Dear Governor Deal:
While we appreciate the cautious steps you have taken in the past week or so to re-introduce educational opportunities for those held in state custody, we call on you to act boldly now to end the torture now practiced in the Georgia prisons.
As the international community has examined the research, including over a century of scientific studies suggesting that prolonged solitary confinement leads to irreversable mental degredation, experts have found that use of segregation for period in excess of fifteen days constitutes torture and cannot be supported under existing international standards for human rights.
The abuses of solitary confinement are now being litigated in the Federal Courts, and reviewed in Congressional hearings. The treatment of inmates has become the subject of international reviews of this nation’s human rights record.
The Assembly has failed to appropriate the funds necessary to staff the SMU’s at the Diagnostic Center, Washington State Prison and the Reidsville Prison which would be neccessary to comply with the Departments own policies which require an hour of daily exercise and regular access to personal hygiene for every inmate held there. As a result inmates for whom you are responsible have gone weeks without a shower or an hour in the exercise yard.
We assert that these practices compound the torture inherent in long periods of solitary confinement and are inconsistent with a the values of a state Constituted to “insure justice to all;” and that no “cruel and unusual punishments (be) inflicted”.
We know you understand the meaning of Matthew’s story regarding our failure to visit the Messiah in prison, and our responsibility to “the least of these”. Many of Paul’s epistles which are published with the gospels were penned from prison, perhaps even his letter to the Hebrews when he admonished us to “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.”
We appeal to you that you may take the actions necessary to end this torture conducted in our name and with our tax dollars.
If necessary, we ask that you join us in our fast conducted in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers in your care. If this matter has not been resolved by July 2nd, we’re asking Georgians of faith and conscience to refrain from solid foods on that day as a way of ‘remember(ing) . . . those who are being tortured’ and our relationship with them and the conditions under which they survive.
It is our fervent hope that through fasting and prayer, you too may see the imperative for the changes in Georgia public policy necessary to end these practices which have no place in a civilized society. We hope that by doing so you may know the courage to carry such proposals to the policy making bodies of this state.
Perhaps it is better to sign the petition at Link above!
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- Voices from Solitary: “SHU Is California`s Equivalent of Waterboarding” (incaseofinnocence.wordpress.com)
- An Innocent Man´s Tortured Days on Texas` Death Row (incaseofinnocence.wordpress.com)
- It’s Time To End Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons (ideas.time.com)
- Torture in U.S. Prisons? Historic Senate Hearing Takes Up Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Toll (democracynow.org)
- Is Solitary Confinement Wrong? Senators Finally Ponder the Question! (inprisonedwomen.wordpress.com)
Jessica Dooley, Mark Asbridge, John Fraser and Susan Kirkland
Harm Reduction Journal 2012, 9:20 doi:10.1186/1477-7517-9-20 Published: 13 June 2012
Abstract (provisional) Background Approximately 90,000 Canadians use opioids each year, many of whom experience health and social problems that affect the individual user, families, communities and the health care system. For those who wish to reduce or stop their opioid use, methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) is effective and supporting evidence is well-documented. However, access and availability to MMT is often inconsistent, with greater inequity outside of urban settings. Involving community based primary-care physicians in the delivery of MMT could serve to expand capacity and accessibility of MMT programs. Little is known, however, about the extent to which MMT, particularly office-based delivery, is acceptable to physicians. The aim of this study is to survey physicians about their attitudes towards MMT, particularly office-based delivery, and the perceived barriers and facilitators to MMT delivery. Methods In May 2008, facilitated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, a cross-sectional, e-mail survey of 950 primary-care physicians practicing in Nova Scotia, Canada was administered via the OPINIO on-line survey software, to assess the acceptability of office-based MMT. Logistic regressions, adjusted for physician sociodemographic characteristics, were used to examine the association between physicians’ willingness to participate in office-based MMT, and a series of measures capturing physician attitudes and knowledge about treatment approaches, opioid use, and methadone, as well as perceived barriers to MMT. Results Overall, 19.8% of primary-care physicians responded to the survey, with 56% who indicated that they would be willing to be involved in MMT under current or similar circumstances; however, willingness was associated with numerous attitudinal and systemic factors. The barriers to involvement in MMT that were frequently cited included a lack of training or experience in MMT, lack of support services, and potential challenges of working with an MMT patient population. Conclusions Study findings provide valuable information to help facilitate greater involvement of primary-care physicians in MMT, while highlighting concerns around administration, support, and training. Even limited uptake by primary-care physicians would greatly enhance MMT access in Nova Scotia, particularly for methadone clients located in rural communities. These findings are applicable broadly, to any jurisdictions where office-based MMT is not currently available. The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.
- Nova Scotia Renovation (girlygirl.typepad.com)
- Primary care physicians are negatively portrayed in the media (kevinmd.com)
- Methadone abuse fight goes online in N.S. (cbc.ca)
- N.S. doctor urges methadone alternative (cbc.ca)
- Doctors encouraged to use methadone treatment (cbc.ca)
by OWN on Jul 13, 2011
Serving Life documents an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals care for dying fellow inmates. Narrated and executive produced by Academy Award®-winner Forest Whitaker, the film takes viewers inside Louisiana‘s maximum security prison at Angola, where the average sentence is more than 90 years.
Apr 4, 2012 by jasonjayindy
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