State of brutality

Artistic, Shawn



"State of Brutality" Prisoner abuse is still rampant, despite federal mandates and prisoners' rights activism. Horrific abuse is all too common in American jails and prisons today. Degrading treatment of inmates continues to occur across the country with distressing frequency. Prison is awful, and it's meant to be dehumanizing and isolating. People are coming out so damaged, because it's so damaging to be in prison. Due to me being mentally ill (bi-polar) I have been subjected to some physical abuse by guards who would try to treat me less than a man. I have also witnessed fellow inmates suffer broken bones, lacerations, second-degree burn, deep bruises and damaged internal organs. Corrupt guards have even been known to douse inmates with chemical sprays, shock them with stun guns, and strap them to chairs or beds for days. In many instances I can remember these vile acts of brute force lead to inmate deaths which were reclassified, commonly not reported as abuse. Guards also wield violence indirectly, by ignoring physical assaults by fellow prisoners. In private prisons where the number of guards is a lot lower, that is a way at perpetrating violence even when they are not actually doing it. Many inmates hesitate to file grievances in the first place because they're afraid of retaliation from prison staff and guards who have a lot of discretion over their informant. During my years of incarceration, I've seen complaining prisoners lose their access to the inmate library, where they can consult law books and other legal materials that may help them figure out how to exercise the few rights that they do have. Basically the prison system makes it harder for inmates to get into court where they can sue the department of corrections, prisons, or jails for assault or civil rights violations. The majority of guards today have no empathy or compassion and dehumanizing inmates makes them feel better about themselves. In closing, the continuing brutality on inmates in prisons is pretty grim, but there are things we can do to break the cycle of violence. Our main job is to stay alert and vote. We must pay attention to incarceration policies and the DA that is running for election. Most DAs run unopposed, and most are extremely conservative and think that it's their job to put people in prison. But it's not their job. It's their job is to seek and uphold justice. But often they are consumed with greed, which means people end up filling the beds in prisons. And sadly, unless things change dramatically, far to many of those people will go from filling beds to filling coffins.

Author: Artistic, Shawn

Author Location: California

Date: February 16, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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