Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maybe it's good to imprison the mentally ill

My friend C. Rodney Yoder recently brought an article co-written by George Pawlaczyk of the Belleview (Illinois) News-Democrat to my attention. George had been an ally years ago, but Rodney was disappointed because the article, about abuse of prisoners at Tamms Correctional Center, paid far too much lip service to the mental health racket. Rodney had been involuntarily committed for twelve years at Chester Mental Health Center.

Both Tamms and Chester are singular super-max facilities, the only ones in the state. Rodney commented in an email to me that he would much rather have done twelve years at Tamms than at Chester. I asked him to explain why.

NAMI and other such so-called "mental health advocacy" groups make a huge hue and cry over mentally ill people being imprisoned rather than treated. This is a ridiculous red herring, because there is no difference when they're treated against their will, which they almost always are.

The fact is people in "mental hospitals" are prisoners. In my experience, many of them would rather be in honest prisons.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's Yoder's perspective:

For one thing, Tamms is safer than CMHC. There is no possibility there of guards dogfighting inmates who are always kept isolated physically from one another. I endured HUNDREDS of physical assaults at CMHC in twelve years. One could conceivably just behave well and catch up on their reading at Tamms, while getting three meals a day and free laundry and dish washing and dental and medical care, optometric care, etc.

And the whole enterprise would be intrinsically more HONEST at Tamms. One would be there to be punished. The guards there are arguably not under intense pressure to concoct spurious bad behavior reports or to engineer "incidents" to be used as justification for the custody. I was on pins and needles at Chester when my involuntary commitments were about to expire, because I knew the pigs, nurses, and administrators would be wanting "incidents" to put in their latest petition. It was easy for a nurse or pig to give some subhuman animal a cigarette or candy bar or cup of coffee to start a fight with me or assault me (they'd then claim my defense of myself was an act of mental illness-driven agression). The Tamms guards don't have any conceivable interest in fabricating bad behavior claims against inmates. At Chester the pigs had an additional psychological need to cast me and other inamtes as wicked, deranged, perverse, symptomatic, or whatever description rationalized their psychiatric slave trade. At Tamms the inmates aren't EXPECTED to act or "be mentally ill".

At Tamms I would never have had to have some punk criminal tell me I'd be there for all my life while he'd be quickly liberated via psychoquack ass-kissing and shucking and jiving. And I wouldn't have had to watch that same punk criminal return and repeat this scenario multiple times all the while evading punishment for serious crimes.

At a place like Tamms. outside do-gooders and bleeding hearts would have given a shit about my welfare. None of these people ever protested what goes down in CMHC. They laughed at my plight and DENIED THE REALITY of it. At Tamms, no Mark Heyrman type lawyer would work to hurt me and claim he was actually helping me.

Incidentally, I tried while at CMHC to get arrested and removed to the safety of a jail.Years later, when I was SPURIOUSLY jailed, I wrote and stated that I much PREFERRED jail to the CMHC. Lest anyone doubt my sincerity.

1 comment:

  1. I found the entire article to be more than a little fatuous and disingenuous. I don't know where to begin or how to express my ire. However, I love this comment from the State Senator:

    "We're a Christian nation. We don't torture people," Holbrook said.

    Uh, no, we don't torture. We simply use "enhanced interrogation techniques."

    Those "enhanced interrogation techniques" used at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and elsewhere, which left people with such profound psychological damage, were designed by psychiatrists and psychologists. See Physicians for Human Rights in general for a discussion of this and their Torture Papers page in particular.

    So comparing Tamms to Abu Ghraib and then demanding that Tamms inmates get mental health treatment is puzzling. Shrinks are trying to insert themselves at both ends. Although I tend towards agnosticism, the Senator says we live in a Christian nation, so I'll toss out that old Bible quote and ask, "How can a well produce water that is both sweet and bitter?"

    But Rodney's right to point out that these do-gooders would decry what goes on at Hamms and then turn a blind eye about what goes on Elgin. I think the word he's looking for is hypocrisy. And from my experiences with mental health, I too would rather sit in prison than have plastic sunshine pumped up my ass by some lying shrink certain of his rectitude and goodness.