- Written by Sarah C. Corriher Sarah C. Corriher
- Category: Political Articles Political Articles
- Published: July 09, 2009 July 09, 2009
We have received a copy of a letter from an outraged inmate who will be forced to consume psychotropic drugs upon his release from prison. This letter came from the Pennsylvania Parole Board, who told this man that he must accept mind-altering S.S.R.I. drugs as a condition of his release. The dangers of these drugs are well-known in prison, because a large portion of prisoners are placed on them during their incarcerations. These drugs are intended to keep prisoners obedient via chemical straight jackets, for the convenience of prison guards. However, these psychogenic drugs also cause some inmates to experience hallucinations, lose control, and become brutally violent. Occasionally, an inmate's outburst will be recognized as a psychotropic drug reaction, but random acts of violence are not usually blamed on the drugs, despite what is known about them.
"You shall take psychotropic medication if prescribed by your doctor."
In better times, this policy would have clearly constituted a cruel and unusual punishment; because forcing someone to take drugs which have a high likelihood of leading to violence or otherwise losing one's judgment is nothing short of evil. There is a great cruel irony in the forced drugging of convicts, who were imprisoned either because of the so-called "War on Drugs", or because drugs made them do things that got them into trouble.
The letter also specified that a mental health evaluation would be required, so a prescription for these drugs is all but guaranteed. Psychiatrists are in the drug business, and they love their kick-backs. Like regular doctors, they receive bonuses from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing specific drugs. If such a thing happened in any other industry, it would be deemed a "conflict of interest", or more accurately "criminal".
Unfortunately, this case is not isolated. The requirement for psychiatric evaluation and mandatory drugging is actually common for parolees. It is one of the reasons for such high rates of recidivism. There are other reasons, of course, which include being forced to pay for one's own supervision, paying for constant drug tests (ironically), being barred from owning any mobile phone, and the requirement to maintain employment. Most regular people with established jobs would struggle to survive against the requirements for parolees. To our disgust, we are discovering that the entire system of rehabilitation is intentionally designed to fail, in order to keep the market dollars flowing into it. In other words, it is broken by design. It reminds us of another all-too-familiar industry. Those who enter the prison system are not actually supposed to ever be freed from it. While they might be a tax burden upon us, they are nonetheless raw profit and job security for those who work the penal system for every dime it's worth. While most people assume that parolees are only on parole for several months, parole frequently lasts for decades. How long could any of us fulfill such parole requirements?
Prisoners have historically been used for experimental purposes in police states. The experiments are first tried on criminals or political prisoners, and then used against the enemy, or their own people, depending on the nature of the experiments. A large portion of American society has become inhumane toward the inmate population, refusing to consider that inmates are real people, with families, and lives of their own. Most of those imprisoned are held for non-violent, victim-less crimes. While they are some of the first to be forced to take these drugs, they will not be the last. The next step will be forced psychiatric evaluations for those who seek welfare, and a requirement that the doctors' recommendations be obeyed. Some school systems already threaten parents who refuse to drug their children, and are conjoined by zealous social service agents. This brazen institutionalized harassment is completely legal, even though there is no legal obligation for parents to place their children on psychogenic drugs. Foster children, who are unable to fight for themselves, are frequently forced to take psychogenic drugs. This is only the beginning, and eventually, we can expect to be forcefully medicated too. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, because sooner or later, it will be our turn to be 'helped' by the state.
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