Which authoritarian regime just sentenced seven incarcerated inmates to a combined total of twenty years in solitary confinement simply for shooting a music video for YouTube and having it featured on the World Star Hip Hop web site? If you answered Iran, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia or China, you’re completely off-base. It’s none other than the world’s self-proclaimed leading democracy, and lead incarcerater – the United States of America – where such punitive measures are taken in response to the most innocuous of acts. In the U.S. state of South Carolina, seven individuals are being treated more viciously than enemies of state during war time. As reported by BuzzFeed,
Records show five of the inmates received 180 days in “disciplinary detention,” while two others received punishments of 270 and 360 days, for “creating or assisting with a social media site.”
But additional punishments for “security threat group” (gang-related) materials and possessing a contraband cell phone added up to a combined 7,150 days, or 19.75 years, in solitary confinement for the inmates.
The inmates also lost years’ worth of canteen, phone, and visitation privileges, as well as good time accrued.
What’s most appalling about this case is that it does not appear to be an anomaly when it comes to the so-called “justice” meted out by the South Carolina Department of “Corrections”. It was previously uncovered that solitary confinement, an internationally recognized form of torture, is being used regularly as a form of punishment for such “offenses” as posting to Facebook and other online social media sites. One inmate by the name of Tyheem Henry was even sentenced in 2013 to a total of 37 years in solitary confinement for updating his Facebook status 38 times. That’s essentially a year spent in solitary confinement for each post.
Anyone with even the slightest sense of fairness and justice realizes what an atrocity such an extreme method of punishment is for such a minor infraction. South Carolina Department of Corrections director Bryan Stirling however disagrees, emphasizing that his department is “no different from any other corrections department across the country dealing with this issue.”
The US has never made any effort to conform to international law, and I don’t see them starting any time soon.
I think the term “international law” is if anything a misnomer considering how it is often left to the U.S. to be unofficial arbiter. In such a case laws only matter when it’s time to stick it to an enemy of the U.S. or the West (i.e.. any nation that shows a bit of independence).
You have absolutely got to be kidding me!
I wish I was!
Ever one of your posts contributes significantly to better understanding
and to balance and fairness.
i hope they’re being widely read and absorbed.
Thank you so very much John for reading and complimenting. So sorry for the late response. Unfortunately I have to work a day job which leaves me much less time than I would like to update this blog. If I could I would undoubtedly make writing my career.
Great post Caleb. Stupid defence that the prison reaction is “no different from any other corrections department across the country dealing with this issue.” So that makes it OK. Just recently I watched a doco about notorious NT correction centre Berrimah Gaol “Prison Songs”.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=08d7KxendVY It became a stage show and was on at this year’s Darwin Festival.
They closed it down then….
This NT Government has recently decided that rather than spend $4 mil- lion dollars to upgrade the purpose- built juvenile detention facility at Don Dale, it would bulldoze it and place the children into the old, consigned- for-demolition, Berrimah Prison.
So while the NT Government is spending more than $1B on the adult Superjail, it chooses not to upgrade the appropriate juvenile facility at a rela- tively small price. Rather, it chooses to herd our NT Aboriginal juveniles into a revamped Berrimah. The detention of boys and girls within the patched- up, derelict adult male jail is the plan, which also includes putting female juveniles in what was the former maxi- mum security and punishment section, B Block.
Thanx for your post.
It’s such a shame the horrendous atrocities and attempted erasure of entire indigenous communities in both the U.S. and Australia in favor of white European hegemony. I’ve been keeping up as well with the horrific conditions of refugees seeking to enter Australia who are sent to remote island prison facilities more accurately described as concentration camps.
Wakenhut, Transfield, Broadspectrum (I thought that was a weed killer) A stink by any other other name would smell as foul.
And G4S! How could I forget?
You’re right, the U.S. is an authoritarian regime.
Very much so!