Incarceration Nation

COVID-19, Lockdown, and Mental Illness

By Shakaboona

The COVID-19 lockdown of the Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections (PADOC) has transformed the state prisons into one massive solitary confinement system, a prisoncrat’s dream come true, yet a nightmare for incarcerated prisoners who are fighting to maintain their mental sanity and emotional stability.

Solitary confinement is proven to cause mental illness and emotional trauma in human beings, who are social beings by nature, which makes solitary confinement the antithesis to human nature. Here, in the state prisons, incarcerated people are fighting just to keep their heads above water under the COVID-19 lockdown of prisons. Incarcerated persons can be seen in a constant agitated state, very stressed, on an emotional rollercoaster of mood swings, outbursts of anger, aggression, severe depression, and suicidal. Were it not for the free Zoom visits, phone calls, and emails to maintain communication with family and friends, were it not for the yard periods to socialize with other incarcerated people, and were it not for incarcerated people’s understanding of the need to keep safe under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, there would be massive prison rebellions against the inhumane treatment that incarcerated people are receiving in the name of “COVID-19 Safety Measures.”

National newspapers recently have reported that tens-of-millions of Americans are suffering mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19, and former First Lady Michelle Obama has stated she too is battling depression from the COVID-19, and they are people who are in the free world. Then how much more are incarcerated people whom are locked down, locked under, locked out, and locked away from society and placed in solitary confinement conditions suffering mental illnesses? More pointedly, how many people in society even care?, September 2020

Write to Shakaboona:

Smart Communications/PA DOC

Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826

SCI Rockview

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733