The report on tbe CIA’s use of torture is stomach turning. But in our own backyard, state-funded torture is happening on a daily basis to our own citizens. Just 20 miles south of here at the Dade Correctional Institution and in other state prisons, mentally ill prisoners are starved, beaten, deprived of medical care, placed in isolation for extended periods of time, and even scalded to death by sadistic guards.
Many people with mental illness end up in our prisons and jails because of the lack of availability of appropriate and accessible mental-health services to treat their mental illness. They don’t belong there in the first place, nor do they deserve to be abused, deprived of their basic civil rights or, even worse, murdered.
We need to think long and hard about what it means to be a civilized society. Whether it’s happening in Guantánamo or Homestead, it’s up to us to speak out against using torture on any human being.
Marilyn Markus-Lieberman, Hollywood