Mentally Ill Prisoners: the Real Dilemma

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[Mental Health] [Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Greene] [Pennsylvania]
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Mentally Ill Prisoners: the Real Dilemma

It has come to my attention that inmates with serious mental illnesses (SMI) are being abused on a daily basis here at this institution.

The problem lies in what are termed Psychiatric Observation Cell (POC) Overflow here in Restricted Housing Unit (RHU – Solitary Confinement). The POC is basically suicide watch. Per policy, these POC are to be located inside the medical unit, therefore be monitored closely by medical staff and properly trained officers; a hospital-like environment. However, more often than not, the POC in medical is full or has unserviceable cells for whatever reason. Then the first seven cells on FC block are used to house prisoners in need of POC.

The staff are persistent in claiming that the POC overflow cells are the same as POC in medical. Nothing could be further from the truth. These prisoners are treated no differently than prisoners in solitary confinement are treated. Meals are often denied these humyns, and showers are non-existent. Additionally, these prisoners are often the target of prisoners in the other regular cells that house solitary confinement/disciplinary custody, and are verbally abused. If they were housed in POC at medical, they would receive their showers and steps would be taken to ensure they get all their meals and then some.

These inmates are often psychotic and/or suffering from intellectual disabilities. There is a tendency to wreck havoc on prisoners on FC for disciplinary custody (non-POC) being disruptive and a major cause of sleep deprivation. I am firm in my belief that this is done intentionally by the fascists as a means of control. Who can resist when sleep is non-existent? I know that something needs to be done! I thank MIM(Prisons) for giving me an outlet for my frustration at things going on around me. Together we will make change happen!

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