Milwaukee, WI — There’s very little doubt among critics as to whether or not solitary confinement is torture. Nevertheless, the practice continues throughout many of the nation’s prisons. But when solitary confinement is combined with deprivation of the basic necessities of life, like water, a murder can take place. That’s what many people are calling what happened at the Milwaukee County Jail to Terrill Thomas
Thomas was forced into solitary confinement and then his water was cut off — for over 7 days.
According to the Journal Sentinel, “Thomas started the weeklong stretch at the Milwaukee County Jail belligerent and loud, the result of an untreated mental illness, prosecutors said. But as the days wore on, he grew weak and dehydrated. He lost nearly 35 pounds and turned quiet, never asking for or receiving medical attention.”
After entering his eighth day without water, Thomas succumbed to his dehydration and passed away in his jail cell where personnel found him unresponsive. The incident took place in April of 2016, but today decisions are being made regarding who was culpable in his death.
Milwaukee prosecutors are conducting an inquest into whether or not charges should be filed against those government employees who were supposed to keep him safe, as well as healthy.