in the wall.The darkness is li●ke a solid mass; it is so intense that th▓e prisoner cannot see his hand nea●r his face.Every twenty-fou▓r hours the cell is opened and t▓he convict is given a thin slice of bread a▓nd about a thimble full of water, just enough t●o keep him alive.This performance i●s repeated according to the le▓ngth of the punishment, that is to say, the door▓ is opened only once in twenty-four h▓ours, to permit the giving of fo▓od and water and the emptying of the bu▓cket, whether the prisoner stays in that a●wful place one day or twenty-o▓ne.Many prisoners have been known to stay ▓in the cooler for weeks at a tim●e. After having lived in complet▓e darkness for a long time, coming out ▓into broad daylight causes untold agonies, an▓d very often[Pg 105] has tragic effects upon th▓e eyes and eyesight of the prisoner; u●sually they have to be sent t●o the hospital to be treated▓ for inflammation of the eye●s or for partial blindness.Men kept long in ▓the cooler sometimes become driveling idiot●s; others go violently insane and have to b▓e sent to Matteawan for life. The punish▓ments are all inflicted by the warden,● on the word
of a stool pigeon, of a keeper, o●r of a man in charge of the worksho●ps who seems to be a contractor of almost un●limited power in the prison, second onl●y to the warden. VIII The pris●on authorities are not supposed t▓o abuse, vilify or use blasph●emous language towards the prisone▓rs; it is forbidden under penalt▓y of the law. Of course, as▓ far as the convict is concerned, such a l●aw or rule is a dead letter.[Pg 106]▓ Should a prisoner protest to t●he warden against vilification or▓ profanity, he would only be lau▓ghed at; and should he insist on making hi▓s complaint to the prison commissioner,● his letter would never be sent▓, and his persecution would b▓egin at once.