New Book “Rope of Hope” Shares Intelligent, Inspiring Thoughts of Former Solitary Confinement Inmate Anthony Gay
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by its client, Anthony Gay, who shares his thoughts on an array of self-help and inspirational topics based on his experience in solitary confinement for 22 years. The book, titled “Rope of Hope,” is written as a series of conversations between Anthony’s Ego and Alter Ego about the value of people helping people, competition, family and the precious gift of life. Anthony was released from prison in 2018, but during his extreme isolation he was denied appropriate and necessary mental health treatment, which made it impossible for him to comport with prison rules and regulations and lead him to brutally mutilate himself countless times and endure years of mental and physical torture. He has filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections and others for his mistreatment, including 15 years of a prolonged sentence as a punishment for behavior resulting from his isolation.
Anthony is releasing his book now to provide words of encouragement to all those scared and frustrated by feelings of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. While he was isolated from most human contact, words comforted him and he turned to writing. His daily iterations to lawyers, college professors, activists and himself gave him hope. Hope kept him alive. Then, a miracle happened. He got out.
“The most important thing for people to know is that life is the sum of what you focus on,” said former solitary confinement inmate Anthony Gay. “The rope of hope is our most important asset, and my goal in writing this book was to provide hope to people who might not otherwise have it, especially in the current pandemic. The only way to believe from the heart is to believe in hope. Never close the door on hope, leave it open, it's the only way a miracle can walk in.”
“This book is Anthony’s gift as he translates the tragic experience of his own isolation into help and support for others,” said Anthony’s attorney, Nicolette Ward at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “We remain fully committed to securing justice for him through legal means for the way he was mistreated during his imprisonment.”
The State’s treatment of Anthony increased his torture and caused him to take erratic and irrational actions, which included extensive, repeated and severe self-mutilation. Rather than providing the necessary and essential psychiatric care, the State pursued criminal charges against Anthony, which extended his prison sentence for years and caused his mental condition to deteriorate in a blatant violation of his constitutional rights, the lawsuit states.
Anthony’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, charges the Defendants with torture, violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. It also it alleges that the Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.
Separately, Illinois State Representative La Shawn Ford (D- Chicago, 8th District) has sponsored a proposal to reform the Illinois Department of Corrections practice of solitary confinement for inmates, which is an unconstitutional, cruel and unusual punishment, particularly for inmates with metal health conditions. He has named the proposal The Anthony Gay Isolated Confinement Restriction Act. The proposal will be considered once lawmakers return to Springfield, IL following the pandemic.
The Anthony Gay Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, would:
-Limit a committed person to no more than 10 consecutive days in isolated confinement in a 180-day period
-Provide that when out of cell, committed persons have access to activities such as group therapy, medical appointments, meals, educational classes, job assignments, visits and exercise, gymnasium or yard time
-Ensure transparency with quarterly reports by the Illinois Department of Corrections on the use of isolated confinement
The Isolated Confinement Restriction Act is now with the Illinois House of Representatives Judiciary-Criminal Committee and can be read here.