Prison Radio
Donald Brown

My name’s Don Brown, 467895; I’m calling from Ohio.

This is about supermax prisons. I was in a supermax prison from 2009 to 2014. And I’d like to talk about the effects that has on people’s minds. Now there’s a difference between being placed in supermax for years and segregation. Segregation is short-term where supermax could be indefinite, but I could be in a supermax for any prolonged period of time, for years on end.

When you’re released, a person is paranoid. They get overly paranoid being around people. And I know this firsthand. And not only this is when you are in the supermax, it – you have nothing but time on your hands and that much time on your hands it- it creates animosity towards your captors, you know, and there is no way that a person could get any help while they’re in there.

They don’t have any classes, they have- they have nothing just- just time. That’s it. And during this time, people learn. They learn how to make weapons. They also learn a lot about themselves. Learn how- how much human touch means. We never get to touch anybody. A person never realizes how good it is just to shake your buddy’s hand.

I understand that people do bad things. People need to be punished, but this is cruel and unusual punishment. If there’s anything that anyone could do, you know, to actually teach or educate people while they’re in the supermax, and so do it. That you’ve- I’m not saying you- the system treats these people like garbage, like they are absolute animals. Therefore there could be no real rehabilitation because there’s nothing going on there. So that’s just what I gotta say.

That was “Supermax.” And, um, talk you soon.

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.