If you are unfamiliar with death row, you should read this article for a basic understanding of this controversial subject. Death row inmates are segregated from other prisoners, but they are not denied a regular diet and access to legal materials. Yet, despite their extreme isolation, they are still highly vulnerable to suicide and other forms of violence. In this article, you will learn about death row overview and the many factors that can lead to this grim outcome.
Inmates on death row are segregated from other prisoners.
Inmates on death row are separated from other prisoners and are permitted to spend only a few hours outside of their cells per day. These inmates are not allowed to have contact visits and are limited to an hour of recreation outside their cells each day. They are allowed one hour outside to shower or exercise but can only spend that time in a cage with a door that is locked. Inmates are separated from each other even when they do not pose a threat to staff or inmates.
There is no direct supervision in these cells, and inmates are often shaken down before being sent back to their cells. Visiting hours are usually limited to one hour per day but are allowed at certain times if the inmate is not demonstrating appropriate behavior.
They receive a regular diet.
Most death row inmates are fed the same diet as the general population. They are usually served three meals a day and are housed in cells in more restrictive units. The other death row inmates, meanwhile, are housed in dining halls. Some death row inmates do not receive a regular diet. They may eat the same meals as general population inmates, but there is no official way to tell how they are being fed.
The death row inmates have one hour of recreation each day, usually outside their cells. Supervisors may deny recreation time to inmates who are dangerous to the community. However, supervisors must use appropriate restraints to prevent disruptive behavior. Additionally, inmates may be given an additional hour of out-of-cell time each day between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
They have access to reading, writing, and legal materials.
The inmate’s time is limited. The inmate is only allowed two hours of recreation outside the cell each day. The inmate must spend the other hour in a secured area requiring no direct supervision. Death row inmates receive the same food quality as other inmates and are allowed to write letters. However, if an inmate’s behavior is deemed hazardous, the staff may use another type of meal service. During these times, death row inmates may not have any contact with other inmates.
The Department of Corrections (ADOC) received a federal grant to establish libraries in multiple prison facilities. As a result, Donaldson Prison Warden Steve Dees banned hundreds of books and magazines from the facility. He also said in a deposition that books were contraband.
They are more likely to commit suicide.
Suicide is more common for death row inmates than for other prisoners. One study shows that half of death row inmates commit suicide while on remand. These inmates are typically 30-35 years old and have been in jail for five years or more. Suicide is more common in violent offenders, those denied parole, and those in conflict with prison authorities. Suicide attempts are also more common, and the lethality of the attempts is high.
Researchers believe this is due in large part to the mental health of these death row inmates. Inmates on death row are less likely to engage in violent or abusive behavior when mainstreamed into prison populations. Moreover, they are more likely to commit suicide if they have had a difficult life – a life sentence on death row may have contributed to their suicide attempt. This is a troubling finding and raises essential questions.