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Solitary Confinement is Torture, Not Politics

To the Editor:

Last year, my husband, Michael Massaro, testified before the Connecticut State Judiciary Committee in support of SB 1059, The Protect Act. Michael was a life-long Republican and lifetime resident of Connecticut. He testified that he believed that solitary confinement, or extreme isolation by whatever name it is called, is torture. He said that his humanity would not allow him to support solitary confinement, that he did not want his tax dollars being spent on torturing other human beings.

He went on to say that the issue of solitary confinement is not a political issue but a humanitarian issue. He told a story he kept private until his testimony. He said “If you think this cannot happen to you or your loved ones, I am here to tell you that you are wrong. My daughter was incarcerated and spent time in solitary confinement. After three years of being on the outside, she only now has found her voice to speak about this horror. Her experience in solitary confinement caused her great psychological harm from which she may never recover.”

He went on to say that prison conditions generally are inhumane and extreme isolation is the worst and most harmful.

Michael passed away this past November without ever seeing SB 1059 passed into law because of Gov. Ned Lamont’s veto. The Governor told the people of Connecticut, ‘NO,’ even though the bill passed with bipartisan support in both Houses. If SB1059 had become law, it would have ended the torture his daughter experienced and many other parents’ children are continually subjected to. 

You have another chance to touch your own humanity and help make my husband’s testimony mean something by passing THE PROTECT ACT 2022 in this coming session.

I am writing to you in honor of my Michael’s memory. If he saw beyond the politics of this issue and touched his own humanity by understanding this is NOT a political issue. My hope is that you too can touch your own humanity and vote to support The Protect ACT 2022.

Ann Massaro
North Haven, CT

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