Guest MINDSETTER™ Laufton Longo: Solitary Confinement is Torture
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Eventually they let you out. You leave the room, you leave the prison. You are expected to do all of the things people your age are doing. Get an apartment, find a job, join your community. Do it all without talking about the room, do it all without thinking about the room. No special allowances or help are given. You are on your own. How do you explain to them that while other kids were learning how to use smart phones or to drive you were staring at a wall? How do you explain to them that you can't work a register because seeing that many people in a room makes you hyperventilate?
To expect someone to go through this and come out fine is beyond absurd.
The stories above are not hypotheticals. They all come from testimony shared by prisoners who served time right here in our state. The Young Dems Rhode Island support the current legislation to ban solitary confinement for those under 21 for that exact reason. What happens after someone is released? What comes next? In an economy that is perhaps hardest on our youngest residents we should be attempting to break down barriers to success not strengthening them. The psychological and physical damage that results from solitary confinement is clear and well documented. Its effect is felt for the rest of a life. It’s why the UN has labelled solitary confinement that lasts for more than fifteen days as torture. It’s why President Obama has come out against it. It’s why those who serve time in solitary confinement have much higher recidivism rates. To subject anyone to this is cruel, to do it to someone just starting out in life, regardless of their mistake, is inhumane. We should do everything we can to ensure that young offenders are rehabilitated not ensure they relapse. We need them to leave prison and help build the future economy of this state. We gain nothing from manufacturing criminals. When they leave prison we should give them the best chance to find success. For their sake and for ours.
YDRI urges the Senate and House to pass the bills banning solitary confinement and commends Rep. Regunberg and Sen. Metts for their work on this issue.
Laufton Longo is a resident of Providence and the Vice President of YDRI
Related Slideshow: Prison Rape in RI
Below are figures on the number of reported rapes in Rhode Island’s state prison system over the past three years. Data is broken down by facility and year. Each slide lists the formal facility name when available, the current population, the total number of rape cases that were reported and investigated in that facility, and the breakdown of how many of those cases were substantiated and how many were not confirmed. Facilities are listed in order of year, starting with the oldest. The last slide lists the total number of cases across all years for all facilities. Data were provided by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections in response to a public records request.
Women’s Prison in 2012
Rape Cases Investigated: NA*
# Unconfirmed: NA*
# Confirmed: 1
Note: There are three buildings that house female prisoners. Minimum security and work-release inmates are in the Bernadette Building. The new Gloria McDonald facility is for female offenders awaiting trial and for those in medium security. The facilities have a current combined inmate population of 154. Rhode Island Department of Corrections data did not specify in which facility the confirmed rape case occurred.
*Data on total cases and number unconfirmed was not available for each facility for 2012.
Women's Prison in 2013
Rape Cases Investigated: 1
# Unconfirmed: 1
# Confirmed: 0
Note: There are three buildings that house female prisoners. Minimum security and work-release inmates are in the Bernadette Building. The new Gloria McDonald facility is for female offenders awaiting trial and for those in medium security. The facilities have a current combined inmate population of 154. Rhode Island Department of Corrections data did not specify in which facility the alleged rape case occurred.
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Tom Kenney: Fire Pare
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Stu Mundy: Teamsters for Trump? I Don’t Think So!
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Berwick: Tax Reform in Rhode Island
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Archambault: Surprise Billing Can be Financially Disastrous to Patients
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Morse: 1 Great Thing to do This Weekend - Attend Easter Vigil Mass
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Fine: What Does Drug and Alcohol Use Cost Rhode Island?
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Fine: How Many Drugs & How Much Alcohol Do Rhode Islanders Use?
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Santos: RhodeWorks RI, a Constitutional Pandora’s Box
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Conley: Don’t Tamper With Our Treasure - History is Not for Hacks!
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Tom Kenney: Commissioner Pare Should be Fired
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Ajello: Cell phone Location Data Merits Protection
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan: Will We Meet on Common Ground?
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Mendelsohn: Assistant Principals-The Versatile School Leaders
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Tom Kenney: Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Tell Different Stories
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Larry Girouard: RI Business Climate Too Cold for Failed Tagline
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Santos: RI Commerce Honcho Stefan Pryor’s Political Baggage
- Guest MINDSETTERS™ Sen. Goldin & Rep. Slater: Making Sure We All Make It in RI
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Mitchell: RI’s Marketing Program, or “I’ve Bitten My Tongue for the Last Time”
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Shorr: The Two Words That Make or Break a Brand
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Rep. Carson: Mismanagement of Tourism Campaign Has Jarred RI
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Harry Adler: Dear Governor Raimondo
- Guest MINDSETTERS™ Craffey, Halloran, Hennessy: Millennial’s & Donald Trump
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Mellor: Invest in Our Own - Why Does It Appear to Be So Hard?
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Santos: The Teppco “Tax-Jack” and 10 Waterfront Acres
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Paul Valletta: Everyone Loves a Dead Firefighter