Oct. 30, 2013

My Life in a Control Unit

by Mark Basden


My Life in a Control Unit

Welcome to the Sensory Deprivation Experience:

Sensory deprivation is depravity. From within and beyond these prison walls millions upon millions of dollars worth of concrete and steel, my stone sensory deprivation cell that is designed for my mental, physical and social dehumanization, I bring to you this letter of concern regarding adverse effects of long-term sensory deprivation.

After spending over 28 years celled in "Administrative Segregation", "high security", "super max" (whatever our politicians want to label them) long-term intensive solitary confinement, denied and deprived of direct human contact, I had been granted a 15 minute contact visit with a concerned Christ centered friend. Upon the end of our visit, he informed me that my little brother had been found dead in the trunk of his car (the purpose of the visit). The visitor gave me a hug, he shook my hand, then proceeded to put both arms around me for the hug. I became visibly shaken and cringed up as if I had been physically violated.

I had not had physical contact with another human being in so long that I wasn't used to being touched. I had become super-sensitive to one of the basic human senses - "the sense of human touch". The death/murder of my little brother had a less effect on me than the human contact. Are these "control" unit really good for people? After all we are people. Til pen meets paper, I remain.

Mark O. Basden
9601 Spur 591
Amarillo, Texas 79107


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