By: Ken Bright

As a member who was directly impacted/effected by ISOLATION while incarcerated.  While in Clinton Corr. Fac. in the late 80s. I was snatched out of the population and placed in Solitary Confinement for a non-threatening charge of having Library books that were in my possession without permission. However, this caused me to be rounded-up and taken into isolation (SHU) Special Housing Unit for 30 days which turned into 60 days for words exchange between me and over zealous and angry who I see was very racist over my 60 days in (SHU).

While in isolation my experience, I could hear the screams, screeches and cries from grown men 24 hours a day. Who’d obviously been in (SHU) longer then needed. I myself would feel the effects of the NOISE of PAIN around me. Many times while in isolation you see and hear the craziest conversations as the many Mental deterioration from other grown men. Many times it (the agony) would seep into my space where I had to create ways to keep my sanity such as exercise or just make friends with insects which seem to appreciate the attention from time to time.  Many times I would share my rations with them to keep whatever humanity I had remaining. Many times I would think how the extension of the constructed society is replicated after the human body. Who constructed a Prison System that it is so barbaric, but yet they call it a “CELL” after the Molecular structure of the human body. I have learned after being in a COLD, DECIMATED, CAGED in a cell for so long that a CELL is “LIVE or it is DEAD”  I chose to make it alive and survive which is never to be accepted by my captors.  I MADE MY CELL ALIVE. MANY have not discovered the will to do so.

Therefore, once you are placed in “ISOLATION” you are NOT to remain the same as you entered. Some come out stronger but, many lose themselves never to return SANE again.  I still today ask “How do they treat humans for something they know needs human compassion to rectify the ills of man——not torture.  DON’T THEY KNOW WHEN YOU’RE AROUND NOTHING BUT STEEL & CONCRETE and mental states to match. Humans become just that COLD & HARD. This does not prepare humans for society who is in need of serious compassion itself.


Ken Bright, once incarcerated himself,  founded Life Progressive Services, a not-for-profit Reentry and Transitional Program for Returning Citizens to the community in 2009. He is also involved in  Riker’s Reform, Peace Keepers Organization, Boys and Girls Club of America’s “Passport to Manhood, and the Westchester Red Cross of Putnam County’s emergency food program.