I have changed the header image on my blog. I wanted to find an image of solitary confinement. As prisoners we refer to it as the Hole or the Digger. I have written about it but reference to it does little to provide a realistic impression.
I couldn’t find an exact replica of the confines I called home off and on for months but this one comes close.
The Hole I resided in was smaller. The Hole I resided in had no raised bed; only a mattress on the floor. I was made to drag my mattress from my cell each morning and left with only a blanket. At night I was permitted to drag it back in. The Hole in the photo has a stool and raised desk area; these too I was without. The mirror on the wall was also missing. The stainless steel toilet sink combination is identical. When I was permitted to shave and shower I was taken to the medical range. The “window” you see in the photo was also absent which though minor may have given the impression I was not alone. For “security” reasons I lived under a 24 hour light. My Hole was cleaner when I wasn’t writing on its walls but it too had no wallpaper border.
Many forensic clients spend time in these confines. I am familiar with one who spent a year in isolation but was allowed his mattress and a checker board. Obviously he was spoiled.
I share this image not for your sympathy but in the hope it will elicit outrage. The Hole is Corrections Canada’s response to severe mental illness.
Bill C-54 will find more individuals suffering from severe mental illness abandoned to these confines. Please have the courage to stand by my side. It is our only hope in leaving the Hole empty as it should be.
This is Canada; this is shameful. We yelp about stigma while our feet are soaked with the shame of abuse. I can forgive and forget someone who calls me “crazy” but those who torture the mentally ill will never pass from my mind.
Wow. This is disturbing that anyone would be subjected to such horrible conditions.
It is severe punishment even for the sane but to subject someone with delusions, voices and hallucinations to the same only seems cruel. There is not much opposition to it because most people don’t realize it is taking place and the individuals subjected to it don’t have much of a voice. There are also those who believe in retribution rather than rehabilitation. I also believe that it is disturbing enough that people rationalize what seems unimaginable. If you end up there it must be your own fault. To be a resident here seems to disqualify you of any humanness.
Wow. Looks like you’re the voice for the unseen victims…keep it up!
It seems as though I am the unheard voice.
Keep talking… You never know who will hear at just the right time. 🙂
I am stunned. Truly stunned.
When I found that photo it brought tears to my eyes. It made me confront the inhumanity I was exposed to. However, it is a good reminder of why I need to write about it. Take Care, Brett.
It is unbelievable that people are trapped in such horrible conditions. No one should be subjected to such treatment, no matter who they are. It is inhumane and should be completely illegal and unacceptable. Brett, I can’t imagine what you went through, but good for you for spreading awareness. Society needs to be aware of what actually goes on behind closed doors, and I sincerely hope that society will change for the better.