The confronting work of photographer Jenn Ackerman shines a light on the conditions and realities for some of societies most marginalised and forgotten individuals – America’s mentally ill.
In her alarming and powerful photographic series ‘Trapped’ she was given unique access to document the inner workings of the Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Unit of the Kentucky State Reformatory. Her gritty black and white images portray an institution that is filled with as much sadness as it is misdirected anger and total chaos.
Watch Emmy winning short film below – it makes for confronting and compelling viewing.
As funding for health facilities has decreased to record lows, individuals who suffer from severe mental illness have been placed in State penitentiaries – the only places safe enough to keep them from harming themselves or the public. But in terms of helping treat their condition or reforming them, these institutions fall well short. Clinical studies have revealed that prolonged isolation actually exacerbates mental illness – that’s a troubling statistic when some detainees are held in a cell for 23hrs at a time.
See more harrowing images from the project via Ackerman’s official site
Reality has never been so bleak for so many.
Via Jenn Ackerman