Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Damion Hayes Story: Mentally Ill in SHU

1.  WHY IS DAMION HAYES IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT serving a life sentence for an assault that caused no lasting injuries, his first offense? Prison investors prefer young, mentally ill inmates like Damion, because they are most expensive on taxpayers. The increased cost to maintain a prisoner in solitary confinement can range from $14,933 to $21,485 per inmate every year. The average cost of a prisoner in SHU is $78,000 per year. Over 60 percent of inmates in solitary confinement are mentally ill. Multiplying $80,000 per year times 50 years (Damion's remaining life expectancy at sentencing) means the mentally challenged young man is worth $4 million to prison investors, Fred Hayes. That is why your son was imprisoned rather than treated for his mental illness, and it is why I am censored and persecuted continually for advocating to decriminalize mental illness. 

2.  In many prison facilities, inmates who are not warehoused in solitary confinement nevertheless bring their worth up to $80,000 per year or more by providing prison labor. Inmates who refuse to work are remanded to solitary confinement so that the extra $14,993 to $21,485 can be extracted from taxpayers for unproductive slaves. Some of the corporations that use prison laborers instead of hiring more "free" people include: Starbucks, Nintendo, Victoria’s Secret, JC Penney, Sears, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Eddie Bauer, Wendy’s, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fruit of the Loom, Motorola, Caterpiller, Sara Lee, Quaker Oats, Mary Kay, Microsoft, Boeing, and the USA. 

3.  Prison investors are blinded by greed and unable to see your son as a human being, just as slave owners were blinded by greed for over 400 years and would not acknowledge their slaves' humanity. Dehumanizing mentally ill people protects prison investors and their slave catchers from feeling remorse about the high numbers of mentally ill Americans who receive catastrophic injuries and are killed on our streets and behind bars. You and your family and friends look at the photo above and see Damion, an intelligent, handsome young man who has a health issue that can and should be treated, not punished. But prison investors see only the $4 million which they can earn by continuing to warehouse Damion in a 6 foot by 9 foot cell, just as they have for roughly 14 years. Damion and others are like animals that prison profiteers are boarding for a tremendous fee. In many cases, they are not treated with the respect that is given to animals. 

4.  The fact that Damion is black makes his inhumane and excessive incarceration all the more acceptable to prison investors, including those in government positions whose duty is to protect the rights of Americans, especially Americans with disabilities and people who are institutionalized. A study showed that black people who are suffering engender less sympathy than other races. The lack of sympathy was evident even among blacks who participated in the study. Therefore, having black people in decision making positions has not and will not positively affect black prisoners who endure brutality and torturous solitary confinement, especially since reversing mass incarceration would incur a personal cost to decision makers in terms of their own stock portfolios and career growth.

5.  (Ten numbered paragraphs are in this article, seven urls, one email address.) The recent study by Kelly M. Hoffman and Adam Waytz shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. The researchers asked participants to rate how much pain they would feel in 18 common scenarios. The participants rated experiences such as stubbing a toe or getting shampoo in their eyes on a four-point scale (where 1 is “not painful” and 4 is “extremely painful”). Then they rated how another person (a randomly assigned photo of an experimental “target”) would feel in the same situations. Sometimes the target was white, sometimes black. In each experiment the researchers found that white participants, black participants, nurses and nursing students assumed that blacks felt less pain than whites.

6.  We have before us the same task that our great grandparents did: abolition of slavery. Although whites also suffer in America's prison industrial complex, injustice remains largely a racial issue in the United States. This writer knows of no Caucasian family who had a member secretly arrested, kept nearly three weeks under secret incarceration, deprived of prescription heart and psychiatric medications, then returned to the family as a naked corpse without any explanation, excuse, inquest, investigation, prosecution, or wrongful death payout. It is doubtful that a major law firm could succeed in having courts declare it "nonexistent" to avoid liability after defrauding a Caucasian family like The (Johnny) Cochran Firm did to the Neal family.

7.  No Caucasian family would be in danger of financial persecution, censorship, and retribution for asking officials in federal and local government offices what happened to the deceased. That response is limited to Larry Neal's family and black families in the Old South when their loved ones were lynched. Crosses would blaze in the yards of black families to warn survivors not to seek justice. Deprivation of equal protection under the law in 21st century America continues unabated while the nation pretends it entered a post-racial era and undermines affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act, and other provisions that were instituted to improve conditions of blacks in this land that prospered mightily by slavery for 400 years and still benefits from enforced prison labor of a largely black prison population. 

8.  Fred Hayes sought psychiatric help for Damion when he was 17 years of age and his mental illness manifested itself, but Fred was rejected. Psychiatric treatment is often withheld from mentally ill Americans unless they prove (usually through preventable crimes) that they are a danger to self and others. A year later, Damion attacked a neighbor for no apparent reason, probably while hallucinating, and was sentenced to prison for 23 years to LIFE for his first offense. Mentally ill inmates are unlikely to be treated favorably by any parole board because their illness precludes their ability to follow prison rules and win favor from guards and the warden. Therefore, Damion is likely ineligible to exit prison minus a successful appeal or a pardon. 

9.  Damion's two appeals have been rejected, and his family continues to work with attorneys to release the young man who should be a hospital inpatient and not a prison inmate. We request your help on the petition to the White House and Florida's governor for Damion's pardon: "SAVE FLORIDA INMATE DAMION HAYES FROM SHU." Please sign and share the petition at the link below to save Damion as well as Florida taxpayers who would be billed over $4 million during Damion's lifetime if he remains imprisoned. Your support may help deliver Damion from prison, where he has already spent 14 years in torturous solitary confinement. Damion is capable of undergoing treatment and being restored to a wholesome life. Damion Hayes is not an animal.

Save Florida Inmate Damion Hayes from SHU

References (four)

Hoffman and Waytz Study: "Racial Perceptions of Others' Pain"

10.  This is FREE DAMION HAYES MONTH at "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill." Please hear Fred Hayes speak on behalf of his son, Damion, and all mentally dysfunctional inmates Wednesday nights in June at 9pm PDT at Blogtalkradio. Your comments and questions are invited at (818)572.2947; the same number will connect you to the "Human Rights for Prisoners March" broadcasts each Monday at 9pm PDT. Previous recordings are archived for your listening any time. 
Thanks for participating in the "Human Rights for Prisoners March" across the Internet to 
demand respect for all people.

Human Rights for Prisoners March
Blogtalkradio - Monday nights at 9pm PST
Mary Neal, director

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