Preventing the Public From Looking In

When we discover an article with a different perspective on the life of inmates, we from PRISON CALL DEALS feel obliged to share it with our readers, because it is very important to have a realistic view on this subject. As you already know, the state Department of Corrections bars inmates from being interviewed by reporters, and the situation is the same with private prisons.


But, we have stumbled upon a great article at The Clarion Ledger website, explaining different aspects of life behind bars that you don’t hear much about. Among other things, Alex Friedmann, managing editor of the Prison Legal News, a project of the Human Rights Defense Center, explained that prison walls aren’t there just for preventing inmates from getting out. As he said, they also keep the public from looking in. One reason why our prison system is chronically overcrowded, dysfunctional and abusive is because people rarely get to see and understand what prisons are really like.


Photographs from inside Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, show how inmates have torn reinforcing steel from the walls, leaving holes big enough to reach through. Issa Arnita, director of communications for this private prison company, said when they took over in summer 2013, they found structural problems, hiring a company to reinforce walls inside cells.


Another picture from inside Wilkinson shows a handmade sword. Inmates told The Clarion-Ledger there are plenty more like that throughout the prison. Arnita said that after taking over the facility, MTC found makeshift weapons and has taken steps since to block contraband, including instituting unannounced shakedowns, body scanners at front entrances, a K-9 team and 30-foot netting to prevent people from throwing contraband over the security fences.


16.10.2014, Clarion Ledger

A sword from inside Wilkinson County Correctional Center is compared in size to a spoon in this cellphone photo taken by an inmate. (Photo: Special to The Clarion-Ledger)


As stated in the article named “Photos from prisoners reveal what public never sees”, there is a June 18, 2013, photograph of a corrections officer sleeping outside what inmates say was a “suicide watch” cell. Inmates have also distributed pictures of mold on Wilkinson prison walls, smoke-filled pods and photographs of inmates who have been beaten or killed.


One inmate’s photograph captured a meal at Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, where mold can be seen on a hamburger bun. In Alabama, an inmate posted 60 videos last year to document “inhumane” conditions, showing roaches climbing the walls in a break area and rodents killed in traps outside the showers.


As Arnita Friedmann said, photos taken in prison is worth a 1,000 words about the realities of life behind bars, and we from PRISON CALL DEALS couldn’t agree more!


Despite some arguments from the public, inmates do deserve humane treatment. Now that we have established that, what is the next step in preventing these situations?


What is your opinion on this subject? You can join the conversation – send us Your Voice. And if you want to read more stories related to prison issues, check out our Buzz section.

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Posted by on October 22, 2014

Category: Analysis, Inmate family issues, Inmate rehabilitation and reentry, Inmate rights, Inmate support

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