Incarceration Mental Health

Incarceration Mental Health Doubled

To begin, being in an already stressful environment where tensions from day to day could be quite high. Amongst the hundred distinctive personalities one must encounter daily can be overwhelming. Then Covid arrived and just made matters worse. The anxiety, fear, and depression hovered over many of us. Just that thought of being helpless and not knowing what tomorrow may bring forth weighed down on us. As if we weren’t already each lugging our own stress around. The strength, support, and encouragement all came to a halt as the world was coming to its own. We were deprived from going to classes, jobs, courts, visits, and yard. No movement, no progress, no goals met, just disappointment. It was difficult to cope, manage, and the lack of motivation diminished. Told to wear a mask, locked in a box, and quarantined with a cellmate, for twenty – three hours & forty minutes no matter if you all don’t get along. Anything can become a trigger and a dangerous situation.

It’s all entertainment for the staff. It’s all for shits and giggles as they say. That lack of empathy, trust, and professionalism is quite evident. They’ve been indifferent towards the covid pandemic. Their actions speak aloud. No mask wearing, no cleaning supplies in order to disinfect anything. Sarcastic remarks “who would care if you all were infected?”, or “We can use the time off”. Wait! Who are they to play God, right? We still have a purpose to reach and we have families as well. There’s such a stigma toward us. As if there’s no hope for us. So, if one was to grievance a matter it’s given to a counselor who is an ex guard in which they share amongst each other and vengeance is taken back on you by the guards. How’s that just? They monopolize the position here. Their bias towards us is carried over to a new position and they train new staff members in their ignorant ways. Can we say a systemic problem? I surely say so! Mental health staff abandons you unless you’re a SMI (severe mental illness) patient. No one listens, there’s no one to turn to and in order to be heard or get something done, we have to stir up a disturbance. It’s a shame. Today, we’re still on quarantine lockdown.

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

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