Mentally ill inmates in New York City’s most notorious jail are too often placed in solitary confinement — in some cases for thousands of days at a time — a practice that coincides with an increased rate of violence inside the jail, according to an independent review of mental health standards at Rikers Island, a 10-facility lockup on a 400-acre island in the East River.
The wide-ranging review, obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request, is critical of the city’s use of solitary as punishment for inmates who by the very nature of their mental illnesses are more prone to breaking jailhouse rules.
About 40 percent of Rikers’ 12,200 inmates have some kind of mental health diagnosis, and about a third of those have so-called serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Of the roughly 800 inmates in solitary at any given time, just over half are mentally ill.
Via Iris Blasi, here’s a particularly nice exchange about writing slow:
MAUD NEWTON: Does it bother you when people talk about how long it takes you to write your novels?
DONNA TARTT: No, it doesn’t, really. It’s the only way that I can write at all. It’s the only way that I can enjoy writing. When I try to speed it up it’s just no fun. In order for me to enjoy what I do, and have a good time doing it…
I had a teacher a long time ago. He said, “If you’re not enjoying something, it’s almost always because you’re doing it too fast.
I am fairly sure I’ve posted this before but I want to (tipsily) re-emphasize just how CRUCIAL Ministry was to me as a teen. (Al Jourgensen made two appearances next to my yearbook photo! D. Boon made only one! I know, my priorities were askew.)