Out of the millions of inmates

Mendoza, Patrick



NO TITLE May 04th, 2017 Out of the millions of inmates that are in and out of prisons and county jails around this country, I from a first hand experience viewpoint will boldly proclaim that more than 90% of this population is a victim of mental illness. I was 10 1/2 years old the first time I was arrested and placed in a juvenile detention center. Unlike most of the other stories you hear, I was raised in a home with a mother and step father, neither of them abused drugs or alcohol. Everything wasn't broken, yet everything was far from put together. At the time of this writing, the writer is 26 1/2 years old, 7 years into a 27 year sentence, since the first time I was Locked up till today I've spend roughly 3 years outside of an institution. I believe my opinion of prison populations trumps any doctor who has studied inmates and prison populations from the outside looking in, yet I do not possess a G.E.D. I've been in solitary confinement going on 2 1/2 years, with 1 1/2 years till I am to be reviewed for reclassification to a lower custody. I must point out that before coming to max custody I did not believe in mental illness, I believed it was a tactic that career criminals used in getting away with crime or to get a more lenient sentence. Today, I aim housed in a section of prison where they house a mixture of seriously mental ill inmates with other inmates like myself that cannot house with just anybody, so we all house in single man cell. What is baffling is that if an inmate does not proclaim to be suffering from a mental disorder he will not be accommodated with the treatment needed. In the pod I am in there is a man who laughs all day and all night, literally, he will laugh for five or six days straight, then he will explode, and for one whole day he will have an argument with someone he refers to as "nigger" or "cuz", he has come out of his cell on these days and on the way to the shower he will come to my house and scream and yell at me saying, "fuck you stupid nigger", he does this without provocation, in front of the corrections officer and still he has not been placed on serious mental ill status. I've witnessed other inmates splash him with boiled oil, because they're tired of dealing with him, the officers don't even initiate the emergency call to get him medial help because they too are tired of dealing with him. There are cases going on like this everyday all around the country, what I want everyone to become conscious of, is the percentage of mentally ill inmates that the media proclaims are incarcerated in this country, is taken from a poll that gets its information from a data base that shows the number of inmates who are conscious to ask for help, there are hundreds if not thousands that do not get counted, that are sent to solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons to laugh at the walls and argue with themselves till the day of there release. We as a society must impugn the fallible practices of our prison system, we must figure out a way to fix these broken men before we release them to roam freely through the streets. I believe it is imperative that we become conscious of the fact that a lot of mental health teams of staff that work in these solitary confinement units are understaffed five or six to a team, to cover eight hundred inmates, I am far from the brightest man in the world, but what I can conclude after viewing this situation from an eclectic scope is this, even though D.O.C. is not aware of all the undocumented mental ill inmates, they are 100% responsible for what ever takes place with these inmates after their release, cause they should've known! One last thing, the inmate I spoke of earlier, will be released in 1 1/2 years!

Author: Mendoza, Patrick

Author Location: Arizona

Date: May 4, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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