This week, we speak more with Leon Benson, who calls us from inside the Pendleton Correctional Facility here in Indiana. Benson shared his story with us in the past several Kite Line episodes, and now he talks to us about the conditions inside the prison.

 Benson demonstrates the importance of prisoners being ableto form bonds with people on the outside, and how it supports their mental health, their transition to the outside when released- and also protects them from violence and abuse by prison staff. He explains how guards are less likely to inflict violence on prisoners who regularly receive mail and communication from the outside.

 He also talks to us about the high turnover rates for correctional officers, the rampant drug use that is affecting prisoners, and the benefits of education while on the inside. Leon’s decades inside give him the insights he shares with us regarding the changes he has seen in the conditions within prisons. He starts out with an example of a prisoner being abused by guards at Pendleton Correctional Facility.