Friday, June 22, 2012
What Degree of Torture???
every day at the highest security 5A longterm level in oop (oh. st. penitentiary) oh’s supermax prison in ygn, oh. where every prisoner is in a single cell 7’ by 14’ the size of a car parking space with concrete floor, ceiling and walls, a concrete platform covered by a thin mat, a sink/toilet with a wall mounted desk and stool. A 300 pound steel sliding door with a 2” by 8 “ bullet proof non-opening glass, a cuffport that serves also as a delivery and return way for 3 daily food trays eaten within these cells, prisoners spend 24 hours a day within this cell unless one signs up for 1 hour of recreation cage and or shower 5 days per week. prisoncrats call prisoners at osp the worst of the worst, prisoners that dealt drugs, involved in gang activity, or killed on the outside and inside prisons. over 2 million prisoners are in us prisons over 20,000 are in their 31 supermaxes in state and federal systems this 1% can be a volatile 1%, any punishment pushed too far and a claim of mental breakdown is sure to come. suicide rates in tx and ca solitary confinement prisons are on the rise, psychiatrist stuart grassian a consultant in criminal cases syas ‘we have to ask ourselves why we’re doing this,’ ‘we’re talking criminals who are already unstable and driving them crazy.’ solitary confinement in the us began with the philadelphia quakers of the 19th century as a hope of providing them contemplation with a bible to develop insight into their crimes, it never worked. in 1890 the us supreme court ruled, deploring solitary confinement for the ‘semi-fatuous condition’ in which it left prisoners, the court’s distaste of solitary was clear. justices saw it as a form of ‘no touch torture’ says alfred mccay in his book ‘a question of turture’- ‘it sends prisoners in one of two directions: catatonic or rage.’ modern science confirms this with electroncephalograms showing that after a few days in solitary prisoners brain waves shift toward a pattern characteristic of stupor and delirium. some prisoners at osp are given anticipated stays on level 5 and 4 but not those closed 5ALT who’s stay is determined permanent/indefinite, no matter one’s excellent or good conduct and voluntary programming a 5 ALT prisoner isn’t allowed to lower their security for release, obviously this is an attack on the 8th amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment and 14th amendment’s due process and liberty interest.’ the argument oh prisoners made in 05 challenging assignment to strict supermax security level, a unanimous supreme court with justice anthony kennedy writing that supermax isolation imposes an ‘atypical and significant hardship, that prisoners must have a formal opportunity to make their case against the assignment before prison officials decide, this ruling has not affected 5ALT prisoners, theire are no written rules/guidelines for level 5 reduction across the board for all level 5 (including 5ALTers) at osp, extreme ‘no-touch torture’ is having been in solitary confinement more than 14 years (at present 12 years 2010), over 9 years (at present 12 years 2010) in oh’s supermax prison in ygn without any chance of release on 5ALT, me wonders will the direction be catatonic, rage, or controlled rage will be maintained?
rewritten 2010 (transcribed 2012)