originally posted by: AutomateThis1
The American prison system is not that bad.
It is if you suffer from a mental illness.
I have schizophrenia and I was taken to jail instead of a mental health facility to get my medications adjusted. While I was there, still lucid and
in the throes of an episode, I was confined to a rubber cell, 8x8 with no blanket (the room was freezing) and nothing in there except a drain on the
floor to relieve myself.
The only human interaction was when the guard would walk by, lift the paper covering the window so I couldn't look out, and check on me. There was a
surviellance camera behind a grate on the ceiling above the stoop I slept on keeping an eye on me.
When they first put me in the room, they opened the slot in the door reserved for meals and handed me a pill and forcefully told me to take it. Me,
being delusional but not paranoid, I thought it was my regular medication. It was not. Within 15 minutes I was experiencing and overload of sensory
information and had an epiletic fit trying to block it out.
It was a very traumatizing experience and the guards didn't seem to care.
I spent two months in that room devoid of sensory information and towards the end of my time there I was hallucinating and praying to a slice of
american cheese I had slapped on the wall after lunch. I have no idea if the cameras picked that up or not. It was a very bizzare time for me.
On the bright side, when the meal was next delivered I mentioned to the guard that my eyes were hurting due to the low levels of florescent lights
overhead and they transferred me to a nicer holding cell, padded, but just the same as the previous one with a stoop and a drain on the floor. I
stayed there for two weeks.
The guards were very rude, mocking me in my altered state of elective mutism and I just let them laugh at me and crack cruel jokes about my person.
The only officer that was nice to me was the gentleman who transfered me to the State Hospital.
I wept tears of joy to be able to see the sky again. My paranoia was so heightened inside, in that room, that I went through grueling hours convinced
I would never see the outside of that room again.
I was eventually transferred to a proper facility, my meds were adjust and I was held for observation, but when I was released it has taken me over
ten years to shake off being back in that room, going through the mental gymnastics I had been through when in that room without proper medications.
I suffer PSTD to this day and for several years was terrified of Police because I was sure that they would just walk up and find a reason to take me
back into that kind of room. I've since overcome that fear but a Prison is not good for anyone who is mentally ill, nonviolent, and just going
through a delusional episode in the slightest.
But in your defense, from what I've heard, long term prison sentences aren't that bad, with beds and blankets and TV, reading materials and a bit more
"creature comforts" than your average County Jail.
Still, (for me at least) my experience has definitely reaffirmed that we need more Social Workers dealing with Police and mental cases. Everything
would have been much better if they had allowed me to speak with a mental heath professional instead of being subjected to a rather caustic system
where people like me get lost in the cracks sometimes.
edit on 8/13/20 by GENERAL EYES because: spelling, formatting