Heather Chapman’s bipolar son was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery at age 19. She says his condition has worsened since then, due in large part to his time in isolation. She’s afraid he’ll die before he gets out.
Heather finally got to see Nikko … AJ+’s video turned the tide.
It likely wouldn’t take media attention to get the Florida Department of Corrections to treat inmates and their families like human beings if the Sunshine State set the tone by treating corrections personnel like human beings – good pay and benefits, no life-threatening understaffing, no coworkers with psychiatric issues, etc.
The Florida Legislature is now in session. Will they cure overcrowding/understaffing/budget woes by revising sentencing laws for non-violent offenses and/or restoring the parole system? Will they reduce recidivism by preventing dehumanizing long-term use of solitary confinement, providing educational programs, restoring Charlie Crist’s relatively inexpensive and fair Felon Rights Restoration Program? Will they provide across-the-board pay raises for corrections personnel, whose ludicrously low wages have been frozen for eight years?
If our legislature is not going to be guilty yet again of setting up our lockups to fail – resulting in record high body counts – they’re going to have to start talking to inmates and their families as well as corrections personnel, and stop talking to lobbyists bent on keeping the US the Incarceration Nation.