On September 20th, 2011, at 10:55 pm in the Psychiatric Services Unit of California State Prison, Sacramento, a guard was completing his rounds checking on patients in the unit. Locked in solitary confinement, but allowed 10 hours of recreation a week as well as some group activities, prisoners held in these units have been diagnosed with a litany of severe mental health problems. In cell number 104, Armando Cruz, 28, was found facing “toward the opposite side of the door window…[a] rope from his neck to the ceiling…his tongue protruding.” His face was purple and there was no pulse. At 11:35 pm, he was pronounced dead.
On a dozen Post-It notes he scribbled his final words, telling his family he loved them. His final message was “REMEMBER ME!”
The death of Armando Cruz was the culmination of years suffering from hallucinations, engaging in…
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