You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Robert H. King’ tag.

There is a place in the US where two men have been held in solitary confinement for 37 years. It is Angola Prison, Louisiana.

Robert H. King, one of the Angola 3 was released when his wrongful conviction was overturned in 2001. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox remain.

The length of their stays in solitary are due to the seriousness of the crime for which they were charged – the murder of a prison guard. They have always maintained they were framed for the jailhouse murder. Interestingly, in the In The Land Of The Free trailer the correctional officer’s widow doesn’t believe Wallace or Woodfox were the killers.

MENTAL HEALTH IN SOLITARY

For the most visceral and psychological description of solitary confinement upon the mental and physical health of a human read Atul Gawande‘s vital New Yorker article HELLHOLE (March 2009).

Every wondered what effect isolation has on the human psyche?

Craig Haney, a psychology professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, received rare permission to study a hundred randomly selected inmates at California’s Pelican Bay supermax, and noted a number of phenomena. First, after months or years of complete isolation, many prisoners “begin to lose the ability to initiate behavior of any kind—to organize their own lives around activity and purpose,” he writes. “Chronic apathy, lethargy, depression, and despair often result. . . . In extreme cases, prisoners may literally stop behaving,” becoming essentially catatonic.

What a crazy world with inexplicable institutions.

‘IN THE LAND OF THE FREE’ STILLS

Solitary cell

Herman Wallace (left) and Albert Woodfox (right) with Angola prison in the 1970s (background)

Photos from the In The Land Of The Free facebook page.

Source

I just came across one of Rigo‘s works in a book about prisons, but I can’t find it online so I wanted to share that which I could find.

I wondered if Rigo had done anything else. Turns out he has and he’s passionate about criminal justice abuses. Aside of his piece above in support of Mumia Abu Jamal*, Rigo has done works to rally support for America’s other most famous political prisoner, Leonard Peltier*.

Rigo also painted TRUTH (2002), an epic mural on Market Street in San Francisco, which I used to cycle past most days a without knowing its reason for being. It commemorates the 2001 quashed conviction of Robert H. King, one of the Angola 3, after 32 years of incarceration, 29 of which were spent in solitary confinement.

(Source)
* Yes, I know I could have chosen from thousands of links for Mumia and Peltier, but I chose their Twitter profiles with my eyes open to how bizarre it is. I have wondered if we live in a post-revolutionary world in which our radicals are reduced to blips of 140 characters, but then I figure the famous and infamous of the past have always survived on soundbites. I guess I ask that you use Mumia’s and Peltier’s Twitter feeds as one of many starting points for learning about their cases.

 

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

Prison Photography Archives

Post Categories