentence for murder and accessory after the fact of armed robbery. During his years of imprisonment, Sundiata has expressed remorse for his offenses as a man-child and has worked tirelessly towards self-development and personal empowerment to better himself and others around him.
With your support, upon Sundiata’s release, he would be an asset to our community and his family. Due to Sundiata's work as a Political Prisoner and his prolific work on behalf of people in prison for human rights in addition to being identified as a founder of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, he has been housed in the strictest conditions. It's important to note that Sundiata’s work within Jailhouse Lawyers Speak has assisted thousands of prisoners with legal aid, furthered legal education for incarcerated people, and developed multiple ongoing community projects.
Although Sundiata is housed in closed custody, he displays perseverance every day bringing positive change, serving as a paraprofessional counselor in a program designed to give a therapeutic environment to mentally ill prisoners. He is also a certified peer support specialist, entrusted to teach people with substance use disorders and mental health courses to aid in his peers’ treatment five days a week in a classroom provided by the prison authorities. Sundiata is the Co-Chair of The NLG Mass Incarceration Committee, The NLG Mass Defense Committee, and Jailhouse Lawyer VP on The NLG National Executive Committee. Furthermore, he is an Imam. He is responsible for the transformation and spiritual guidance of the entire prison Muslim population. Through his faith and spiritual position, Sundiata has supported his self-growth and continues to selflessly help others along their walk of faith as well. We send our deepest appreciation and unwavering support to Sundiata Jawanza, as he has given his life to the service of others and we encourage anyone who believes in the power of self-determination and forgiveness to stand with Sundiata in support of his release.
On April 14, 2023, Sundiata relocated to Turbeville Correctional Institution in order to further his experience working as a peer support specialist and to raise his chances of making parole by completing the ATU (Addiction Treatment Unit) Program at Turbeville. Upon completion of the ATU program, Sundiata will have successfully completed the two highest substance use disorder programs for prisoners in South Carolina: Certified Peer Support Specialist and the ATU Program. Upon graduation, he will be assigned to duties that require aid in managing the ATU program as a certified peer support specialist.