I was in a mental hospital for the Criminally Insane in Missouri (Biggs) for Evaluation. They let me go after a couple of weeks. They sent me to Biggs for Eval. They thought I was trying to beat the case on an insanity defense. I drove under the influence and had a dream/premonition about it and told a cop.
I have story upon story of how abuse permeates the system. Here's just one:
I saw staff treating human beings despicably in Biggs. An elderly male patient "punched" an orderly. The Thorazine Shuffle "punch" was so drugged-up, and the patient was so old, his 'punch' would not have harmed a kitten.
They wrestled the patient to his room. I was amazed to see the orderly break a needle off on the wall in the man's room and puncture his leg to inject a 'calming' med. The man cried in pain when it happened, puncturing my heart with compassion. They didn't even bother to shut his door entirely, so I stood there watching them hogpile him. The orderly saw me looking and gave me an aggressive look like, 'if you say anything, you're toast'! I never told anyone, but I saw how dehumanized people were treated.
We can't win this one from the inside. No one cares, and no one believes someone who is mentally ill, traumatized, etc. when they speak out. If staff speak out, they risk much, too. Most people in prison suffered trauma in their youth, but they call it an "excuse" when it's pointed out.
I would probably get arrested if I wrote a book about all the shit I've seen or know about.