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Trapped: The Story of the Mentally Ill in Prison (Photos)

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, crime, culture, ethics, freedoms, government, health, law, rights, sadness, safety, society, usa, media, interesting, humans )

- 968 days ago -
When photographer Jenn Ackerman spent her first day at the Kentucky State Reformatory for what would become the series "Trapped," she knew she had no choice but to photograph the images in black-and-white.

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Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 12:49 pm
Most people, including the mentally ill, are in prison for non-violent offenses. Most prisons in the US are little more than crime schools and gladiator camps where inmates learn the worst possible lessons and come out far worse than when they went in. The mentally ill in particular are vulnerable to extreme victimization. If Americans really are as decent as they want everyone to think that they are, then why don't they demand more decent, humane conditions for prisoners as well as adequate mental health treatment for those who need it before they wind up in the system.

Angelika R. (145)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 2:52 pm
*** VIDEO "Trapped" ****
Caution-very disturbing!

thx Jl :(

Angelika R. (145)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 2:57 pm
How can these wardens NOT go insane? what sort of people are THEY?

Angelika R. (145)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 3:00 pm
Pl ease also sign this petitionif you have not yet done so ! (not quite on but not off topic either)

Can solitary confinement be torture? Even George Will says yes

Beverly T. (82)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 3:03 pm
You said it exactly right Brian.
Too many for too many wrong reasons end up with destroyed lives by ending up in the prison system.
We have more incarcerated person's than any other nation in the World.

And once in it's out then it's back in....then out then in...then out then in....
Our own little money making racket that has no end in site. Actually, it's guaranteed to GROW !!!!
The perfect ponzi scheme and perfectly LEGAL !!!!!
Why SPEND money rehabilitating people or helping the mentally ill when you can trap them and MAKE MONEY !!!!!
American capitalism at it's finest.
DISGUSTING !!!!!!! (and many more word I can not print here)


Rose Becke (287)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 3:18 pm

JL A. (287)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 3:23 pm
Thanks for posting the related video and petition links Angelika! You are welcome.
You cannot currently send a star to Brian because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to Beverly because you have done so within the last day.

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 3:36 pm

I don't believe one can look at this and not realize that so many areas of society must come together or crash together for this to come about. Maybe Neil deGrassy Tyson is still spinning about in my head, but I do think there was a difference when people were paid a wage commensurate with pricing of goods and services. When both parents are forced to work two jobs to make the most basic payments and buy food, children do not get the attention that is so needed. Some of these problems are not going away because we take society down a different path, but how we address them can change. We have a for-profit prison system, only the weakest of mental health care, and we lock up people for non-violent offenses just to keep the jails full.

How could we have let it all slip away?

JL A. (287)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 4:05 pm
We closed the institutions that were inhumane, promising community services and now put them in porison as the alternative? Well said Kit--available, affordable community care and services would cost us all far less than what we are paying for their absence.You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 7:08 am
noted thanks

Frans Badenhorst (573)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 7:10 am
thanks for posting J...this truly reflects that a picture says a thousand words......

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 7:40 am
You are welcome Carol and Frans. You cannot currently send a star to Frans because you have done so within the last day.

Michael Kirkby (91)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 10:16 am
I became aware of this trend over four years ago. Sadly it is a question of economics as most states claim they just can't find enough funds to allocate for mental health facilities or care. They become a policing problem when they commit petty crime or are considered to be either a danger to the public or themselves. They wind up in jail or prison which has now become the largest mental health problem treatment and retention agency.
This was the situation here in Toronto and Ontario. The mental health facilities were closed under former Premier David Peterson [Liberal] and were never reopened under Premier Mike Harris [Tory]. It has only been in the last five years with the opening of CAMH and their facilities that the mentally challenged now have somewhere to go to get medicine and counselling. CAMH does get some government funding but it is organizations such as the University of Toronto; private corporations; people from all walks of life who enable CAMH to function. Government on its own wasn't doing the job and I for one don't like being part of a nanny state. There's the problem; let's find a practical, positive and proactive solution to it. Prisons aren't the answer but Mr. Harper insists on building more of them. It's a win win for him; the builders; the municipalities; law enforcement et al.

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 11:22 am
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last day.

Shirley B. (5)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 1:17 pm
Thanks for the post JL. I sent stars to all for you couldn't send.

Angelika, I signed your petition.

Angelika R. (145)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 1:33 pm
ALL SHOULD also WATCH THE VIDEO and HEAR THE SOUND ! The pics are brilliant from a technical viewpoint, but they alone do not tell as much as the video does! Link above, also on the website.

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 1:41 pm
You are welcome Shirley and thank you for sending stars!
Thanks for emphasizing the video and petition both of you!

Birgit W. (155)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 3:22 pm

marie T. (164)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 3:49 pm
Thanks for the post

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 4:07 pm
You are welcome Marie

Gloria H. (88)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 5:39 pm
dealing with a delusional and potentially violent mentally ill person is like being with a drunk hell bent on driving their car. Sure you can try to "talk some sense "into them, good luck.
Sometimes you gotta take away the keys, car, and worse come to worse...lock em up.
Maybe it's not pc, but I feel much safer knowing they are not standing out in front of my house.

Mitchell D. (131)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 6:46 pm
It is sad that this can happen top people.
It is sad that Saint Reagan led the way to destroy one of the best Mental Health programs in the country, when he was governor of Calif., and then fed the already wealthy, while still taking more from the rest of us.
The money that the Community Mental Health Act, or law, was to provide for out-patient treatment, after the de-institutionalization process of the '70's and '80's never came through, and we are still dealing with the repercussions today.
And so many Repugs continue to deify this clown.

DaleLovesOttawa O. (198)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 8:54 pm
Brian M certainly makes a good point. Certainly cutting back on services for the mentally ill doesn't help and there should be special facilities to assist them. Simply putting many in prison and not getting at their underlying problem sets up a pattern of failure and re-institutionalization if they are put back in prison yet again as their previous conditions have not been treated. Many can't afford to pay medical bills either to look after the illness. Something is wrong here. If they are to be jailed then put them into places where the mental illness is actually treated by people specifically trained to do so. Prisons for the most part are not in the business of dealing with the mentally ill, they don't have the trained professionals required to do this full time. Many people who are mentally ill will not commit crimes if their illness is being treated. However, one also has to say that even those who are not mentally ill go to prison and some are released only to commit crime yet again.

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 9:02 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Dale because you have done so within the last day.

Shawna S. (45)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 9:10 pm
Thanks JL. The photography was exceptional.

Twyla Sparks (208)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 9:10 pm
Thanks for Posting this, it has sure opened my eyes WIDE!!

JL A. (287)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 9:17 pm
You are welcome Shawna and Twyla.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 10:29 pm
where is respect ? Cheers

Sherri SicktilNovtwenthfour (128)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 1:41 am
I wish I wasn't old enough to remember so clearly when Governor and then President Ronald Reagan closed all the mental hospitals in California. Then I recall vividly when Dick Cheney closed military bases in California under Bush senior. The fact is the mentally ill are warehoused in prisons and barely get treatment at all. We need to make sure prison contracts are not granted to private contractors or the mentally ill won't have a chance of treatment because the added cost will reduce contractors profit margin. Thanks JL

Sherri SicktilNovtwenthfour (128)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 1:44 am
BTW you won't see the GOP cut military spending now. They would rather cut social and animal causes for the needy and keep a 1.5 Trillion dollar F35 jet fighter that is known to be poorly designed.

Robert O. (12)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 8:42 am
Mentally ill or not they are still human beings that deserve to be treated as human beings and not as cattle. Cutting services for them is no help either and only creates more complications. Sadly most states cannot afford to keep those services running efficiently or running at all, but I can't help but think of the bureaucratic waste and selfish political agendas that contribute to states budgetary and fiscal woes, thus contributing to societal problems. Community programs to more good than they cost and are necessary for many people to survive. Funny, the rich can afford Cadillac health benefits and to squander money on ridiculous things (thanks in part to tax breaks paid for by we the people), but those that need help aren't able to receive it. Thanks JL.

Tammy B. (9)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 9:06 am
thanks for sharing

JL A. (287)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 9:29 am
You are welcome Robert and Tammy.
You cannot currently send a star to Sherri because you have done so within the last day.

Kerrie G. (135)
Friday April 5, 2013, 5:01 am
Noted, thanks.

JL A. (287)
Friday April 5, 2013, 11:39 am
You are welcome Kerrie.

Sergio Padilla (63)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 9:45 am
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