Advocates are Now Pushing for Public Access and Overview of Prison Conditions
We hear all the time that politicians complain about the death penalty, how we should enforce it rather than pay for their 3 hot meals and a free room every day. The truth of the matter is it is much worse than that and the media is pushing to get the real stories behind it all.
Corruption, starvation, and just pure fear are not just on the cop drama TV shows or in the movies, it’s the reality of prisons today. The worst part is the public doesn’t really know anything about it.
Starting in 1996, the media was banned from entering prisons and since then many have been put under the assumption of that the prison system is like. We’ve heard that they’re over crowded but what does that even mean?
A typical day in the prison life starts with breakfast, “to two pieces of bread stuck in batter, burned and thrown on your plate. Inmates received a small carton of milk and on the way out, a bag lunch for those headed to work. The sacks included a small tube of peanut butter, maybe a packet of jelly and a packet of what inmates called bug juice,” Jimmy Thompson, a man who spent 22 years behind bars, stated.
Large dorm rooms designed to fit 164, are filled up to 420 inmates and include around 12 toilets and no toilet paper. Corrupt prison guards are scattered throughout the facility. On June 8th, Charmal Robinson, mother of Christopher Robinson, filed suit against New York when her son was murdered in prison by inmates who were acting as enforcers for the prison guards. The city agreed to award Ms. Robinson $2 million after her son’s death.
Advocates are now pushing for access to inmates and the ability to expose to the public the daily life of a prisoner.
“It’s very crucial that media access be fought for and achieved, to put it before the consciousness of the community and then secondly to force a correction of it,” Dr. Ava Muhammad, attorney and national counsel for the Nation of Islam said. “There is a constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. That’s cruel and unusual punishment, some of the deprivations that take place. So many men are in solitary confinement for no clear reason and the list just goes on.”
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