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Voices from Solitary: Disciplined Into Madness and Death

The following essay comes from Sara Rodrigues, a prisoner at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison for women in Westchester, New York. When Sara was sent to prison at the age of 16, she found her friend D there as well. Both Sara and D had life-long struggles with mental health, and while in prison, spent long periods of time in solitary confinement (both Keeplock, which is lockdown in one’s own cell, and SHU, which is the Special Housing Unit).

Sara writes about the difficulty D faced when she was finally released and put on parole, with no transitional assistance to move from prison to the free world. She ultimately ended up back in prison and committed suicide, shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. Sara Rodrigues wrote this piece in the hope of spreading awareness of her situation and the experience of many people around her. She writes, “Too many inmates in New York State under the age of 25 are killing themselves in prisons because they are literally being thrown away like garbage by the court systems.” (Thanks to Jennifer Parish of the Urban Justice Center for forwarding this essay to Solitary Watch.) –Rachel M. Cohen

Let’s be honest… this bill is nothing more than a political stunt that targets the hardworking, dedicated men and women of the civil service, who have already had their salaries frozen for more than two years. Everyone knows they are an easy target. But we are kidding ourselves if we think we can balance the budget on the backs of federal employees. It’s a drop in the bucket towards deficit reduction and a hollow gesture absent meaningful mandatory spending reforms. Worse, this is just busywork as our economy faces the sequestration meat ax.
Rep. Frank Wolf, REPUBLICAN

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/lone-wolf-fights-his-partys-effort-to-extend-freeze-on-pay-of-federal-workers/2013/02/14/10e641fa-76d1-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html
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