The U.S. was shaken this week by the death of Lashawn Thompson in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail. He had been moved to the psychiatric ward after being jailed on a simple battery charge. Physically healthy when he was arrested, he was left in a cell infested with bed bugs and other vermin. Michael Harper, an attorney for Thompson’s family, said he had been “eaten alive,” with over 1000 bites on his body. This is only the latest scandal to rock Atlanta-area jails, which hold thousands of people in brutal conditions of neglect.
In order to think more broadly about the context of medical and psychiatric care in prison, we are sharing an earlier Kite Line episode this week featuring a conversation on the subject between Michelle Jones, Anastazia Schmid, and Micol Seigel. Recorded in 2016 while Jones and Schmid were both still incarcerated, we are happy to report that both women have since been released. Jones is one of the authors of the recent book, WHO WOULD BELIEVE A PRISONER Indiana Women’s Carceral Institutions, 1848–1920.