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I liked the story and i’m going to tell everyone i know too watch it. very well put together good job. drake from ksr
Thanks Drake. I am glad you liked it. Thanks for helping to tell such an important story. Please forward this to everyone at the Reformatory.
Jenn, what a powerful piece of journalism! Thanks for shedding light on an important issue. All the best, Scott
phenomenal work jenn.
fantastic work jenn! moving, nauseating, frightening and thought provoking!
Impressive and intensive – great! Your work asked me, why the government wasted billions of bucks in Iraq though money is needed in America. I don´t know where the mental ill people are…
Really phenom piece….powerful imaging and multimedia. Bravo!
What an excellent production. It must have been very hard on you emotionally. I don’t think most people realize this is going on.
wow… i don’t even have the words to describe how much your work affected me today. i saw everything on the ‘indepth’ site; the ‘trapped’ video, the inmate interviews, the ‘inmate watchers’ video – all of it, and here i sit in a puddle of my own tears. this work is profoundly moving and this insight into prisons as mental health institutions needs to be wide-spread, seen and heard. i hope it will make a difference.
i have a question – how on earth did you gain such access as to be allowed into the prison system to do this work? that is phenomenal in itself. i always wanted to do a PJ piece on the prison system but access is utterly denied here in seattle.
please continue your work of which i have high admiration for.
jenn … really amazing. i’d be interested in what your response to katia roberts is about access. also to hear about how you went about this whole project. it’s very touching, disturbing, sad and amazing all at once.
thanks for putting your heart into it.
Jenn, I have to tell you how impressive your work is. You have presented a balanced look at an extremely intense place. Its tough on everyone there and I think you got to experience that. You are a credit to your chosen field and your work speaks volumes for those living and working with mental illness in prisons. I look forward to seeing more of your work from your visits on the yard at KSR.
Jenn we were glad to have you and now that I see the final project it looks great. Now hopefully people will see the problems that we as corrections professionals deal with everyday. Good luck and hope to see more of your work.
Just watched the videos and viewed the pictures today. They made me cry. Those of us who work at the Reformatory see this on a daily basis, but the story needs to be told so the public is aware of the need and the impact on society. Can we talk about expanding this to other areas?
i saw this on “we make money not art.” love it.
Powerful and important. Picked this up on the Mind Hacks blog. I hope you find funding to make the feature.
I’m not sure what to say besides thanks so much for shedding some well needed light on a very serious issue.
Thank you, Jenn Ackerman, for this video. My brother, Larry Neal, a 54-year-old mentally ill heart patient was secretly arrested for 18 days in Shelby County Jail, Memphis, TN until his death on Aug. 1, 2003. The jail repeatedly and falsely reported it did not have Larry under incarceration during the nearly three weeks while my family and Larry’s social worker searched for him to administer his vital psychiatric and heart drugs. After he died, police immediately knew who he was — especially since Larry had been a “frequent flyer” in the jail, arrested just two weeks prior on another offense related to his mental condition. I guess they just got tired enough of Larry to euthanize him.
We are presently suing the (Johnnie) Cochran Firm for its fraud against Larry’s family as our wrongful death attorneys. That law firm contracted to represent us, but was actually working for the jail to protect it from public exposure and paying damages for Larry’s death. The managing partner of The Cochran Firm’s Memphis office was himself a county commissioner, and the county commission is the entity that owns and operates the jail that killed Larry.
I use this video on my home page and in advocacy for mental patients. We plan to release a video this week to expose The Cochran Firm and the conspiracy of silence that followed Larry’s wrongful death.
WE WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS DOING A FULL DOCUMENTARY WITH YOU.
Visit my page, where your video is prominently featured:
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
My Articles on NowPublic.com:
Don’t know how i missed this for the last 8 months….great work.
Awesome work, looks like you had some great access to be able to provide these powerful images. My wife is a nurse at KCPC.
Great work Jenn. It really is sad that the prison systems are having to resort to that. I can’t imagine what it took for you to do all of that. I imagine very emotional. Great job!
As a Nurse I spent 13 years working in the state mental hospital and recall the 1960′s when many were sent to live in group homes and/or just put out in the street.. The majority of homeless people living in the streets were at one time living in the state hospitals where they had a structured environment, received daily routine medication, routine medical care , to include regular hot meals, clothing, warm beds. I hold our state and federal government responsible.
I have a son that a small town is trying to send back CZ he did some dumb slap your hand stuff now their talking more felonious he just did 8 yrs of this small town back woods courts and the state giving him his SSI under developmentally disabled and scoliosis untreated the whole time he was in prison even had two disc crush on him they don’t care.he went in at 18 did 8yrs been out 8 months and my get a life of the 3rd strike out of this.
[...] Titicut Follies humble.life wrote: >> > > i my expect it, but i won’t except it http://www.jennackerman.com/trapped/feature/ http://www.jennackerman.com/trapped/in-their-corner/ [...]
i am working on a project and today was the first day of the project. This is my lucky day : good start. great and impressive work. congragulations…
Hey Jenn, awesome work, one of the best multimedia pieces I’ve seen recently. You give us a very sensitive approach on a really tough subject.
Congratulations for the piece and for the NPPA prize.
Amazing powerful work Jenn!
Congratulation also on the BOP Award.
Absolutely well deserved!
thank you for this work! As a regional coordinator for the IL Children’s Mental Health Partnership, I’m hoping real life of the mentally ill in prisons can be used to promote wellness and early intervention in youth and adolescents!
Thanks again – Kevin McClure, LCPC
Something about your film does not add up. The KSR produce their own video recruiting staff, and unless they used a Universal Studios Film set, it was more like Holiday Inn than what your video shows. Training, medical services, sports facilities and more. Maybe the ones in your video are the child rapists who deserve to be caged or maybe you have a different agenda. Something tells me that your video is not 100% real. For example, why would they have a young woman in there taking film if it’s so dangerous? Also, what you see as ‘poor caged men’ might actually be a preventative measure because given any freedom they would kill someone in a second.
And finally, if it was genuinely as bad as your film apparently shows, someone would have exposed it in the media by now. A disgruntled ex officer who did not get the promotion etc..would have taken this to the papers.
I am pretty sure that there are parts of the prison like you show in the video, but there are also very comfortable parts. I bet you never actually asked WHY these men are caged up – what crime they committed? I also bet you quite enjoyed the experience of being in a prison full of dangerous men, subconsciously.
I used a small clip from your film for a presentation on Mental Illness and the Prison system for a graduate Social Justice class at the University of Texas at Austin. You have hit home on just the tip of the iceberg of the state of not only the penal system within the United States, but the those without access (or subpar) to health care or mental health services. That coupled with the power of the pharmaceudicals companies to “test” on “patients” within the system is not only saddening but unethical beyond measure. Especially when the brain chemistry and drugs are such a delicate process to get right.
I want to applaud you for all your hard work, your many hours of dedication and the enduring strength and passion it takes to sustain energy and determination on such a difficult and emotionally draining issue. Thank you for being one who has given a voice to those who have none.
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Excellent editing and pacing and WHAT a GRIPPING portrayal.
Thank you for making this investigation!
I love the work your doing here, I added your site to my facebook, myspace, twitter & digg .. I think people really need to know whats going on in our justice system. These people deserve a better life then this.. It just tares at my heart strings to see this type of abuse going on in our system today…..
this is actually a great video. I have actually been to this place in a tour I did. Since the surge of de-institutionalization in the 60′s, there has been an increasing amount of people w/ psychiatric diagnosis entering prisons- it is the way to institionalize them, without officially institutionalizing.
Amazing work Jenn. Your vision for this work is very powerful. Good luck on your future endeavors!
I was in CPTU’s famous C-Wing in KSR in 2008 from May until September. There is absolutely no compassion from the staff either the medical or custody department. I have witnessed officers crossing the line, especially Officer Rose, during physical alterations where they had to subdue men with mental illenesses. They leave you to sit in a locked cell for days, weeks, even sometimes months on end with absolutely no form of treatment besides giving you heavy sedatives and your three meals a day. The only time you come out is if you say yes when asked by an officer for a shower and that is only 3 times a week for roughly 10 minutes. The staff as a whole is very indifferent as they treat men like animals and I’d put money on it that when this film was being shot, a whole different act was being displayed for the cameras and visitors as always!
I along with many others have professional experience of things documented in this film and so have other commenters. (Unfortunately I live and work in the UK) of course 100% of places aren’t like the film 100% of the time – but that’s like saying its OK for murder to happen in prisons because it doesn’t happen everyday and not in all prison sectors.
As for ‘you haven’t considered what they’ve done’ – that is missing the point entirely. This film states at the beginning “prisons are becoming serrogate mental health hospitals.” Prison is NOT for treating the mentally ill; this is what breaks my heart day in day out, and will do the same to most people who watch this film.
This video, like others has said, is showing how prisons are serving as mental health facilities. Many studies have shown the one of the most common factors among homeless people is in fact a psychiatric diagnosis and unless there is some type of free clinic that can provide psychiatric and psychological care, they go untreated. Even if there is a clinic like this, the individual would have to go there every day to receive treatment, unless this place would supply a month worth of pills. The sad truth is, many people with psychiatric disorders goes untreated.
Funding for inpatient psychiatric treatment is miniminal, so, instead of sending people with a psychiatric disorder to a psychiatric facility, they go to prison. Prisons were not designed to act as a make shift psychiatric hospital. The modern adult correctional philosophy is not rehabiliation, like it is in juvenile facilities, but rather, punitive.
Some inmates remind me of monks in their cells.
The opportunity to learn meditation or contemplative prayer would be a healing process
If I was boss of a prison thats what I’d provide.
Simple easy cheap effective.
impressive work you have done , there are still so much people need help there and we dont have a chance to take a look . still so much stories to tell
They just get away with it and do nothing about it knowing that their SICK not as in PAIN SICK but mentally sick instead they put them in jail even though they didn’t do anything wrong …yes I know they can danger people around but they dont necessarily need to be in jail(institutionalizing is a solution rehabilitation) .. see how the law is now on days ..thats sad really sad
I just found the link and watched the video. Very impressed with it. So much truth about these men and their lives there in the reformatory. I must agree with an earlier comment was made by a writer, who holds the state accountable for these mentally disturbed people.
I was an officer here, so I have seen first hand what these lost souls go through. It is sad to know that many of these men have no one to turn to. No family, No friends, No one. They are the rejects of society; The ones who’s family does not mention their names aloud in public or in private. The eternally damned…..
[...] third story, it uses the exact same background music as that which appears in Jenn Ackerman’s “Trapped” piece (something we’ve seen many times in the Photo sequence), which threw me off as soon as [...]
Wow! It is truly saddening to think about the number of those who suffer in prisons, when all that was needed was health care. My brother Nicholas had Mental Health Warrants in numerous countys in Texas, when we finally followed a lead that led us to Tulsa, Oklahoma. We found him sleeping in a park after being missing for 3 weeks and brought him home. He was denied care and a few short months later he was placed in jail under the pretense that he would be taken to the hospital.
This is a blog I posted about Nick 2/15/10
I went to visit Nick on Tueday and was extremely saddened by his worsened condition. Nicholas has taken no medication since his arrest in June of 2009 even though multiple doctors have state that he suffers from the worst case of schizophrenia seen in their careers. While Lew Sterrett staff continue to find Nicholas forensically competent, I find it difficult even to carry a conversation with him. During my hour-long visits with Nicholas I may capture a single minute of his attention and am not even certain that he is aware of my presence. While I spend every moment of the allowed weekly visit trying to speak with him, he spends most of visitation speaking with entities unseen by myself and does not hold eye contact with me. Toward the end of our visiting hour, a prison employee walked by and my mother had him look through the window to see our Nicholas on the other side. He stood, shaking his fists and yelling at an invisible enemy. We couldn’t even tell him goodbye or that we love him. My mother told the officer, “When we visit we can see other people visiting with their loved ones. They can speak with each other, but this is what visiting is like for us. Is anyone in there able to speak with him?” The guard just shook his head, stating that Nicholas was always like that. Now I’m left wondering, if Nick is always like that how did he manage to stand before a judge, be found forensically competant and plead guilty to a felony charge that he did not commit? Please help my brother. He needs medical attention, not imprisonment.
the mental hospital in china is not much different than prison in the States.
I know because I survived through it.
I would love for you guys to do a documentary on the mental health care of China.
Expose the truth.
please help me and my family get justice for my brother he just died in a cell…. had mentally illness.. they took him from a state hospital and threw him in lockdown for a year with no help we tried to fight him to get back and won he was going to go back home and he died before he got home….they killed him and now they are tyring to cover it up..
Stunning film. I’m aware of some of these issues having lived in the States for many years (now in London, UK).
I will show this film to my wife this evening. She’s a psychiatrist and spent several years doing research for the Veterans Administration (effects on families and communities of traumatic brain injury in returning veterans) and clinical work for New York State under Pataki and at the NYC Dept. of Homeless Services. She’d be appalled, of course but she knows the truth of it.
This is very powerful work you’ve done here. I’ll be watching your career with interest, particularly as I begin to make my way in motion capture alongside my stills work.
sara you are wrong but its a common mistake and you will get over it and become a compasionate defender of mentaly ill
if someone you know is getting carzing and wandering off, call police and fill out a missing person report. Why? when found by police they will send them to a hospital instead of jail. The police are compasionate and know the person will be better taken there. also statistics will be gathered to better alocate resources
My dad’s youngest brother was committed to a state hospital back in the late 1950s, he was treated as a sub-human back then. I wonder how many current state and federal inmates just fall into the category of “misunderstood”
Un excelente trabajo audiovisual y fotográfico, y aunado a ello un gran respeto a la condición humana de estas personas. Felicito a los autores.
Es increíble, y hasta desconocido, que pasa en nuestras mentes y en nuestro sistema biológico para que un ser humano llegue a esta condición.
I cannot even explain in words how I feel after watching these videos and reading the article. As a graduate student in the mental health field here in Kentucky, I was truly inspired. Thank you for bringing this issue to light.
This makes me cry…………..the innocents…………….it’s not their fault………..i never went to jail but i almost did when I was in mania and totally out of my mind. I think I was just lucky that the judge had a kind heart, I think. I would like to know if you have a mailing list or send things via US mail, would you add me on? Thanks so much. If there is anything at all I could do to help even in some small way, please let me know.
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