Examining Solitary Confinement

The leading Democratic candidates for president in 2020 have at long last agreed that abolishing this atrocity is an essential part of criminal-justice reform. It is up to us to hold them to their words.

An Activist Enters a Solitary Confinement Cell—and Struggles for Control

This riveting essay, written three years ago by a member of Amnesty International, remains among the most compulsively readable indictments of our most barbaric form of punishment. By Tessa Murphy London, 14 October 2014, 16:07 UTC Tessa Murphy is a British campaigner at Amnesty International The breathlessness was overwhelming. Standing in that small, dark cell, surrounded by … Continue reading “An Activist Enters a Solitary Confinement Cell—and Struggles for Control”

We Must Kill the Monster of Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement is the monster that lives in our nation’s basement. We tell ourselves that we have the monster under control. That is, if we tell ourselves anything at all. Most of the time, we avoid thinking about him. Solitary confinement is just another tool, we assure ourselves. Like we assure ourselves that—oh—the AK-47 is … Continue reading “We Must Kill the Monster of Solitary Confinement”

Another Solitary Confinement Atrocity

This horrific story, originally reported by the excellent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and picked up by Slate a couple days ago, is yet another demonstration of my assertion in NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE that “too many of the mentally ill in our country live under conditions of atrocity.” Terrill Thomas’s death by slow, deliberate, guard-induced … Continue reading “Another Solitary Confinement Atrocity”

DID SOMEONE MENTION “SOLITARY”?

Yes: I did. I cited this barbaric penalty in my previous blog post, which was a plea for Ashley Biden to join her father’s Administration and co-ordinate federal policy regarding mental healthcare reform. Solitary confinement in our jails is one of the scourges that most needs reforming–obliterating, actually–if we are to call ourselves civilized. Solitary works … Continue reading “DID SOMEONE MENTION “SOLITARY”?”

JUBILATION ALERT: Democratic Candidates and Grass-Roots Advocates Combine to Urge Seminal Reforms in Criminal Justice and Mental Health Care!

Two mobilizations of historic enlightened reform are abruptly converging in American politics and policy. Their aims are intertwined: to bulldoze and rebuild our blighted structures of criminal justice, and to reclaim our dispossessed mentally ill brothers and sisters from the hellscape of danger, pain, and early death that the blight of justice confers on them. And the economic drain that it exacts from all of us.

The symbiotic forces are (1) the elite tier of progressive candidates for the 2020 presidential election, and (2) the sleeves-up cadre of activists working at Ground Zero who toil because they daily confront serious mental illness up close, and witness its effects for what they are: cancers upon our societal health and sense of decency.

Voices for Mental Healthcare Reform, United at Last!

The documents below usher in a revolution. They describe a bold new movement, a national front organized to break the silence of the stricken and reverse the longstanding political neglect of America’s decrepit mental healthcare policies and institutions. The advocate and author (Sooner Than Tomorrow) DeDe Ranahan has completed a wide-ranging national canvass of those … Continue reading “Voices for Mental Healthcare Reform, United at Last!”