“The Stanford prison Experiment,” is a movie based on Professor Philllip Zimbardo’s 1971 psychology investigation of the effects of average college students being locked in jail. The experiment was cut short because of abuse and the potential for further problems.
The author of the article Samuel K. Roberts, Phd. while viewing the movie was tormented with the reality of the abuse of incarcerated males in his home state of New York. The inmates experienced abuse to a much higher degree than those displayed in the movie. Roberts struggled with the thought of whether to remain or to walk out of the theater, after watching the first few scenes.
Earlier this year, George Williams was savagely beaten by three Attica Correctional guards. The guards plead guilty to a misdemeanor and were allowed to retire, thus receiving their pensions. There were also beating deaths of an inmate by guards at the Sullivan Correctional Facility (Karl Taylor) and Fishkill (Samuel Harrell). Many wonder if the outcome of the investigation of the inmates’ death will result in the same “punishment” received by the Attica guards.
The Correctional Association of New York (CANY) is New York State’s only non governmental organization, which is mandated by the court to monitor conditions in New York’s Correction Facilities and report violations of human rights.
On September 4th,the Correctional Association of New York released a report that guards routinely abused inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility. The investigation reported inmate abuse that consists of suffocation, broken bones and teeth, and imposed extreme prolonged solitary confinement; as long as a decade. CANY has recorded similar inmate abuse at Attica, Greene, and Fishkill Institutions.
In March the U.S. Department of Justice was called upon by the New York Times to investigate the Attica Facility citing abuse of inmates. However an investigation had begun in January. The deaths of inmates Harrell and Taylor triggered the investigation on all of New York’s correctional facilities.
With the increasing number of reports of inmate abuse in the correctional institutions, it is noted that there is a serious need for reform of the system. Samuel Roberts views New York State as a national leader in many areas. Thus Dr. Roberts believes New York State would be a good candidate for leading the efforts in repairing the Correctional System.
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