This is a photographer I truly admire, and a series I think every one should see. The photographer’s name is Jenn Ackerman and in 2008 she spent months in the Kentucky State Reformatory photographing and thus documenting the on going epidemic of mentally ill inmates, and the neglect of treatment/attention.
I could rant on and on about this, but the photo’s speak volumes more than I could ever say. If a soul can view these photos and understand what is going on yet still not have a desire to help not only these men, but any and all mentally ill person, with just as much passion as they would any ailment you can see under a microscope, they are a person I have no desire to know.
Mental illness needs attention and help, understanding and care; not heartless punishment. What’s more, these photo’s are not isolated to this one prison. Sadly, in its entirety, the American prison population is made up of 1 in 6 inmates suffering with a mental illness(es).
I will end this with that, and a couple of photos from her series. After these is the link to her work and website where you can learn more. (click to enlarge)
“An inmate on max assault status and a 23-hour lock down talks to himself in his cell. The max assault status is issued to inmates who have assaulted officers or treatment staff. The inmates have been known to throw a mixture of feces and urine, spit, hit, kick, punch or cut.”