Why Former Border Agent Jesus Diaz is Imprisoned in a Hell Hole

by on January 29th, 2011
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Ever since his arrest and detainment, former border patrol agent Jesus Diaz has been kept inside a dark 8 x 10 isolation cell that was designed to segregate him from other prisoners in general population thus placed in single-celled units. Every day of the week they are allotted a short time “out of the cell” exercise which includes time for showering and brief non-contact visits with family. Solitary confinement is a toxic and harsh prison placement. It has been described by United Nations torture expert Juan Mendez as a place where a prisoner can be exposed to treatment that “can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment when used as a punishment, during pretrial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged periods” He adds that this type of housing assignment have been called by numerous other names or titles that include but not limited to “‘Segregation, isolation, separation, cellular, lockdown, supermax, the hole, secure housing unit…whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by states as a punishment or extortion (of information) technique.”

Dr. Stuart Grassian, a psychiatrist and expert on the effects of solitary confinement, has argued that on death row, “the conditions of confinement are so oppressive, the helplessness endured in the roller coaster of hope and despair so wrenching and exhausting, that ultimately the inmate can no longer bear it, and then it is only in dropping his appeals that he has any sense of control over his fate.” He also states that solitary confinement “In my opinion, solitary confinement – that is confinement of a prisoner alone in a cell for all or nearly all of the day, with minimal environmental stimulation and minimal opportunity for social interaction – can cause severe psychiatric harm. This harm includes a specific syndrome which has been reported by many clinicians in a variety of settings, all of which have in common features of inadequate, noxious and/or restricted environmental and social stimulation. In more severe cases, this syndrome is associated with agitation, self-destructive behavior, and overt psychotic disorganization.”

Finally, Dr. Stuart Grassian gets down to the most toxic elements of solitary confinement as he says in his writings “In my experience, many inmates housed in such stringent conditions are extremely fearful of acknowledging the psychological harm or stress they are experiencing as a result of such confinement. This reluctance of inmates in solitary confinement is in substantial measure a response to the perception that such confinement is an overt attempt by authorities to “break them down” psychologically, and in my experience, tends to be more severe when the inmate experiences the stringencies of his confinement as being the product of an arbitrary exercise of power, rather than the fair result of an inherently reasonable process

Jesus Diaz is being exposed to the harshest type of punishment a man can experience when incarcerated. He has done nothing to deserve such treatment or housing assignment as his crime was one where even if he was found guilty of fabricated charges, he could have been allowed to post bail and remain outside to work on his defense against bogus charges through a forced indictment by the Department of Justice for color of law violations related to excessive force by “lifting the handcuffs” of an illegal immigrant smuggling drugs into this country near Eagle Pass, Texas back in October, 2008. It is clear that collusion between the Mexican government and American judicial officials, Jesus Diaz was used as a scapegoat to show other border agents that if you do your job, you are subject to solitary confinement inside a prison for an undetermined amount of time.

Sources:

http://www.advocatescouncil.us/US-vs-JDiaz.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/18/us-un-torture-solitary-idUSTRE79H7HF20111018

http://www.prisoncommission.org/statements/grassian_stuart_long.pdf


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