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The Prisoner (1955)1955 [WORK]

The Prisoner is a 1955 British black and white psychological thriller film directed by Peter Glenville and based on the play by Bridget Boland. The film stars Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.[1] Although controversial upon release, the film did go on to be nominated for five 1956 British Academy Awards: best film, best actor (for Hawkins and Guinness), best director, and best adapted screenplay.[2]

The Prisoner (1955)1955

Gritty drama about a Cardinal imprisoned in a Soviet bloc country as his captors attempt to break his determination not to be used as a propaganda tool. Interactions between the prisoner and his interogator are riveting. Based on the real-life experiences of Cardinal Mindszenty, a Hungarian activist during and after WWII. 91m/B VHS, DVD . GB Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Raymond Huntley, Wilfred Lawson; D: Peter Glenville.

In the resolution A/RES/70/175, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day, observed each year on 18 July, to be also utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment; to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society; to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (PDF ), originally adopted by the First UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1955, constitute the universally acknowledged minimum standards for the management of prison facilities and the treatment of prisoners, and have been of tremendous value and influence in the development of prison laws, policies and practices in Member States all over the world.

In recognition of the advances in international law and correctional science since 1955, however, the General Assembly decided, in 2011, to establish an open-ended intergovernmental Expert Group to review and possibly revise the rules. Relevant UN bodies, other international and regional organisations, as well as civil society were invited to contribute to the process. As the custodian of the Standard Minimum Rules, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) closely accompanied the revision process by serving as its Secretariat.

This article examines the rise of the Nation of Islam (NOI) within America's penal system during the late 1950s and the 1960s. In doing so, it explores the reasons for the NOI's appeal among African American prisoners, its contribution to the politicization of those prisoners, the responses of penal, state and federal authorities to the proliferation of prison mosques, and the way in which imprisoned Black Muslims' campaign for freedom of religious expression established the legal groundwork for the prisoners' rights movement of the late 1960s and the 1970s. This research presents the prison as a locus of black protest and the African American prisoner as an important, but largely overlooked, actor within the black freedom struggle. It calls upon historians to recognize the importance of the prison as both a site and a symbol of black resistance during the post-World War II period.

Deinstitutionalization began in 1955 with the widespread introduction of chlorpromazine, commonly known as Thorazine, the first effective antipsychotic medication, and received a major impetus 10 years later with the enactment of federal Medicaid and Medicare. Deinstitutionalization has two parts: the moving of the severely mentally ill out of the state institutions, and the closing of part or all of those institutions. The former affects people who are already mentally ill. The latter affects those who become ill after the policy has gone into effect and for the indefinite future because hospital beds have been permanently eliminated.

The magnitude of deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill qualifies it as one of the largest social experiments in American history. In 1955, there were 558,239 severely mentally ill patients in the nation's public psychiatric hospitals. In 1994, this number had been reduced by 486,620 patients, to 71,619, as seen in Figure 1.2. It is important to note, however, that the census of 558,239 patients in public psychiatric hospitals in 1955 was in relationship to the nation's total population at the time, which was 164 million.

By 1994, the nation's population had increased to 260 million. If there had been the same proportion of patients per population in public mental hospitals in 1994 as there had been in 1955, the patients would have totaled 885,010. The true magnitude of deinstitutionalization, then, is the difference between 885,010 and 71,619. In effect, approximately 92 percent of the people who would have been living in public psychiatric hospitals in 1955 were not living there in 1994. Even allowing for the approximately 40,000 patients who occupied psychiatric beds in general hospitals or the approximately 10,000 patients who occupied psychiatric beds in community mental health centers (CMHCs) on any given day in 1994, that still means that approximately 763,391 severely mentally ill people (over three-quarters of a million) are living in the community today who would have been hospitalized 40 years ago. That number is more than the population of Baltimore or San Francisco.

Deinstitutionalization varied from state to state. In assessing these differences in census for public mental hospitals, it is not sufficient merely to subtract the 1994 number of patients from the 1955 number, because state populations shifted in the various states during those 40 years. In Iowa, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, the total populations actually decreased during that period, whereas in California, Florida, and Arizona, the population increased dramatically; and in Nevada, it increased more than sevenfold, from 0.2 million to 1.5 million. The table in the Appendix takes these population changes into account and provides an effective deinstitutionalization rate for each state based on the number of patients hospitalized in 1994 subtracted from the number of patients that would have been expected to be hospitalized in 1994 based on that state's population. It assumes that the ratio of hospitalized patients to population would have remained constant over the 40 years.

Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and California all have effective deinstitutionalization rates of over 95 percent. Rhode Island's rate is over 98 percent, meaning that for every 100 state residents in public mental hospitals in 1955, fewer than 2 patients are there today. On the other end of the curve, Nevada, Delaware, and the District of Columbia have effective deinstitutionalization rates below 80 percent.

The odyssey of repeated incarceration for severely ill people like George Wooten was common in the United States in the early 1800s although many Americans found such practices inhumane and uncivilized. Their sentiments found organized expression in the Boston Prison Discipline Society, which was founded in 1825 by the Reverend Louis Dwight, a Yale graduate and Congregationalist minister. Shocked by what he saw when he began taking Bibles to inmates in jails, he established the society to publicly advocate improved prison and jail conditions in general and hospitals for mentally ill prisoners in particular. According to the medical historian, Gerald Grob, Dwight's "insistence that mentally ill persons belonged in hospitals aroused a responsive chord, especially since his investigations demonstrated that large numbers of such persons were confined in degrading circumstances."3

Dix's crusade began in early 1841, when she agreed to teach a Sunday school class at the East Cambridge Jail outside Boston. While there, she noticed not only that there were insane prisoners among the inmates, but also that the insane prisoners had no heat in their cells. When she inquired about this, she was told by the jailer that it was because "the insane need no heat." Horrified, Dix reported her findings to her friends and set out to investigate other jails in Massachusetts to ascertain whether similar conditions prevailed. Over the next year, she visited dozens of jails and almshouses and then presented a report to the state legislature. It rang of reform and set the tone for Dorothea Dix's future work:

The Reverend Louis Dwight and Dorothea Dix were remarkably successful in leading the effort to place mentally ill persons in public psychiatric hospitals rather than in jails and almshouses. By 1880, there were 75 public psychiatric hospitals in the United States for the total population of 50 million people. In 1880, the first complete census of "insane persons" in the United States was carried out. It was, in fact, a more complete census than has ever been carried out since and included letters to all physicians asking them to enumerate all "insane persons" in their community, a question about "insanity" on the census form that went to every household, and a canvassing of all hospitals, jails, and almshouses. A total of 91,959 "insane persons" were identified, of which 41,083 were living at home, 40,942 were in "hospitals and asylums for the insane," 9,302 were in almshouses, and only 397 were in jails. The total number of prisoners in all jails and prisons was 58,609, so that severely mentally ill inmates constituted only 0.7 percent of the population of jails and prisons.

Studies of inmates with psychiatric disorders in state prisons have also been carried out, and the results agree with the results from the studies done in jails. In general, jails keep prisoners sentenced for one year or less, whereas prisons keep prisoners with longer sentences. Ron Jemelka and his colleagues reported that many such studies "used a field survey approach in which one or more key administrators in each prison system was asked to respond to a series of questions about the mentally ill in their facilities. These surveys have suggested that 6 to 8 percent of state prison populations have a serious psychiatric illness," but for a variety of reasons "facility surveys are likely to substantially underestimate the number of mentally ill offenders."16 041b061a72


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