The first full week of October is known as Mental Health Awareness Week, or Mental Illness Awareness Week, commemorated in order to help break the stigma surrounding mental disorders to encourage those who need help to seek it, and for health care providers to offer education and resources. In tumultuous times, everyday people experience stress and anxiety as it's become a part of life. But often, marginalized communities are criminalized for more serious mental health disorders, jailing them instead of offering resources that may provide stability. Once imprisoned, the conditions of most jaills only exacerbate issues, as inmates are isolated and contact with the outside world and each other is restricted. Prisoners often report the lack of humanity experienced behind bars, and there is no evidence that concludes caging human beings offers any rehabilitative effects or keeps communities safer. The lack of treatment for mental health struggles inside and outside the prison system only repeats a vicious cycle without a healing ending.
In this Clip of the Week, Both Sides of the Bars host Ronald Day talks with guests Victor Pate and Tyrell Muhammed about the excessive use of solitary confinement and what the punishment does for an inmate's mental health. They also examine the lack of guidelines for solitary confinement including children as young as 16, how many people in New York State who are currently in isolation, as well as the UN's declaration of how long someone can be in restrictive confinement before it is officially considered torture. Watch the whole episode now.