Inmate Forced To Pull Out His Own Teeth In Solitary Confinement

The case of Neavada inmate Michael Sanzo, who was forced to rip out his own teeth while in solitary, shows the deplorable conditions of U.S. prisons.


For this week's #FollowFriday we are reposting a photo by Barbara Davidson @photospice / @latimes for @EverydayIncarceration Caption: A “step down program” enables an inmate serving an indeterminate SHU term to earn his way back to the general prison population or the sensitive-needs yard. Officials say gangs remain strong at Corcoran State Prison, with the Mexican Mafia being the largest. In 2015, following a court settlement, the state said it would cease the practice of indefinite SHU terms and return nearly 2,000 inmates to the general population. Until recently, California was among a shrinking number of states that keep inmates isolated on the grounds of gang membership rather than behavior, at a time of increasing national criticism over the use of solitary confinement. Thanks for following us. #ff #followfriday #everydayincarceration #everydayeverywhere #prisonphotography #prison #California #Corcoran #SHU #solitaryconfinement ???? «???? ??????» ??? ???? ???? ?? ?? ?????? «??????? ?????????????» ?????? ???????? ?? «??????? ????????» ??? ????. ?????: «???????? «???? ?? ???» ????????? ?? ?? ?????? ??????? ???????? (??????? ?? ????????? ??????) ?? ?????????? ???? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ??????. ??????? ???????? ???????? ????? ?? ????? ??????? ???????? ???????? ????????. ?????? ????????? ???????????? ???. ?? ??? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ?? ???????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??? ? ?????? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ???????. ?? ??? ???? ????? ????????? ?? ???? ????? ?????????? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ?????? ????????? ????? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ??????? ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????.» ?? ????? ?? ?? ????? ???????? ??????????

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A Nevada prison inmate has been awarded $60,000 in settlement after he filed a lawsuit claiming he endured “unbearable pain” while in solitary confinement.

Michael Sanzo, 47, alleged he suffered from intense pain in his bottom teeth, which were moving back and forth like “piano keys” during his time in solitary at High Desert Prison, near Indian Springs. Despite making numerous requests for treatment, over a period of at least three months, no medical aid was forthcoming. Instead the prison kept him locked up in a solitary cell for starting a courtyard fight and told him to wait his turn.

Desperate from the excruciating pain, Sanzo took matters in his own hands and removed his teeth by punching himself in the face and by “other macabre means.”

Sanzo was later transferred to Ely State prison and given false teeth.

Read More: Solitary Confinement And How It Destroys Mental States

The inhumane conditions of U.S. prisons have been widely criticized, and the fact that facilities have resorted to squeezing in extra inmates in solitary cells, ill-equipped for the survival of even one person, is a further black mark on the face of the institutions.

For people who are young or already suffer from mental disorders, the punishment is akin to torture. Candie Hailey, a Bronx woman who was wrongfully jailed for a crime she did not commit, spent over two years out of her 27-month incarceration in solitary, for minor misdemeanors with prison officials. The penalty took a further toll on her bipolar and borderline character disorder, so much so that she smeared her own waste on herself in an unsuccessful bid to get out of solitary.

Although solitary cells serve to keep the most dangerous prisoners isolated from the rest of the prison population, this practice is one of the most abused tactics to subjugate inmates in the U.S.

While in solitary, many prisoners suffer from neglect and the long-term psychological damage that comes from being in stark solitude for long periods of time, most often which prevents them from rehabilitating enough to successfully rejoin society — which begs the question why solitary confinement is so often used.

Recommended: Juvenile Prisoners Won’t Have To Endure Solitary Confinement Anymore

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