Article sent to Milwaukee IWOC by someone incarcerated at Columbia Correctional Institution on 10/10/18. Content warning: torture, psychological abuse, mental illness.
The last article I wrote was titled segregation, and it delved into the negative psychological ramifications that long-term segregation causes to both staff and inmates. It talked about the potential dangers that this negative environment can ultimately have on our communities and society as a whole – because of the trickle effect that eventually leaks out into them. Wehther the danger comes from a psychologically disgruntled staff member or an inmate being released doesn’t matter. Because segregation can equally warp and twist the minds of them both, causing the potential for real danger to be prevalent. These mentally unstable people are like ticking-time-bombs out and about within our communities – and if we don’t do something to address it now, then the potential destruction could be astronomical. We’ve all seen how the power of an unstable mind can misshape our world (Hitler, Stalin, Sadaam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, etc…), and we definitely don’t need anymore problems in our own backyard. Which is one of the many reasons why I wrote about this potential epidemic to begin with.
I ‘ve seen first hand how segregation can corrupt peoples’ perceptions and ultimately their perspectives – and have a deep understanding of the profound impact this has on us all. Whether you have a friend or relative that works or resides within our prison system is irrelevant. Because we’re all connected by these circumstances – And eventually will come across someone in our life who’s been directly affected by it. And the last thing we want or need is to have more mentally unstable people in our streets, stores, schools, homes, etc…. having psychological breakdowns that could’ve been prevented.
So I’m going to keep sharing my thoughts and views about this serious social issue because something desperately needs to be down about it. This article is simply an extension of my last one because it deals with the exact same dilemma. Because Administrative Confinement and Long-term segregation are synonymous with each other. According to the division of Adult Institution in Wisconsin policy number 308.00.01 the Department of Corrections partially defines Administrative Confinement as a “non-punitive segregated confinement of inmates.” Which in and of itself is COMPLETELY contradictory. No matter how you try and word it. People on Administrative Confinement are subjected to the same rules and conditions as anyone else who’s housed in the same segregated housing unit. Except they usually get less benefits and their time is indefinite. Most inmates on this status will be in segregation for at least 6 months, but the vast majority of them will be on Administrative Confinement for years on end… Subjecting them to the continuous psychological torture that long-term segregation causes.
And like a lot of people that are subjected to long stints in segregation, people on Administrative Confinement develop various psychosis. The 2 most common are the developing psychopathic tendencies and anti-social behavior. Which are caused by the conditions of segregation, specifically long-term isolation that person is subjected to. Of course the Administration justifies this by playing with semantics (non-punitive).And by labeling the inmates they put on Administrative Confinements as SUPER-DANGEROUS people. But the majority of these inmates are no more dangerous than anyone else in prison. That is until they’re subjected to these horrendous conditions for far too long… which cause their minds to be corrupted by the harsh environment and ironically they become a dangerous bi-product from it. Who now not only pose a substantial risk of danger to the institution itself, but also to society and the communities that MOST of them will eventually be released out into.
And herein lies the real danger. We are the ones who have to deal with the consequences of the Department of Corrections actions because the MONSTERS they help create seep back out into our neighborhoods and communities. And not unlike Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein,’ these people pose a REAL danger because of the psychological damage they incurred. But instead of them being in a controlled environment where the dangers are limited, now they’re out and about where the potential for chaos is unlimited. And nobody wants or needs this mess in any of our communities what-so-ever.
Conditions in the Wisconsin prison system need to change.