The two-part series “Solitary to the Streets” about Devon Davis was candid and informative, although one cannot fully appreciate the difficulties on both sides of the prison bars. But it’s not difficult to imagine the anguish and damage experienced in prolonged solitary confinement.
Davis’ entire childhood was marked by dysfunction, uncertainty and lowered cognitive ability. He got into trouble, landed in jail, got into more trouble and was placed in solitary confinement for nearly three years. Newly emerged from prison, he is adrift, homeless and jobless.
Meanwhile, our lawmakers crafted a new law, House Bill 2, which Gov. Pat McCrory hastily signed into law.
Does this law have a consequential effect on people like Davis? Does it address the issue of solitary confinement in prison? Funding for people with mental illness? Homelessness? No, it addresses the formerly nonexistent problem of bathroom usage by people with gender dysphoria.
Our legislators may feel overwhelmed by the myriad problems facing our state, and it’s not easy to be charged with responsibility for the welfare of residents. But they can certainly do better than creating sham laws like HB2 and instead focus collectively on merciful intervention for the Devon Davises in our society.