“Usually Cruel.” This is Kenjuan Congo, Jr. from the belly of the beast.
The Eighth Amendment has a clause that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Is prison cruelty usual or unusual? What is the Eighth Amendment to the Thirteenth Amendment punishment clause slave? Prison cruelty: usual or unusual?
Advocates for prison say “Cruelty, what cruelty?” You get three hots and a cot, but would you eat a half-cooked hotdog, a handful of cereal, and two slices of bread, enough to feed a grown adult? How would you feel about a burntly cooked hamburger being brought to you after sitting on a cart for an hour. Is this barbaric? A bed is important. A mattress only a few centimeters being placed on a metal slab. You toss and turn, fighting the cramps in your neck, because unfortunately pillows are considered a contraband. Is this treatment malicious? Three hots and a cot that do not meet the standards for a human being. Who in their right mind would trade their three meals and bed for mine?
Supporters of prison talk about free health care. Would you wait years for surgery that you need today? Through a diabetic shock, would you want people wondering if you’re faking and, after a long delay, take their time to call it in? Is it safe to be in a place where it’s against the rules for someone to give you CPR even when only they’re the only one who can save your life? There were numerous Supreme Court rulings declaring that healthcare in prisons were short of meeting the constitutional requirements. Is this savage, having a healthcare system that doesn’t meet the most basic of needs?
Those who are pro-prison argue for the civility of education. The ability to learn is directly related to one’s mental state with psychological effect, because being locked in a cage has. What is the mental consequence of this unnatural dehumanizing experience, the lack of privacy, excessive control, constant threat—conditions that create paranoia. Is it humane to expect one to learn in this psychologically debilitated state?
Claims like three hots and a cot, healthcare, education, and the like are all illusions. False images to conceal the inhumane reality of prison life. The Eight Amendment punishment clause prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Now think about all the Prison Radio stories you heard. What is the Eighth Amendment to the Thirteenth Amendment punishment clause slave?
To continue to fight against cruel and unusual punishment, support Prison Radio and support the Human Rights Coalition at hrcoalition.org. You can follow me on Instagram @kjcongo3. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. This is Kenjuan Congo, Jr. from the belly of the beast. All power to the people.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.