The Atlantic | 12.03.2018

The Tragedy of Mental Illness in American Prisons

On the morning of April 13, 2015, a guard at Sullivan Correctional Facility, a New York State maximum-security prison nestled deep in the woods of the western Catskills, ordered a prisoner named Karl Taylor to clean his cell. By all accounts, the cell, in the prison’s E North housing block—a special unit for inmates classified as mentally ill—was a rancid mess, strewn with papers and clothes, and soaked with shampoo and other liquids.Read More

Staten Island Advance | 08.20.2018

Advocates campaign against solitary confinement in Eltingville with makeshift cell

Staten Islanders had the opportunity Thursday night to briefly experience one of the hardest parts of our nation’s penal system. A group of advocates brought a makeshift solitary cell to the South Shore YMCA in Eltingville to show people the level of isolation inmates can face. The model was constructed by Doug Van Zandt, of Albany, after his son Benjamin hanged himself in a cell just like the 6-foot-by-9-foot model.Read More

Adirondack Daily Enterprise | 08.18.2018

U.S. imprisons too many people

I am responding to a recent editorial in the Enterprise along with an opinion piece about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent comments about the American penal system. Although her remarks appear controversial to many, they have unfortunately detracted from a major and very real issue with the U.S. justice and penal system.Read More

New York Daily News | 08.17.2018

Release prisoners from solitary: This is psychological torture any way you put it

One candidate for New York governor, Cynthia Nixon, wants to abolish solitary confinement in our prisons. To New Yorkers like me who have survived this torture, that means she has done her homework. My first experience with solitary confinement was a 60-day sentence in what’s known as “Keeplock” at Coxsackie prison.Read More

Staten Island Live | 08.14.2018

Experience solitary confinement at prison reform event

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in solitary confinement? The New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) is hosting an exhibition on injustice in the prison system on Thursday at the South Shore YMCA in Eltingville. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m., and will have a panel presentation, discussion and a replica of a solitary confinement cell.Read More

Cure Today | 08.03.2018

Just Treatment: Exploring Cancer Care for Prisoners

Prisoners are among the only U.S. citizens with a constitutional right to health care. That irony will anger some and perplex others, but prisoners are by definition wards of the state. When we take someone’s liberty, we also take responsibility for their food and shelter, their security and health. But behind bars, perhaps even more than in America at large, health care is inconsistent in its availability and quality.Read More

Esquire | 06.06.2018

This Place Is Crazy: Mental Illness Treatment in Prison

John J. Lennon, a contributing writer at The Marshall Project, has written for Vice, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He is currently in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. He will be eligible for parole in 2029.  Joe Cardo was out hunting for half-smoked cigarettes.Read More

The Nation Institute | 05.14.2018

Empty Cribs in Prison Nurseries

When Cassidy Green learned that she was pregnant, she and her husband didn’t discuss cribs, co-sleeping, or even diapers. Instead, they worried about more basic and immediate challenges, like whether Green would be able to spend more than a few days with her baby. Green was in prison, 9 years into a 15-year prison sentence at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York’s maximum-security women’s prison.Read More

VICE | 04.11.2018

Cameras Actually Tamed Attica, the Brutal Prison I Used to Call Home

This article was published in collaboration with the Marshall Project. It was January 2006, and Josef Kirk Fischl was tucked away behind a 30-foot-high gray wall in C Block, one of Attica Correctional Facility’s toughest cellblocks. He had already served more than 16 years on a 25-to-life bid for a murder he committed when he was 19.Read More

Common Dreams | 04.02.2018

N.C. Prisons End Shackling of Women During Childbirth, A ‘Barbaric’ Practice 32 Other States Still Allow

“People’s human rights do not end when they enter the walls of a prison.” Ending a practice described by medical experts as “barbaric,” the director of North Carolina’s state prisons said Wednesday that women who give birth while they are incarcerated will no longer be restrained or shackled during labor. Women’s rights advocates applauded the decision, but expressed anger and dismay that North Carolina is now one of just 18 states that specifically bars prison employees from shackling female inmates during childbirth.Read More