I am so excited. The cover design for my book, which should be out in a couple of months, is in the final phases. We are just waiting for he publisher to let us know the exact specifications. Morpheus Blak, from Critical Mass Communications, designed the cover and I think he did a marvelous job. He took my vision and made it come true.
Your cover needs to reflect what the book is about and it needs to be readable and interesting. Please take a look and let me know what you think!
Here is his email: Critical Mass Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org) in case you need some graphic illustrations done.
The post below is re-blogged from a prisoner who has been held in solitary confinement for a total of 19 years. This is written from his own experiences.
Voices from Solitary: “That Which Does Not Kill Us…”
The following comes from Glenn T. Turner, 40, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF) since 2010, when he was assigned to the facility’s General Segregation Program Process. In his piece, Turner, who has been in and out of solitary confinement since 1992, provides a firsthand account of the devastating effect isolation has on people. He can be reached by writing: Glenn T. Turner #244614 A, WSPF, P.O. Box 9900, Boscobel, WI 53805. –Lisa Dawson
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I am a prisoner housed in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at the state’s most secure institution, that being the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). I am presently on a status called Administrative Confinement (A.C.) which is allegedly a non-punitive indefinite solitary confinement status. Thus far I’ve been on this status since May 10th, 2010. That’s on this particular stay on A.C. and I say “this particular stay” because this is not my first time placed on this status by DOC officials…
I speak not as a passive observer, nor from hearsay or second, third, or fourth hand information. I do not imagine the things I speak of, for I personally live it daily.
I’ve been incarcerated since October 18, 1991, and I have completed to date a total of nineteen and a half (19 ½) years of my bit in solitary confinement of one sort or another with very brief moments in general population. I have never been on voluntary segregation confinement, involuntary protective custody, or voluntary protective custody. I have completed every form of program available to me while in solitary confinement and DOC officials have continued to maintain me on A.C….
What has now become a convenient cause to put prisoners on administrative confinement for indefinite segregation in solitary confinement for years on end is to label the prisoner a “gang leader…” In this prison system that has never had a history of serious gang activity, this practice is suspect.
The German philosopher Nietzsche [said], “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” which may or may not be valid. From my own experiences and observations from being in solitary confinement over the years…I have witnessed men having mental and emotional breakdowns so intense that they need to be prescribed anti-psychotic medications and clinical therapy.
I’ve seen prisoners who were unable to endure such long terms of confinement in solitary attempt to commit suicide, smear their fecal matter over their bodies, cells, and even eat their body waste. I’ve witnessed them cut themselves, and some who – lacking any sharp object to cut themselves with, use their teeth to rip their flesh so as to expose their veins and rip those out to spray their blood all over their cell doors, windows, floors, etc.
I’ve seen yet others simply cry like unfed, hungry babies all day and all night, and some lash out yelling and screaming all day, all night, banging on walls and cell doors, trying to get some form of acknowledgement from their jailers that they are human beings, only to be sprayed with various forms of chemical agents, left incapacitated in their cells. Only then to be taken and have their cloths cut from their bodies and put nude into a yet more restrictive type of segregation status, called “control status.” There, they have nothing in their cell but a concrete slab to sleep on, a stainless steel sink and toilet combo, a surveillance camera and 24 hours a day of bright light cell illumination.
Removal from this status is determined by “a white shirt” [supervisor]. No standards or process is due or available. We only have a potentially mentally and emotionally disturbed prisoner at the mercy of a sadistic and possibly masochistic white shirt, who knows no limits and has no psychiatric training.
While the prisoners mentally and emotionally regress, [a prisoner with mental illness] is often cheered on and encouraged by bored corrections officers to regress even lower. I’ve witnessed officers…encourage a mentally ill prisoner who had smeared feces all over his control cell window, to lick it off, and they would give him some milk. And this prisoner licked most of the fecal matter off of the window, and was “awarded” by the officer who threw an old milk to the prisoner through a lower trap door to the cell.
This is the jailer who finds this misery excitement from the long boring and mundane hours spent doing nothing, who then goes home and recounts the details of these events at the bar while bragging on how he gets paid for sitting on his ass doing nothing – while his fellow men rot. And there are those prisoners who seek the ultimate out who kill themselves. I have seen this happen as well. I have been awoken from my sleep by a guard…to tell me another prisoner I did not know had committed suicide, an attempt to discombobulate me.
Lastly, there are these few prisoners who observe and bear witness to these injustices and this uncivilized behavior, who develop within themselves an intense disdain for abuse of power by those in a position of authority, a total hatred for injustice and bigotry of any sort. And who desire a change and to that end they dedicate their lives. When these prisoners speak up against these systematic abuses, they are labeled a “threat,” “gang leader,” or “combative,” and are punished with an even longer stay in solitary confinement.
It should be understood that the treatment of these men is at present and will even more in the future have a detrimental effect upon society. Crime becoming more serious, wholesale, random, gruesome, seemingly more animalistic, inhumane and senseless. Having absolutely no rational or reasonable point or purpose. Leaving society’s leaders, behavior analysts, psychologists and therapists scratching their heads in bewilderment, asking why human beings are doing these things?
I end this testimony with a fitting quote from a French philosopher named Albert Camus, from his book, The Rebel:
Twenty-seven years in prison do not, in fact, produce a very conciliatory form of intelligence. Such a long period of confinement produces either weaklings or killers and sometimes a combination of both. If the mind is strong enough to construct in a prison cell a moral philosophy that is not one of submission, it will generally be one of domination. Every ethic based on solitude implies the exercise of power.
I salute the conscious mind and impose upon it a responsibility to be accountable.
This is what the firing squad execution chamber looks like in Utah, where Governor Gary Herbert approved the execution of prisoners by firing squad. I wonder how he would feel if he were one of the firing squad looking at this with a person sitting inside it. Could he pull the trigger? By making it “legal” he has pulled the trigger the same as if he were right there.
Brady McCombs, of the Associated Press, posted an article today describing how firing squads operate. It was a chilling description of murder. The inmate is seated in the chair and a target is placed over their heart. They are given two minutes to say some last words and then five shooters with .30 caliber Winchester rifles fire at the target.
This barbaric method, which has not been legal in any state for the last 40 years, should not be allowed. In fact, executions should not be allowed at all. We are not murderers. If someone has committed murder or some other heinous crime, keep them in prison for life. Let us not lower ourselves to the level of killers of men and women.
Quote in The Guardian 3/23/2015:
“Faced with a nationwide scarcity of execution drugs, Utah’s governor on Monday signed into law a bill that resurrects the use firing squads as an alternative method of executing condemned inmates.”
Governor Gary Herbert belongs to the LDS Church. Do they approve of murder? If he were the one to pull the trigger would he actually do it? Is there any difference in authorizing murder and doing it yourself? The governor gave the reason that the drugs used for the execution were difficult to obtain. Does anyone wonder why the European countries who made the “scarce” drugs are not making them anymore or are not exporting them? Maybe they grew a conscience.
First, there is no moral reason that our government should authorize any executions, never mind by firing squad. Yes, there have been many heinous crimes committed, and those people should pay a price for their crimes. Keep them locked up for life. Make them work to pay for their keep. They are not a threat to the public when they are incarcerated. Governor Gary Herbert belongs to the LDS Church. Do they approve of murder?
Not all, but a lot of heinous crimes are committed under the influence of drugs and or alcohol by mostly young, stupid people. The rest are committed by people suffering from mental illness. (Does anyone doubt that Jeffery Dahmer was mentally ill?)
After years in prison, they may not be the same person who committed that crime. That does not absolve them, but it does change the dynamics of punishment.
One hundred and fifty prisoners in America who were sent to death row since 1973 have later been exonerated. Some have even been under 18 years old. Others have been executed despite serious doubts about their guilt. They may have had poor legal representation, it may have been more a matter of racial injustice, it may have been mistaken identity. Execution is final and there is no turning back or second chances. It also has not made a difference in the amount or type of crimes committed in the US.
Lets hear your ideas on this volatile topic.
These are all absolutely true. Hilarious to someone on the outside, but deadly serious to someone on the inside. Thanks for sharing this bit of info about what it is like to survive in prison that most people don’t know about. It is all about control when you have so little. For anyone who is about to enter prison…here is your bible on how to act.
I recently discovered the website listed below. I signed up for alerts and emails because it has a lot of valuable information. If your loved one is in solitary, has been in solitary, or is going to solitary please do go to this site. (Most inmates will get there sooner or later.) My son spent almost three long years locked down in the North Las Vegas Detention Center. During those years he was inhumanely treated and stayed there because someone he was affiliated with committed a crime there. He had nothing to do with it, but spent all that time in solitary anyway. When I visited (allowed visits were once per month – no contact by monitor) was the only time he was let out except for showers every three days and exercise one hour per day in a cage. The time of the exercise was at the guards convenience and could even be in the middle of the night.
Solitary Watch is a web-based project aimed at bringing the widespread use of solitary confinement out of the shadows and into the light of the public square. Our mission is to provide the public—as well as practicing attorneys, legal scholars, law enforcement and corrections officers, policymakers, educators, advocates, people in prison and their families—with the first centralized source of unfolding news, original reporting, firsthand accounts, and background research on solitary confinement in the United States.
If you watch these videos, you will get a better understanding of how solitary confinement has lasting effects on inmates. You will also hear what types of prisoners are being put in solitary. It doesn’t matter if you are mentally ill, young, old sick or even if you really did nothing to get there. You may end up in solitary anyway.
Pay particular attention to Bryanne Hammill’s astute comment and then read Norman Seabrook – President of the Correctional Officers Benevolent Association’s comment. And we wonder why inmates are violent and crazy.
It isn’t too often senators propose something that just might help prison reform, but Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are reintroducing a prison reform bill as reported by “The Hill” on Feb 10, 2015. The bill is meant to help reduce the number of people incarcerated in federal prisons. One of the main things it proposes is, support programs that help prisoners avoid coming back into the system.
They are proposing prisoners take a risk assessment, and those who fall into low or medium risk would have the opportunity to reduce their sentence. All the inmates have to do is participate in programs designed to reduce their chance of recidivism. What a forward thinking idea. They could earn as much as 25% off their sentence. The bill does prevent high risk prisoners from participating in the program. (Sex offenders or terrorists) The senators are hoping that this bill would lead to others, which would also be designed to solve problems rampant in the penal system. For a start, this reduction of sentences would certainly help with the overcrowding in federal prisons. Maybe it would also lead to states taking a look at better programs for their prisons and jails.
We currently have about 2.3 million people incarcerated in jails, prisons and camps. It does not take much thought to know there is something wrong with our criminal justice and penal systems.
Good for you senators! Be sure to take a look at the for profit companies that are helping to keep all these people incarcerated too.