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Deathly Quiet all Night

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"What prison is the outside world, the hole is to prison. If prison is like a dungeon, the hole is like a coffin. Experts say that solitary confinemnt--even for a brief  time--can negatively affect the mind. During just that month in the hole, I was so drowining in the sense of being rejected and devalued that I "saw": shadows of people in the cell with me, little somethings daring across the floor, and water dripping down the wall--none of which was really there.

The hole was loud all day and dealthy quiet all night. Every few minutes, all kinds of guards and other staff were looking into my window and writing on papers taped to my door, like I was a lab animal being studied. To use the shower, which was only a few feet away from my cell, I'd still have to get handcuffed and chained, and then get locked in a cage with a showerhead, so I never used it. I bathed and even shampooed at the sink in my cell. 

Prison by itself is already devastaing. The feeling of being shunned by society--and losing your relationships with your firends and even some family members--is almost too soul-crushing to bear. (Especilally when you're innocent of the charges.) So, when a prison puts you in the hole, it turns you into a lower form of scum than even the rest of the prisoners, even if you hadn't done anything wrong to get there."

 

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
PO Box 8753, Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 540-0440

Contact us:
tom@vcjr.org

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform 
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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