LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Robin Theatre is hosting a series of short films advocating for prison reform.

The event is called “Solitary Shorts,” and it will screen four short documentaries that look at the plights of solitary confinement.

One of the stories is about a woman who was incarcerated in a Michigan jail, and ended up dying in solitary confinement.

Beverly Hynes of Citizens For Prison Reform documents events that center around incarceration.

Hynes not only has professional ties to the topic, but personal as well. Her son was in solitary confinement at the Ingham County Jail for 45 days, where she said he almost died.

“Week by week I could see his mental capacity diminish. He was suicidal and they did not give him his insulin and he did almost die in the jail,” Hynes said. 

Hynes said her son ended up with PTSD and continued to abuse substances trying to cope with the trauma that he experienced in solitary confinement.

Hynes argues that solitary confinement does not help in the long run, and there are lots of other options to improve the lives of the incarcerated. 

She said the films are just one part of Solitary Shorts, another is a panel discussion on changes that can be made to reform the negative impact of solitary confinement.

Hynes said many people are not aware that solitary treatment can include being stripped down and hog-tied. She said water is withheld; food is withheld, and many later die from suicide.

She hopes this event will shed light on this issue and also provide an opportunity to talk about change.

”Rather than putting them in solitary, which is never productive, we need to offer them mental health; substance use disorder programming; education,” Hynes said. 

She believes that prisons need to provide those treatments and make incarceration rehabilitative, rather than punitive.

Another solution Hynes believes in, would be to have crisis intervention training for all of the staff at correctional facilities, as well as body cameras and providing education and programming to inmates throughout their incarceration. 

According to Hynes, this would help those incarcerated handle society, upon getting released.

Hynes said she looks forward to sharing these stories, in an effort to empower legislative change.