Prison Radio
Harold Cunningham

My name is Harold Cunningham, and I’m calling to bring attention to a much needed discussion that’s going on in these prisons dealing with mental illness. And I’m someone who set the standard as far as changing the law, that you can no longer be housed in federal solitary confinement if you suffer from mental illness

However, I’m back in DC right now, and I’ve been on a medical floor due to my handicap from when I first got arrested. I was shot up several times, and half of my foot had to be amputated, and I had serious nerve damage to my lower back as well. So however, now that I’m back in DC, after all these years, it’s been 30 years, and I’m fighting for my freedom–things looking okay–I just need to be bringing attention to what’s going on. But where I’m at on this medical floor, you’re basically being locked down 22 hours a day, and you’re only allowed out two hours a day. That’s solitary confinement, and if anyone know about anything about solitary confinement, I’m somebody who knows it.

I was in ADX almost 20 years, basically 17 and a half years, before I was out of there due to a civil lawsuit dealing with mental illness, and they make prisoners being held in solitary confinement. However, on this medical floor that I’m on–there’s only two medical units in this DC jail–and these two medical units you basically being punished because you suffer from a physical handicap or you coming in from gunshot wounds being shot up.

And young men that’s coming in here–17, 18 years old. Five, just being shot five to six, seven times. I mean, wearing colostomy bags, can barely walk, I mean, barely fighting for their lives and being basically housed in solitary confinement in these hot cells. And basically, like I try to tell the nurses, y’all are trying to treat them physically, but what about the mental and the psychological effects that’s going on that’s not being treated?

And that’s what we try to bring attention to. I got a movement that I’m trying to start. I got my nephews and them coming out back outside this jail, recording. And we trying to get a hashtag which is under my trademark, it’s #mentalillnesshasnocolor, and we trying to get the movement started. If you want to know more information about it, you can–our nonprofit that we try to get started is “” and you can learn more and you can call them at 240-448-8335. And our website going to be up, having stories about what’s going on here on Friday. The website should be up–right now we got the Facebook and all the Twitter and stuff because we want comments, and we want the, like I said, #mentalillnesshasnocolor, because it don’t.

And it’s not just happening here. I know it’s happening in jails everywhere. And I’ve been traveled through a lot and seen a lot and every penitentiary what’s going. And this must stop. We must stop and understand that those who suffer from mental illness need treatment, not being punished in any type of way.

And if you read about my story, you will see how the lawsuit got started, why it’s in my name–because I was mentally and physically abused and tortured for 17 and a half years along with some other prisoners from ADX, and a lot of them didn’t make it. In fact seven of them committed suicide, if you look at our story.

And if you want to know more please contact me, and I’m thanking Prison Radio for givin’ people like me a voice, and I hope that, by my website and the following and the people who want to help me get everything started with this movement, #mentalillnesshasnocolor, we’ll be able to give other people a voice just like Prison Radio is giving people a voice.
And I got a story like no other, and I want to thank y’all for listening. I would really, really appreciate if y’all contact me in some type of way. The more people the more better to get the word out. One person at a time. We all affected in some way. Thank you, and thank you for listening, and most importantly, please say a prayer for me and others. Thank you Prison Radio for giving me this opportunity. Appreciate you every time.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.