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Together we will build abolitionist visions of expansive sanctuary in Chicago. An event on organizing against imprisonment and strategies to strengthen our fight for a world without cages.
“Acutely psychotic, violent, or suicidal arrestees [are put] in single cells away from other inmates.People who are psychotic are then sent to CERMAK, the jail’s division for physically ill and acutely mentally ill patients. Thankfully, Holzer-Glier doesn’t make a case for them, but rather allows them to make their own case. They speak with gratitude about how the attention they receive from the medical staff is professional, encouraging and helpful.Those with minor mental illness are sent to Division Two, Dorm Two, where they live in dormitory-style bunk beds…” While the four prisoner-patients Holzer-Glier meets–Milton, Daniel, Tommy, and Andrew–have problems they aren’t totally bereft of hope. They have hope they can find stability but they don’t (or can’t) offer too many certain routes to stability. Some hope to find a good balance from meds that have proved helpful in the past. Holzer-Glier closes the piece with a series of statements from a clinical psychologist, a social worker, a guard, director of the care center and a corrections rehabilitation worker, all of whom work in Cook County Jail and interface with the mentally ill prisoner-patients.In Mc Dermott’s case, he should walk away quietly and accept he got off lightly, but clearly he’s not the brightest or most modest of individuals.You can and should read the full story about how this potent image was the loci of a multi-year backroom political tug of war.