Are Child Abusers Sexually Attracted to Submissiveness? Assessment of Sex-Related Cognition With the Implicit Association Test.

Sex Abuse. 2014 Jul 29. pii: 1079063214544330. [Epub ahead of print]

Are Child Abusers Sexually Attracted to Submissiveness? Assessment of Sex-Related Cognition With the Implicit Association Test.

Author information

  • 1Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Forensic Psychiatric Center de Kijvelanden, Poortugaal, The Netherlands Thijs.Kanters@kijvelanden.nl.
  • 2Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • 3Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
  • 4Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Forensic Psychiatric Center de Kijvelanden, Poortugaal, The Netherlands.
  • 5Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
  • 6Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Child sexual abuse is associated with social anxiety, low self-esteem, and intimacy deficits. This, in combination with the core belief of a dangerous world, might suggest that child abusers are sexually attracted to submissiveness. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) was used to examine this hypothesis. Results indicated that child abusers have a stronger sexual preference for submissiveness than rapists, although there were no differences between child abusers and non-sexual offenders. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that submissive-sexy associations have incremental value over child-sex associations in differentiating child abusers from other offenders. The predictive value of both implicit associations was explored by correlating IAT scores with measures for recidivism risk, aggression, and interpersonal anxiety. Child abusers with stronger child-sex associations reported higher levels of interpersonal anxiety and hostility. More research on implicit cognition in sex offenders is required for a better understanding of what these and similar implicit measures are exactly measuring and what role implicit cognition may play in sexual offending.

© The Author(s) 2014.

KEYWORDS:

Implicit Association Test (IAT); child abusers; sexual interest; submissive

PMID:
25079778
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25079778

http://wp.me/p2v6Xo-5cs please, read this link, too

ACTION PROTESTS AROUND THE WORLD RESPOND TO ASSAULT ON PALESTINE

world-gaza-genocide-pay-attentionphotocredit:palestinerose

Take action: Protests around the world respond to assault on Palestine

Protests are being organized in cities around the world to respond to the ongoing assault on Palestine and the Palestinian people, including the murders of Palestinians (including 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, murdered brutally by Israeli settlers), the bombing of Gaza and the killing of over 1800 Palestinians by occupation forces, the mass arrests of over 1900, and the raids, attacks, tear-gassing, invasions and closure that Palestinians are being subjected to. If a rally you know of is not listed, please use this form or email samidoun@samidoun.ca to have it posted!

List your protest here

Upcoming protests (prior protests moved below upcoming events):

Amiens, France
Saturday, August 9
3:00 PM
Gare d’Amiens

Bordeaux, France
Saturday, August 9
3:00 PM
La Victoire
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1441012499519868/

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Saturday, August 9
12:00 PM
Guggenheim

http://samidoun.ca/2014/07/take-action-protests-around-the-world-respond-to-assault-on-palestine/

How Can We Destroy Love?

How Can We Destroy Love?.

How Can We Destroy Love?

By Robert J. Burrowes

August 07, 2014 “ICH” –  Love is a serious problem in our world. There is too much of it. So I want to explain how we can destroy it systematically. If we can destroy love completely, we can destroy life on Earth.

But first, what is love?

In essence, love is a feeling. It is not something you experience as a thought, although a thought might arise from the feeling. Love precipitates a certain type of behavior. This might include showing someone that we care about them deeply. Often, it means taking action that demonstrates our love. Perhaps even that we are willing to make concessions or sacrifices for their benefit. Depending on the context, love might be accompanied by some companion feelings such as compassion, empathy and sympathy.

The problem with love is that it might incline us to act with genuine concern for others. In fact, we might act as if someone else or others in general are as important as are we. And if we did that, it would ruin our chances of getting as much as we can for ourselves at the expense of those around us.

So how can we destroy love?

The best way is to terrorize a child. How? The most effective way to terrorize a child is to do what parents ordinarily do in the belief that we need to ‘socialize’ children in the ways of their society. This involves inflicting what I have called ‘invisible’ violence as well as ‘utterly invisible’ violence on children throughout their childhoods so that they become obedient and easily controlled slaves. For a thorough elaboration of this point, see ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

So what is ‘invisible’ violence? Here are a few examples from my list of more than 200: blaming, condemning, insulting, mocking, embarrassing, shaming, humiliating, taunting, goading, guilt-tripping, deceiving, lying to, bribing, blackmailing, moralizing with and/or judging a child.

And what is ‘utterly invisible’ violence? It is deliberate interference in the expression of the child’s feelings and the behavioral responses naturally generated by these feelings (including when these feelings and behaviours arise in response to our visible or ‘invisible’ violence). This ‘utterly invisible’ violence occurs when we ignore, comfort, reassure, distract, laugh at, ridicule, scream at, hit, restrain or punish a child who is crying, scared, angry or otherwise expressing and/or acting on their feelings. When we do this, our unconscious message to the child is clear: ‘Don’t feel and act on your feelings, unless they are happy or loving ones, or I will terrorize you until you stop!’

If you terrorize a child in this way they will become fearful of listening to their feelings. Moreover, as they lose their courage to fight back against your violence, they will accumulate feelings of self-hatred as well. However, without a safe opportunity to feel this fear and self-hatred in order to release them, the fear and self-hatred will be suppressed below their conscious awareness. And given the extraordinarily unpleasant nature of these feelings – who wants to feel like a coward and to hate themselves? – the fear and self-hatred will be projected as fear of and hatred for ‘socially legitimized victim groups': depending on the social context, this will usually be people of other racial or religious groups.

This projected fear and self-hatred is most readily observed in the behavior of political leaders such as US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who are so obviously terrified and devoid of self-love and, hence, the capacity to love others that killing people, including children, is the intended and routine outcome of their military violence.

The projected fear and self-hatred of corporate figures like Bill Gates, the Walton family (of Walmart) and their fellow billionaires and millionaires is also readily observed. Again, devoid of love for themselves, they cannot feel love, compassion, empathy or sympathy for those 50,000 people in Africa, Asia and Central/South America who are starved to death each day because of corporate capitalism’s control of the distribution of the world’s resources to maximize their corporate profits and personal wealth, often at the expense of their heavily exploited employees as well.

In stark contrast to the individuals mentioned above, the self-love and, therefore, love for others is obvious in the behavior of people like Noam Chomsky, Mairead Maguire, Chandra Muzaffar and Kathy Kelly who devote their lives to articulating and acting on the nonviolent truth.

If you want your child to love themselves and others, it is essential that you do not terrorize them into doing what you want (or you must let them have their feelings about your violence if, occasionally, you do terrorize them). If you love your child, let them behave in accordance with their own feelings, not yours. That is what evolution intended. It had a few billion years to work it out.

If you like, you can listen to a song by Anita McKone that highlights the importance of feelings: http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/songs-of-nonviolence/lets-sing-a-feelings-song-for-kids/ And here’s another song that highlights the meaning of love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvvZ1TEQRB8&feature=kp

If you wish to join the worldwide movement to nurture love and end all violence, you are welcome to sign online ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com

Self-love is true love. The individual who does not truly love themselves cannot love another. 

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence

His email address is flametree@riseup.net – and his website is at http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

APD Shootings Protest Turns Violent; Police Unload Tear Gas and Make Arrests

APD Shootings Protest Turns Violent; Police Unload Tear Gas and Make Arrests

Joe Wright
Activist PostAlbuquerque citizens seem to have had enough of their increasingly violent police department and are beginning to take to the streets. The Albuquerque Police Department has even had its acronym changed by many to mean Another Person Dead.The long-standing dissatisfaction has reached a crescendo after the blatant execution of a homeless man that was passed off as justified by police chief Gordon Eden. You can see the video here and judge for yourself whether proper force was used in this case of “illegal camping.”As reported by Lily Dane, protests began in earnest shortly after:

On March 25, citizens marched through the streets of downtown Albuquerque to APD headquarters to protest the shooting of Boyd and others shot by APD officers. At least 1,000 people attended, including a number of elected officials, including State Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, and City Councilor Rey Garduno. (Source)

Added evidence for their outrage was provided just hours after this protest when another man was killed in suspicious circumstances. As detailed in the video and transcript below, a crowd numbered in the hundreds gathered on Sunday that may have been spurred on by a message from hacktivist group Anonymous. This latest gathering led to the first violent confrontation between protesters and police.It is important to keep in mind that the recent spate of APD shootings comes amid a police culture that is leaning toward becoming more confrontational and violent with its citizens. As Lily Dane also reported,

Incidents have occurred with enough frequency in the state to trigger a Department of Justice investigation that launched in 2012 and is still ongoing.

The state’s police forces have become infamous for shooting at minivans full of kids and for their penchant for Roswellian anal-probing of suspects.

Yet, the man who designs the training programs for the state’s police departments doesn’t see a problem. In fact, he has instituted a curriculum that puts LESS restraint on officers in deciding when to use deadly force. (Source)

These details should be taken into account, as there is some question about the make-up of the protesters and whether there were some who appeared to not be part of the original group. This wouldn’t be the first time that police have planted agents provocateur to justify any violence directed toward peaceful protest. Given the track record of the APD, such tactics can’t be discounted.

Video transcript with additional links provided below:

by Jamal Andress

The citizens of Albuquerque have expressed dissatisfaction with the city’s police department in the past, but Sunday that discontent came to a breaking point.

“Where’s Mayor Berry? … We demand to be heard!”

“It became increasingly tense, increasingly violent.”

“They’ve taken to the streets, blocked off traffic on I-25 all while shouting things like ‘killer’ at police in riot gear.”

The people of Albuquerque are protesting what they consider excessive force by the city’s police department over the past few years.

The protest took place in about a two-mile stretch, protesters would walk back and forth from downtown to the edge of the University of New Mexico. Though the protest began peacefully, it slowly became more and more chaotic as the day went on.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry described the protest Sunday night as, “mayhem” and went on to say, “We respected their rights to protest, obviously, but what it appears we have at this time is individuals who weren’t connected necessarily with the original protest. They’ve taken it far beyond a normal protest.” (emphasis added)

According to the Albuquerque Journal, before the day was over APD had thrown more than two dozen cans of tear gas and arrested at least a half dozen protesters.

The city began its spiral toward mayhem in mid-March when police shot a homeless camper named James Boyd.

Along with investigating the shooting death of Boyd, the FBI launched a civil rights probe more than a year ago into the APD to determine the validity of the excessive force allegations.

Much of the scrutiny for the department comes from these staggering numbers. In a town of less than 600,000 people, the Albuquerque police have been involved in 37 shootings, 23 of which were fatal, since 2010.

After the shooting of Boyd, hacktivist group Anonymous posted this video urging the citizens of Albuquerque to protest.

“APD, you now have the full attention of ‘Anonymous.’ To the citizens of Albuquerque, it’s time to organize.”

“Grab your cannons and point them at police websites.”

Sunday, the APD website did endure a cyber attack and was down most of the day, though it’s still unclear if a member of Anonymous was the cause.

NOTAWAMISSOUIN ON BAVARIAN RADIO:

i SEARCHED FOR A WRITTEN EXAMPLE: FOUND IT; PLEASE GO TO GOOGLE FOR TRANSLATION

Nicht länger untätig – Idle no more Eine kanadische Protestbewegung

Indianische Aktivisten und Umweltschützer protestieren gegen ein Gesetz, das der kanadischen Regierung ungehinderten Zugriff auf indianisches Land ermöglicht, um dort Resourcen zu plündern. Wieder einmal werden Verträge gebrochen, wieder einmal wird das  Land zur Beute für den energiehungrigen kanadischen Staat.

Stand: 08.03.2014

Am 14. Dezember 2012 verabschiedete der kanadische Staat im Eiltempo das Gesetz Bill C-45. Die Bill C 45 ermöglicht Unternehmen Zugang zu bisher nicht erschlossenen Energiequellen, indem das Gesetz vertragliche Rechte der indianischen Nationen in Bezug auf das eigene Land sowie Umweltschutz und Selbstbestimmungsrechte der First Nations aushebelt und stattdessen die ungehinderte Rohstofferschließung in diesen Territorien ermöglicht.  Ein beachtlicher Anteil der begehrten Bodenschätze, Gold, Holz, und vor allem Ölvorkommen, befindet sich auf indianischem Land.

“We can´t be idle no more”

Sylvia Mc Adam, indianische Aktivistin

Sylvia McAdam ist eine der Frauen, die “Idle no more“, mitbegründet hat. Idle no More, das heißt auf Deutsch: nicht länger untätig sein. Und ist der Name für eine kraftvolle Bewegung, die für Gegenwind sorgt und aufbegehrt gegen das Gesetz Bill C 45. Sylvia Mc Adam stammt aus der Nēhiyaw Nation, auf Englisch Cree genannt.  Als Juristin überblickt sie sehr genau die politischen und ökologischen Implikationen diese Gesetzes. Und entschloß sich, Widerstand dagegen zu organisieren.

“Letztes Jahr war ich dabei, ein Buch zu schreiben. In einem Kapitel geht es ums Land. Das weckte in mir viele Kindheitserinnerungen: an  kristallklares Wasser, an Wälder und Wildnis. Und mich packte der Wunsch, heimzukehren und dort an dem Kapitel zu arbeiten. Das tat ich. Ich packte und ging zurück aufs Land. Zu den Flüssen, zu unseren Jagdgebieten. Doch was ich vorfand, erschütterte mich. Die Bäche waren ausgetrocknet, das Land wurde beackert, der Wald wurde in einem immensen Ausmaß abgeholzt”

Sylvia Mac Adam, Cree

Eben noch bei Facebook und jetzt teilen wir Kanda unter uns auf

Sylvia McAdam und BR-Autorin Sonja John | Bild: BR / Sonja John

Sylvia Mc Adam und BR-Autorin Sonja John

Als Sylvia sich in den Wald aufmachte, um auf ihrem vertraglich reservierten Land eine Jagdhütte zu errichten und andere Indigene dazu aufrief, gleiches zu tun, stellte sie die neue gesetzlich hergestellte Fremdbestimmung durch die kanadische Regierung in Frage. Das besondere Verhältnis zwischen First Nations und dem kanadischen Staat gründet auf internationalen Verträgen. Die Anerkennung ihrer Rechte und die Aufrechterhaltung dieses besonderen Verhältnisses gehören seither zu den Forderungen von Indigenen und prägen die Kernforderung von Idle No More.

Eine Bewegung vor allem von Frauen

“Idle no more” ist eine Bewegung, die nicht nur, aber vor allem von Frauen getragen wird,  die 2012 begannen, sich miteinander zu vernetzen. Nur zwei von ihnen kannten sich vorher persönlich, tauschten sich zunächst in einem Chatroom über die Folgen der Bill C-45 aus.

“Und dann sagten wir uns: Wieso nicht ein nationaler Aktionstag? Dabei hatten wir von Aktivismus keine Ahnung. Aber wir riefen für den 10. Dezember 2012 einen nationalen Aktionstag aus. Daraufhin haben uns so viele Menschen kontaktiert. Wir fragten, wer uns helfen kann. Und auf einmal hatten wir Torri Cress aus Toronto, Darla Goodwin aus British Columbia. Wir hatten Janice und Tania. All die Leute aus Alberta und Ottowa. Und in Winnipeg hatten wir Nina, die dort zur Uni geht. All diese Menschen folgten unserem Aufruf, größtenteils Frauen. Am 10. Dezember waren wir selbst überrascht: Eben noch bei Facebook und nun teilten wir Kanada unter uns auf”

Sylvia Mc Adam, Cree

Koloniale Unterdrückung

“idle no more” – Vernetzung gegen die Plünderung des Landes

Idle No More argumentiert, dass mit dem Gesetz  Bill C-45 die kolonialen Eroberungsfeldzüge des einstigen Siedlerstaates fortgesetzt werden, denn schon die  Gründung und der Aufstieg Kanadas gründen auf der Enteignung der First Nations und deren Vertreibung. Mit den Gesetzesänderungen wird die moderne Landbesetzung wesentlich vereinfacht. Idle No More kritisiert die kapitalistische Landzerstörung sowie die Attitüde der manifest destiny , die Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der sich die Weißen die Welt und andere Völker Untertan machen.

Das Land bewahrt die Traditionen und das kulturelle Erbe

Land ist für indigene Gemeinschaften essentiell und bei weitem mehr als rein materielle Ressource, es ist kultureller Besitz, dessen man sich immer wieder rückversichert, in Form von Geschichten, durch religiöse Zeremonien. So bestärkt man  im Lauf jahrhundertelanger Verbundenheit die eigene Identität als Zugehörigkeit zu genau diesem Stück Land. Ein Angriff auf indigenes Land ist daher auch immer ein Angriff auf indigene Identität.

“Ich sprach mit den Ältesten. Und sie sagten zu mir: In Zeiten der Krise gibt es ein Gesetz, das die Frauen aussprechen. Dieses Gesetz heißt Notawamissouin. Notawamissouin bedeutet die Kinder verteidigen. Und nicht nur indigene Kinder, sondern alle Kinder. Und es reicht noch weiter. Du musst auch die Kinder der Tiere verteidigen und die der Pflanzen. Und dieses Gesetz ist heilig. Es ist friedlich. Es ist ein Gebet nicht nur für die jetzige Generation, sondern auch für die sieben Generationen, die uns folgen werden.”

Sylvia Mc Adam, Cree

http://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/weitwinkel/idle-no-more-102.html

Voices from Solitary: Welcome to the SHU. Don´t forget Humans in Shadow, often in very, very deep shadow…

Voices from Solitary: Welcome to the SHU –

elmira 3Karl ChuJoy is currently serving three years in solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) of Elmira Correctional Facility in upstate New York, for possessing a laptop computer. He writes in a letter to Solitary Watch:

“I’ve been incarcerated since I was fifteen (15) years old.

I am now thirty-six (36)…I’m halfway through these three (3) years [in the SHU]. I’ve been in SHU before, quite a few times. But this is the first time in five (5) years. My introduction to SHU began when I was sixteen (16) years old, in 1993. I’ve since learned to sidestep the bullshit in prison and stay out of trouble (but can you really pass up a laptop in prison? Come on, think about it).” The following are further excerpts from his letter. He welcomes letters at the following address: Karl ChuJoy, #94-A-5418, Elmira Correctional Facility, PO Box 500, Elmira, New York 14902-0500. –James Ridgeway

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Being alone is totally different than being lonely. Being alone signifies being physically apart from others. Being lonely is complete a state of mind: “feeling” alone. The latter holds all of the negative aspects of solitude. In the SHU this feeling is magnified exponentially due to the constricted lack of freedom and relative lack of brain-stimulating activities.

Mail is manna from heaven. When I hear the squeak, squeal and rumble of the mail-cart being pushed down the gallery, I start saying to myself, “You’re not getting any mail, so don’t even expect it. Nobody knows you anymore. No one wrote, so stop it!” Then, as the cart squeaks and squeals and rumbles a bit louder as it gets closer, I’ll jump off the cot and start pacing. Then I’ll squat in front of one of my spiders (the SHU Prisoner’s Loyal Pet) and I’ll start talking to it (you talk to your pets, too, don’t you?!) I’ll say, “Come on! Hope with me that we get a piece of mail. Come on! If you hope with me then we’re guaranteed a letter,” and I’ll do a little fist pump. I get real animated. I won’t do it everyday, though. It becomes a quotidien ritual when I haven’t received a letter in a month or more, because I’ll start to worry. Only my mother and sister write to me, once a month usually…

Literary media is the lifeblood of a sane mind in the SHU. Reading makes on think outside the box. National Geographic Magazine is my Travelocity, my trips to the Museum of Natural History, my Smithsonian, my MOMA and the Louvre, my trips to the Bronx Zoo and Sea World; GQ is my afternoon window-shopping stroll down 5th Avenue;…Popular Mechanics and Scientific American are my brain snacks–I was super excited when it was announced that circumstantial evidence was detected of the existence of the Higgs boson particle. Will I be able to open a wormhole in my call and go on a furlough one day? Quantum mechanics offers infinite possibilities, so I’ll keep my antennas up!

Book! Books! Book! A man in SHU lives on books as much as on food (and they taste better). Non-fiction has the potential to feed one’s knowledge pool. Fictoin has the potential to feed one’s empathy. Two different parts of the brain. Both necessary to build a fecund mind. I cannot say enough about books, my friends. I love books. I LOVE books. Books are my teachers, my guides, my companions. They enrich me with new [to me] concepts and ideas to digest. They take me to other worlds, lands, times, realities, life experiences. They introduce me to characters who become close friends….And my companions take me out of the SHU almost completely. Only my physical self is locked in a cell with the chaos around me. My spirit is elsewhere, walking through the woods, living vicariously, a silent partner. When I return, dusk may have turned to dawn and sometimes I’ll be surprised/confused when breakfast is being served. That’s the magic of books: they are teleportation machines for the spirit.

For the uninitiated in society who want to know somewhat how the SHU experience feels: go to your bathroom and lock yourself in there (a regular 10′ x 6′ sized bathroom, not a mansion sized one). Then truly imagine being locked in there for days, weeks, months…years–with no way to get out. All your meals are slid under the door. You don’t see anyone, but you hear others. Although, you wish you didn’t…

Because all day, and parts of the night, you are being assaulted by the deafening sounds of others yelling at each other to be overheard, chess players shouting numbers a hundred feet apart from each other, others screaming the foulest profanities and threats at each other for ten hours non-stop to emerge the victor in the argument/mouthfight. The worst are the ones who scream at the top of their lungs at 2 AM, 3 AM, 5 AM, as if they’re on fire just ’cause they’re assholes, and others who growl-yell-scream as if they’re transforming into werewolves of battling a demonic entity in their cell at 2 or 3 in the morning, while others start barking like large dogs. Yes, actually barking for a minute at a time…like a Rottweiler. You can wake up and really believe you died in your sleep and you’re in hell. But nope…you’re just in the SHU. Welcome.

US judge approves force-feeding California inmates

English: A suffragette on a hunger strike bein...

English: A suffragette on a hunger strike being forcibly fed with a nasal tube (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US judge approves force-feeding California inmates
By DON THOMPSON
— Aug. 19 8:20 PM EDT

California Prisons Hunger Strike
NO PHOTO HERE – PLEASE; GO TO THE O-LINK!

By: DON THOMPSON (AP)
SACRAMENTO, Calif.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Only some lines:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as a statewide prison hunger strike entered its seventh week.

Officials say they fear for the welfare of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8 over the holding of gang leaders and other violent inmates in solitary confinement that can last for decades….

Four prisons have the units: Pelican Bay in Crescent City, Corcoran, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi and California State Prison-Sacramento. ….

The highest-ranking gang leaders are held in what is known as the “short corridor” at Pelican Bay. Four leaders of rival white supremacist, black and enemy Latino gangs have formed an alliance to promote the hunger strike in a bid to force an end to the isolation units….

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/california-seeks-judges-ok-force-feed-inmates

Jam-Packed or Alone: Overcrowding and Solitary Confinement, in California and beyond…

Jam-packed or alone

Overcrowding and solitary confinement, in California and beyond

It’s cramped in here

JEFFREY BEARD, California’s prisons chief, boasts that the number of inmates in the state’s prisons has fallen by 43,000 since 2006. But unlike other states that have seen big drops, California’s hand was forced: in 2009 federal judges were so concerned by overcrowding that they ordered the state to cut prison occupancy to 137.5% of design capacity (at one point it exceeded 200%). The ruling has been upheld over the laments of officials, most recently by the Supreme Court on August 2nd. An appeal is pending.

California has not reduced numbers simply by setting people free. Rather, it has sent lots of non-serious offenders to county jails instead of state prisons (a policy called “realignment”). To meet the court-decreed target by the end of the year, the state must find another 7,000 or so prisoners to offload, says Mr Beard. His department hopes to do this mainly through “capacity options”, such as dispatching prisoners to costly private lock-ups in other states….

Please, read more:  http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21583657-overcrowding-and-solitary-confinement-california-and-beyond-jam-packed-or-alone?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer2062d&utm_medium=twitterblog-stopsoltry-iachr-500x280-v01

AlterNet: Is New York Lying in Diagnoses So it Can Lock Mentally Ill Inmates in Solitary Confinement?

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)
Home > Is New York Lying in Diagnoses So It Can Lock Mentally Ill Inmates in Solitary Confinement?

ProPublica [1]             /               By Christie Thompson [2]


Is New York Lying in Diagnoses So It Can Lock Mentally Ill Inmates in Solitary Confinement?

          

August 16, 2013  |

  When Amir Hall entered New York state prison for a parole violation in November 2009, he came with a long list of psychological problems. Hall arrived at the prison from a state psychiatric hospital, after he had tried to suffocate himself. Hospital staff diagnosed Hall with serious depression.

In Mid-State prison, Hall was in and out of solitary confinement for fighting with other inmates and other rule violations. After throwing Kool-Aid at an officer, he was sentenced to seven months in solitary at Great Meadow Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.

Hall did not want to be moved. When his mother and grandmother visited him that spring, Hall warned them: If he didn’t get out of prison soon, he would not be coming home.

“There was somebody who looked defeated, like the life was beat out of him,” said his sister Shaleah Hall. “I don’t know who that person was. The person in that video was not my brother.”

Multiple [3] studies [4] have shown that isolation can damage inmates’ minds, particularly those already struggling with mental illness. In recent years, New York state has led the way in implementing policies to protect troubled inmates from the trauma of solitary confinement [5].

A 2007 federal court order [6] required New York to provide inmates with “serious” mental illness more treatment while in solitary. And a follow-up law [7] enacted in 2011 all but bans such inmates from being put there altogether.

But something odd has happened: Since protections were first added, the number of inmates diagnosed with severe mental illness has dropped. The number of inmates diagnosed with “serious” mental illness is down 33 percent since 2007, compared to a 13 percent decrease in the state’s prison population.

A larger portion of inmates flagged for mental issues are now being given more modest diagnoses, such as adjustment disorders or minor mood disorders.

The New York Office of Mental Health says the decrease reflects improvements to the screening process. Efforts to base diagnoses on firmer evidence “has resulted in somewhat fewer, but better-substantiated diagnoses” of serious mental illness, said a spokesman for the office in an emailed statement.

In Hall’s case, prison mental health staff never labeled his problems as “serious.”

Instead, they repeatedly downgraded his diagnosis. After three months in solitary — during which Hall was put on suicide watch twice — they changed his status to a level for inmates who have experienced “at least six months of psychiatric stability.”

Two weeks after his diagnosis was downgraded, and two days after he was transferred to solitary at Great Meadow, guards found Hall in his cell hanging from a bed sheet.

As part of a report issued on every inmate death, the Corrections Department’s Medical Review Board found no documented reason behind the change in Hall’s diagnosis [8].

A 2011 Poughkeepsie Journal investigation detailed a spike in inmate suicides [9] in 2010, which disproportionately took place in solitary confinement. Death reports from the state’s oversight committee obtained by the Journal [10] suggest several inmates who have committed suicide in recent years may have been under-diagnosed.

Hall’s family is suing the Corrections Department and the Office of Mental Health, among other defendants, for failing to treat his mental illness and instead locking him in solitary.

New York State’s Office of Mental Health, which is in charge of inmates’ mental health care, declined to comment on Hall’s case, citing the litigation.

Amir Hall (or Mir, as his family calls him) was originally arrested in October 2007, for the unarmed robbery of a Verizon store. He made off with $86. Released on parole, he lived with his sister Shaleah Hall and her two sons while working at a local Holiday Inn and studying to become a nurse.

“Sometimes I sit there thinking that he’s going to walk through the door and make everybody laugh,” said Shaleah, who has “In Loving Memory of Amir” tattooed in a curling ribbon on her right bicep. “He was the life of the party. If you met him, you would just love him.”

But Hall’s mood could shift in an instant, Shaleah said. He was often paranoid, worried that people judged him for being gay. He would snap, then apologize repeatedly for it afterward.

“You had to walk on eggshells sometimes, because you never knew if he was going to be happy or sad that day,” Shaleah said. “It was like this ever since we were kids.”

One of those outbursts landed Hall back in prison for violating parole, after he got into a fight with Shaleah’s friend.

Knowing her brother’s history of mental illness, Shaleah said solitary confinement must have “drove him crazy.”

“I feel like they treated him like an animal,” she said. “They just locked him away and forgot about him.”

The lawsuit over Hall’s death claims mental health and prison staff ignored recommendations that he receive more treatment, and that staff members failed to properly assess his mental health when he arrived at Great Meadow.

In a response [11] to the state oversight committee’s assessment of Hall’s case, the Office of Mental Health said they were retraining staff on screening for suicide risk. The Corrections Department said they were working to improve communication when inmates are transferred to new facilities.

Sarah Kerr, a staff attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society, noted Hall’s case during a Senate hearing on solitary confinement [12]. “The repeated punitive responses to [Hall] as he psychiatrically deteriorated in solitary confinement exemplify the importance of vigilance and monitoring, and the need for diversion from harmful solitary confinement,” she wrote.

Kerr points out that significant improvements have been made for inmates diagnosed above the “serious” mental illness line. The new mental health units provide at least four hours of out-of-cell treatment a day, and speed up an inmate’s return to the general population.

“I don’t think those improvements should be taken lightly,” said Kerr. “In terms of mental health policy, we’re way ahead of the country.”

But when it comes to solitary confinement, “New York is among the worst states,” said Taylor Pendergrass of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the state [13] over its use of isolation. “Even if you’re totally sane and you go into solitary, it’s incredibly hard to deal with the psychological toll of that,” he said.

Solitary confinement is used in jails and prisons across the country, though there’s no reliable data to compare its prevalence among states. Experts say New York stands out for sentencing inmates to solitary for infractions as minor as having too many postage stamps or a messy cell. A report from the NYCLU [14] found that five out of six solitary sentences in New York prisons were for “non-violent misbehavior.”

Under the state’s new law, all inmates housed in solitary — known in New York as Special Housing Units, or SHU — receive regular check-ins from mental health staff. The screenings are meant to catch inmates not originally diagnosed with a disorder who develop problems in isolation.

But Jennifer Parish, director of criminal justice advocacy at the Urban Justice Center, said she thinks many staff members still view inmates’ symptoms as attempts to avoid punishment. “If you don’t believe that being in solitary can have detrimental effects to a person’s mental health, you’re going to see someone who just says, ‘I want to get out of here,'” she said.

Beck has seen the same skepticism in conversations with some prison staff. “There’s a bias in the system that looks at the incarcerated population as anti-social, malingerers, manipulators,” Beck said. “I hear that all the time.”

When inmates ask to see mental health staff, “we have found far too often that it appears security staff really resent people asking for these interventions,” Beck said. “We have in a few facilities what I think are credible stories of individuals being beaten up when they want to go to the crisis center.”

As Sarah Kerr sees it, “if mental health staff are overly concerned that people are feigning illness, that they’re conning their way out of special housing … that will lead to tragedies.”

The Corrections Department says any unusual behavior by inmates or attempts to hurt themselves are reported to mental health staff. A spokesman for the Office of Mental Health said “inmates reporting psychiatric symptoms are taken seriously and assessed carefully.”

Donna Currao said prison staff ignored her and her husband, Tommy Currao, when he attempted suicide at least 10 times over the course of 10 months in solitary confinement. According to his wife, Currao had been sent to solitary after testing positive for heroin.

Currao’s first suicide attempt in solitary was in July 2012, when he tried to overdose on heroin. That October, guards found him attempting to hang himself in his cell. While on suicide watch after he tried again to overdose, Currao broke open his hearing aid and used the metal inside to cut his wrists. (He received a bill of $500 for “destruction of state property,” Donna said.)

Both the Corrections Department and the Office of Mental Health declined to comment on Currao’s case.

According to the Corrections Department, an inmate can be returned to solitary confinement after being on suicide watch if they’re cleared by the Office of Mental Health. In 2011, 14 percent of the 8,242 inmates released from New York’s mental health crisis units were sent to solitary confinement.

After just three weeks in isolation, Donna noticed a dramatic change in her husband. He “was withdrawn, all he would do is apologize,” Donna said. He was no longer laughing with her, playing cards or chatting with other inmates. She watched him drop from 240 pounds to 160.

Currao stopped writing the almost daily letters he’d sent for 13 years. When Donna persuaded him to start again, as a way to escape, he talked of an overwhelming sadness.

Donna says she repeatedly called the prison. She faxed them copies of Currao’s suicidal letters. But he remained in isolation.

“I don’t know if they don’t want to spend the money, or think it’s a joke,” she said. “They still thought he wanted out of solitary. He wanted out of the picture is what he wanted.”

A survey [15] by the state’s independent oversight committee found many family members who said prison officials didn’t listen to concerns about inmates’ psychological wellbeing. None of the mental health files reviewed by the oversight committee contained information from family members about a prisoner’s psychiatric history.

The Office of Mental Health says it’s working on creating new procedures to “insure that the call is responded to promptly and in a manner that addresses the family member’s concern as best as possible.”

Prisoner rights advocates are also working on a new legislative proposal to ensure that mentally ill inmates get the treatment they need. A coalition of groups [16] is drafting a new bill, which would expand protections from solitary for inmates with mental illness, and put a limit on solitary confinement sentences for any prisoner, whether or not they’re diagnosed with a disorder.

“Even though there’s a law that says you can’t do this for people with serious mental illness, it hasn’t stopped [Corrections] from using solitary,” said Parish. “I think they just replaced it with lower-level tickets instead of some of the most serious ones.”

In May, Donna’s persistence in trying to get her husband treatment finally saw results. Currao met with a psychologist, and was diagnosed with “serious” anti-social personality disorder and dysthymic disorder. He was moved out of solitary confinement and into one of the 170 Residential Mental Health Treatment beds created under the recent law.

Currao “seems to be 1,000 times better” since entering treatment, Donna said. He talks about wanting to become a counselor when he’s released.

But Donna wonders why it took so many suicide attempts and nearly a year of pressure to get her husband a proper diagnosis and the treatment he was legally owed. “They are not enforcing this law,” she said. “Why do we have to fight so hard to get them evaluated?”

Hall’s family is left with the same questions as they search for answers about his death. “How many more people have to die?” Shaleah asked. “They need help. Locking them away is hurting them more.”

         


!Hunger for Justice!

Back from California (Nebula)

Back from California (Nebula) (Photo credit: ramviswanathan)

Support “Hunger for Justice”

Apoyo “Hambre por la Justicia”

On July 22, Billy “Guero” Sell, a prisoner held in solitary confinement at Corcoran State Prison and a participant in the 3-week-long hunger strike that has shaken the California prison system, passed away. Sell’s death is being ruled a suicide by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Fellow prisoners reported that Sell had been requesting medical attention for several days prior to his death. Attorneys received numerous reports of medical neglect of the health needs of the strikers, and these reports have generated an outcry from the medical community. Over 100 health care providers have signed onto a letter denouncing the CDCR’s failure to provide appropriate medical care to the strikers.

The prisoners are still committed to continuing the strike until California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Department of Corrections take decisive action to meet their demands.

Today is Day 23 of the hunger strike, and CDCR continues to retaliate against prisoners participating in this peaceful protest while refusing to negotiate. It is important that we continue to show our support & keep the pressure on Gov. Brown and the CDCR!

We have over 5,000 people that have signed the petition to Governor Brown. Now we need 30,000 CALLS for 30,000 Hunger Strikers!

JOIN US and USE YOUR POLITICAL POWER!

1) DAY 23: Call Governor Jerry Brown
Phone: (916) 445-2841
(510) 289-0336
(510) 628-0202
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Suggested script: I’m calling in support of the prisoners on hunger strike. The governor has the power to stop the torture of solitary confinement. I urge the governor to compel the CDCR to enter into negotiations to end the strike. RIGHT NOW is their chance to enter into clear, honest negotiations with the strikers to end the torture.

2) Make sure you send this email to your friends, families, and networks. Ask them to stand in solidarity with us – sign the petition today and help us reach 30,000 calls

3) Support the Day Long Hunger Strike this Wednesday! “Hunger for Justice” will have convenings throughout California. We fast in solidarity with the demands of the hunger strikers. And we fast to get justice for Trayvon and for people of every gender, race, and religion who have been killed by state and vigilante violence.

- Wednesday, July 31st at 11am (Oscar Grant Plaza :14th and Broadway, Oakland, CA)

- Wednesday, July 31st at 12pm (Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St. LA 90012)

- Wednesday, July 31st All Day Community Education (Pick up Materials at SubRosa Community Space & Cafe: 703 Pacific Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95060 and Mobilize at 6:30pm at Santa Cruz Downtown Clocktower on Ocean st. & Pacific St.)

Thank you for your commitment. Ya Basta!

El 22 de julio, Billy “Guero” Vender, un preso recluido en régimen de aislamiento en la prisión estatal de Corcoran y participante en la huelga de hambre por 3 semanas de duración que ha sacudido el sistema penitenciario de California, falleció. La muerte de Venta se descarta un suicidio por el Departamento de Correcciones y Rehabilitación de California (CDCR).

Sus compañeros de prisión informaron que venden había estado pidiendo asistencia médica durante varios días antes de su muerte. Abogados recibieron numerosos informes de negligencia médica de las necesidades de salud de los huelguistas, y estos informes han generado la protesta de la comunidad médica. Más de 100 profesionales de la salud han firmado una carta denunciando el fracaso del CDCR para proporcionar atención médica adecuada a los huelguistas.
Los presos se han comprometido a continuar la huelga hasta que el gobernador de California Jerry Brown y el Departamento de Correcciones de California toman medidas decisivas para satisfacer sus demandas.

Hoy es el día 23 de la huelga de hambre, y el CDCR sigue tomando represalias contra los presos que participaron en esta protesta pacífica mientras niegan a negociar. Es importante que sigamos para mostrar nuestro apoyo y mantener la presión sobre el gobernador Brown y el CDCR!

Tenemos más de 5,000 personas que han firmado la petición al gobernador Brown. Ahora necesitamos 30,000 llamadas para los 30,000 huelguistas!

¡únase con nosotrxs y usen su poder político!

1) Día 17: Llamen al gobernador jerry brown
teléfono: (916) 445-2841
(510) 289-0336
(510) 628-0202
FAX: (916) 558-3160

Guión Sugerido: Estoy llamando porque apoyo a los presos que participan en la huelga de hambre. El gobernador tiene todo el poder para eliminar la tortura de aislamiento en solitario. Yo insto al gobernador a que exija al CDCR entrar en negociaciones claras y honestas con los huelguistas para poner así fin a la huelga. AHORITA MISMO es su oportunidad de negociar y terminar con la tortura injustificada.

2) Asegúrese de enviar este correo electrónico a sus amigos, familias y redes. Pídales que ser solidarios con nosotros – firmar la petición hoy y ayúdenos a alcanzar 30,000 llamadas

3) Apoya el día de huelga de hambre este miércoles! “Hambre de Justicia” tendrá eventos en California. Ayunamos sabiendo que la criminalización que mató a Trayvon Martin, y la criminalización que justifica la tortura de prisioneros en confinamiento solitario son unidos, y ayunamos en solidaridad con las demandas de los huelgistas de hambre. También ayunamos para lograr justicia por Trayvon y personas de cualquier genero, raza, y religion que ha sido asesinados por la violencia estatal o vigilante.

- Miércoles, 31 de julio a las 11am (Oscar Grant Plaza :14th and Broadway, Oakland, CA)

- Miércoles, 31 de julio a las 12pm (Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St. LA 90012)

- Miércoles, 31 de julio Educación de la Comunidad durante todo el día (Puedes recoger los materiales en SubRosa Community Space & Cafe: 703 Pacific Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95060 y Participar en el evento a las 6:30pm en Santa Cruz Downtown Clocktower on Ocean st. & Pacific St.)

Gracias por tu compromiso. Ya Basta

In solidarity/En solidaridad,

Annie Banks
CURB Intern
Annie Banks, Californians United for a Responsible Budget” <annie@curbprisonspending.org>

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