Those who work within the criminal justice system, especially those whose clients are transitioning between prison and the community, are recognizing the deep psychological scars gouged into inmates by the trauma of being locked up in a hostile and unnatural environment. Increasingly, reentrants are being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, caused by the stressful and sometimes life-threatening events encountered during incarceration.
Mika’il Deveaux, Executive Director of Citizens Against Recidivism, recently wrote an article that appeared in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review that provides readers with a gripping account of his experiences while incarcerated. Click here to go to website . Reentry Central is reposting this informative article on the trauma associated with incarceration with permission from its author.
(To learn more about Citizens Against Recidivism Click here to go to website.)
Mika’il DeVeaux spent 32 years in prison before being released three years ago. His story is a cautionary tale for those who naively believe that prison is a “quick fix” for those convicted of committing a crime. Reentry professionals will find DeVeaux’s experience helpful when working with a population who sometimes do not understand the psychological damage that slowly engulfed them throughout their period of incarceration, and may explain why other reentrants are reluctant to seek treatment for mental health issues. The majority of individuals who are now incarcerated will be released one day. DeVeaux explains what we can expect when that happens in The Trauma of the Incarceration Experience.