My childhood was rough. I was one of six children. Our father was abusive, and he beat us, me more than the others because at age five I saw him molesting my sister. Our mother had to put up with him even though he had another woman, because he provided for us and was responsible for us over the week-ends.
When I was 15 I left home. I got mixed up with other girls and spent time in a Juvenile Center called Montrose School for girls.That’s where juvenile girls was held for being juvenile delinquents,I was there for not attending school and little small crimes,such as hooking school and stealing,nothing bad enough to be charged as an adult.
When I was 21, I was feeling abandoned, and depended on my childhood friends who were in the Maryland Correctional facility It didn’t seem to matter if I broke the law. It would give me a chance to find them.Today I know that was a bad choice,and I shouldn’t have thought like that, I was young and I had no clue what was awaiting ahead for me,going into a women’s prison, called Maryland Correctional Institution for Women(M.C.I.W)
I had a nervous breakdown being placed in solitary confinement the first time I ever went to prison and I was only there for forging checks not even a violent crime. I was placed into solitary confinement for being afraid of prison and crying constantly when I first arrived there at MCIW,that was the beginning of my experience of solitary confinement. Finally I was shipped to a mental institution (Springfield State Hospital) for a short stay until I was deemed stable enough to go back to prison and I was put on large doses of psychotic medication called Halodol until I was to be released from prison all together. With no follow up instructions of what I endured mentally there.I hope this story helps a little to understand why there should no longer be a solitary confinement, and solitary confinement is deemed inhumane and cruel and unusual punishment.
My experience was devastating to me; And I vowed to myself, If I ever made it out of those conditions I would never relive that inhumane situation again.
Solitary confinement does exactly what it’s intended to do and it breaks a human down to the lowest level of being a human if you ask me, and I can only speak for myself. If your not use to being in a space like that. it can cause very harsh mental problems for anyone,Because of the way your treated and the way you live being in solitary confinement if your not strong mentally,Its very hard to adapt to, and remain sane.Its like double jeopardy,you’ve been sentenced to do your time and then your placed in a confined area alone with nothing but four walls and a toilet that you don’t even have access to flush. wearing nothing but what the institution provide you with and your fed through a door like an animal. that’s not right and its not humane.You really suffer mentally mainly.and these thoughts of how you were treated stays with you, your entire life after being released from prison period. You learn nothing from being treated like this,you only suffer from the torment and isolation.
If you don’t suffer with a mental problem going in confinement, you suffer with some sort of mental illness when you come out of there, depending on how long you had to endure such harsh treatment and you never ever forget,and you are affected by this for a life time (PTSD) For sure. I can only speak for me.
I know that the cause of my upbringing caused me to look at life differently and I made terrible choices due to the trauma I was subjected too. I’m a much better person today because I excepted the fact I must find away to heal and I reached out to a therapist after going through so many as I told you, I found one who cared and helped me to start my process.
Today I am involved with an organizations to help returning citizens,The organization is called Out For Justice(O.F.J) We help returning citizens who’s just coming out of prison. We also help lobby to pass bills that affect people who have criminal backgrounds in Annapolis Md. We also go inside the walls of prison to tell them of resources they can get involved in to make their transition back home much easier.
I’m also actively involved with a organization called Maryland Justice Project Inc. which also help returning citizens to become more informed of their rights and the political aspect of things they need to be aware of so they won’t return to prison.M.J.P is mainly a resource center for returning citizens, we also go into the jails to prepare them for re-entering society. I volunteer were needed,when I can.”