Twitter Updates 2.2.1: FeedWitter

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prison Torture Within the U.S.A., by Mary Neal


HORROR STORY NO. 1:  Torture of Mentally Ill Inmate in Illinois

An Illinois prison psychiatrist's answer to mental illness in an inmate:  Repeatedly strap him naked to a bare metal bedframe for up to 32 hours, in isolation and without food.  Anthony Gay, age 35, is the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against Dr. Rakesh Chandra.  Gay alleges cruel and unusual treatment while incarcerated in Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois in 2004.

Whereas Gay's treatment was most certainly cruel, it was nothing unusual.  Mentally ill inmates are frequently subjected to torture behind bars, and some die. 
.
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it to ONE of the least of these my brethren, you have done it also unto me. ~ Matthew 25:40
.
YOUR RESPONSE?



HORROR STORY NO. 2:  Week-long Execution Torture in Ohio

Romell Broom's execution in Ohio was postponed after executioners poked him for over two hours but failed to find a suitable vein for the lethal injection IV.  Broom's lawyer,Tim Sweeney, protested, calling the execution cruel and unusual punishment.  Gov. Ted Strickland ordered a one-week break before resuming execution.

The team began working on Broom in a holding cell 17 steps from the execution chamber at about 2 p.m.  They stopped at about 4:30 p.m.  Broom attempted to help the team access his veins, and after one failed attempt, he covered his face . . .  sobbing.  (AP report, Sept. 15, 2009)

*UPDATE 10/06/09:  Ohio May Have a Solution to KILLING Broom and other inmates more efficiently.

(AP) – Columbus, Ohio - Ohio is considering injecting lethal drugs into inmates' bone marrow or muscles as an alternative to — or a backup for — the traditional intravenous execution procedure, a prisons department spokeswoman said Tuesday.
.
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power, preserve those that are appointed to die. ~ Psalm 79:11
.
YOUR RESPONSE?



I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. . .  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all.
~ Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize for Peace, 1986


SOLUTIONS:  Decriminalize Mental Illness and Repeal Capital Punishment

.
Roughly 1.25 million inmates are mentally ill, comprising more than half of our nation's prisoners. This happened in large part because monies that once went to their hospitalization and treatment within their communities now goes to imprison them, at no savings to taxpayers. Rep. Eddie Johnson of Texas proposed H.R. 619 to remedy the need for more inpatient space in mental hospitals by reinstating Medicaid insurance for inpatient psychiatric care.  It was largely the removal of this insurance that led to hospital closings and the criminalizing of mental illness.
.
About 2/3 of inmates were incarcerated on non-violent offenses.  Many psychiatric patients now warehoused in prisons would fare very well in their communities as outpatients with subsistence provisions.  Kendra's Law participants in New York had around 90% reduction in their rates of hospitalization, arrests, homelessness, and imprisonment compared to their experiences three years prior to becoming program participants under court-ordered treatment.  H.R. 619 for hospitalizing acute mental patients who did violent crimes (usually resulting from a lack of psychiatric treatment), and Kendra's Law for nonviolent patients would improve community safety, promote healing, and end prison abuses to our most vulnerable citizens.
.
Regarding the death penalty, what part of "thy shalt not kill" do we not understand?  End capital punishment.
.
*It does not deter crime   *It targets the poor   *It is racist   *It kills the innocent   *It is barbaric  
* It is expensive, costing around $90,000 more per death row inmate per year than inmates serving life without parole in maximum security prisons.
.
YOUR RESPONSE?  Would you write a quick email to your elected officials in favor of H.R. 619 for inpatient care and assisted outpatient treatment for mentally ill offenders?  Would you also like to see the death penalty repealed in your state and/or give inmates every opportunity to prove their innocence with post-conviction DNA testing or new trials for inmates with substantial new evidence of innocence?  Here are handy links for your convenience:
.
111th Congress:  www.house.gov/writerep/
.
Your Governor: www.usa.gov/Contact/Governors.shtml
.
Please use your back arrow to return to this blog if you read the articles and view the film at the links below, as I hope you will.  Please return daily for more news and views on our justice system.  Use the convenient "ADD THIS" feature on this blog to share with others, please.  Your feedback is invited.  Please comment on this or any topics in this blog, or ask questions if you so desire.  Thanks for your interest!
.
Anthony Gay story:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-trappedintamms-la,0,242835.story
.
A video Trapped: Mental Illness in America’s Prisons
http://www.jennackerman.com/trapped/
.
Romell Broom story:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/15/national/main5313855.shtml
.
Update: Ohio Considers Lethal Injections into Inmates' Bone Marrow and Muscle
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ju0_UPvEVxUhVLghH9flkDra4lEAD9B5Q3804
.
Information on capital punishment from the Death Penalty Information Center
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/taxonomy/term/55?page=8
.
Mary Neal
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/
.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI)
http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI
.
Your donations to AIMI are appreciated.  For more advocacy articles, browse through this blog - http://www.freespeakblog.blogspot.com/  and access the links in Mary Neal's Google profile:  http://www.google.com/profiles/MaryLovesJustice
.
.

No comments: