By Tara Culp-Ressler –
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) convened a Senate hearing yesterday to examine the implications of solitary confinement in the American prison system, the first ever hearing to address prison reform as a human rights issue.
I am death row exoneree number 138. I was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Texas back in 1992. Like all death row inmates, I was kept in solitary confinement under some of the worst conditions imaginable with the…total disrespect of human dignity. I lived under the rules of a system that is literally driving men out of their minds.I survived the torture, but those 18 years was no way to live. I lived in a small, 8 by 12 foot cage. I had a steel bunk bed with a very thin, plastic mattress and pillow that you could only trade out once a year. I have back problems as a result. […]Solitary confinement makes our criminal justice system criminal. Criminal. It is inhumane and by its design, it is driving men insane. I am living amongst millions of people out here, but I still feel alone.