Inside MSDF there’s no sunlight. Most prisoners are kept in their cells 20-23 hours a day. A lot of the people are in overcrowded conditions where a cell meant for two people has three people in it. There is absolutely no outdoor recreation yard. When you are in your cell you can’t see outside. It’s a box. It’s a building within a building. The windows on the outside are not accessible to any of the people incarcerated there.
I think the experience most people get from being at MSDF is it’s just a means of breaking people. It’s either going to break you mentally because of the conditions in there or it could even break you physically because you’re in a cell with three people. That’s asking for problems right there when you are keeping them in there for 20-23 hours.
There’s just a lot, lot wrong there. And, honestly, if it’s supposed to be for rehabilitating people, it’s not. It’s exacerbating any problems that might exist with that person. And then you’re releasing people back out with more problems than they came in with.
The only way I see things getting any better is completely closing that facility. I was thinking changing the policies and the way we do revocation hearings would prevent a lot of people from ever going in there. We should let all the procedures for investigating people happen while they are still in the community instead of while they are in MSDF because it’s really a lack of due process. They are not going back in front of their sentencing judge. They’re not going back in front of a jury of their peers. It’s just their probation officer, their PO’s supervisor and the administrative law judge. T hey are largely making the decision on whether someone is revocated or not.
The more people that come out and say something, the more likely that something will be done about it.