Solitary confinement & the effects

Velthuysen, Christopher John



Solitary Confinement & The Effects 5-1-18 I am a solitary confinement prisoner who has been devastated both mentally & physically during my phase of (2) years confinement. I've been brutally beaten-down with hunger & hunger pains due to "the system" (contracting) its "(food service)" to private corporations like "Aramark", and now "Trinity Food Corporation". It's been (6) years of malnutrition; hunger; and problems with high-blood pressure, due to the prison system wanting more money. There have been a lot of solitary confinement reform, but for the (federal prison system), and none for (state prison systems) here in Michigan! I've written my state's senators and my state's representatives, Gary Peters (Democrat Senator), Laura Cox (Republican, Representative-19th District), and Vanessa Guerra (Democrat, Representative-95th District); thanks for your support and response letters of encouragement, but I didn't hear from anyone else. This is sad; as I thought prison was for punishment & rehabilitation; not just "(throw me)" in a prison cell, (12x9 ft), leave me in it, then deprive my of my health and mental stability! Being that there are over (7) prisons in Michigan who house between 300 and 650 prisoners in solitary; (8%) who are like me—[mental health problems and health care needs]; who don't receive the care they need; should the (288+) prisoners suffer, while the individuals in charge receive funding & don't spend the funds on any type of rehabilitation? The answer is no!!! I have been incarcerated since 1987; as I am a juvenile lifer—2nd degree murder; who is just (5) months past his 30th year, and the prison system sure has changed in my time inside these walls! When I first (came into) the system—received my prison #; I never expected prison to be that easy to do good time; and be able to be rehabilitated; if you so desire to do so. Maybe I'm glad I took the "(road less traveled)" and did get my head right, and wanted rehabilitation early on, and I'm glad I received my certificates in: small engine repair, gardening, computers, food tech & baking; while working in a upholstery factory from: 7:00 AM-4:00 PM, and regularly going to the "Law Library". Nowadays; I've been lucky to have a legal clerk job—$63.00 per month, unit laundry job—$81.00 per month, but compared to the old jobs I used to have, the disparity is criminal! Ever since the early 2000s, jobs' pay has stayed the same or moved up $.10 to $.25 per day. I used to get a monthly account statement of: $5,800 per month in the factory (pre-1992); and a $800.00 bonus for a (good work) month! Over (30+) years; I used to pay for attorneys, give to charities, and send out some to family & friends as gifts. Just imagine earning and living on $18.00 per month, or $216.00 per year; while you have to purchase everything—stamps are: (.53); soaps are: (.56 to $3.83); deodorants are: ($3.70); shampoos are: ($2.50), and toothpastes are: $2.80; and you need all of these every month; you're therefore living month-to-month; with ("no savings") possible! With myself, my family is older now, have health bills, or health concerns, so I'm on my own financially since (2008)! My concern is what happens when I'm paroled in 2019 or 2024; I will have no education (besides G.E.D. & some post-G.E.D. classes); (no savings); (no family support); (no house or transportation); (no food or clothes); what am I doing?; or what will I do? I will have (no job); have (no real job experience; so this is why recidivisms are so high in Michigan! I have a 4-year parole to do: so hopefully I can get some job experience, and a degree at a community college here in Michigan, where my degree may lead me to a good job! I have a 20 year, 10 year, and 5 year goals still, but they are very different from when I was in my 30s or 20s! So in conclusion, Michigan needs to go back to providing our food, (they are in June 2018), find our ways to rehabilitate us while in (solitary confinement)—[do programs "(approved)" over the television]; (give us another hour of yard time per day)—[we receive one per day-(5) days a week]; (better health care), (better mental health care), and higher hourly wages, so we don't feel like slaves!

Author: Velthuysen, Christopher John

Author Location: Michigan

Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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