Sensory deprivation is depravity

by Termaine Saulsbury

“Help Me” – Art: Guss Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, 5-N-23, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94964
“Help Me” – Art: Guss Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, 5-N-23, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94964

From within and beyond the $100,000 8-by-14-foot steel and stone sensory deprivation cell that is designed for my mental, physical and social dehumanization, I bring to you this letter of concern regarding the adverse effects of long-term sensory deprivation.

After spending over a year in the Special Management Unit (SMU) here at Camp Hill and undergoing long-term intensive solitary confinement, denied and deprived of direct human contact, I was released into general population on Jan. 19. Upon seeing me for the first time in over a year, a fellow prisoner shook my hand and then proceeded to put both arms around me to embrace me.

I became visibly shaken and cringed as if I had been physically violated. I had not had any physical contact with another human being in so long that I wasn’t used to being touched.

I had become super-sensitive to one of the basic human senses – the sense of human touch.

Send our brother some love and light: Termaine Saulsbury, GP-3965, P.O. Box 200, Camp Hill PA 17001-0200.