What if something that is supposed to be keeping society safe is actually doing more harm than good? As it turns out, that might be the case with the solitary confinement of prisoners. For multiple days at a time prisoners are locked into a lonely cell as small as a bathroom stall, going days without any human contact or communication. While solitary confinement is expensive to taxpayers, it is costing even more in social terms, as it can debilitate inmates and cause serious mental harm in forms of anxiety, paranoia, and even hallucinations beyond their life behind bars. The argument ‘On the Edge of Humane’ by Keramet Reiter argues that the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement
What are ethics? Why is it important? Ethics can be defined as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation; or “a set of moral principles (Merriam-Webster, 2017)”. The reason ethics is important is because it gives us a basic understanding the difference between concepts and situations that are considered right or wrong. We as humans have learned a set of values and beliefs that tell us what is considered right and wrong, there are times when situations change and the standard of ethics changes, but generally it goes according to our beliefs and what society considers to be right and wrong.
Some people say that solitary confinement is a necessary part of the judicial system. They say that certain people need to be separated from the rest of the world, they say that it is more humane than other punishments like death. They also say that since it is hard to research the effects of solitary confinement that the research that has been done is not credible. All of these are arguments for the use of solitary confinement but the fact is that none of them are valid. Solitary is an inhumane way of punishing people that doesn’t help to fix them and the effects that it has on prisoners are absolutely horrific. Solitary confinement should be banned from use entirely and there are many reasons why.
A study conducted in California’s prison system from 1999 to 2004 determined that nearly half of all suicides committed by inmates were because they were in solitary confinement (Breslow, 2014). Although some inmates have failed at their suicide attempts, that does not mean that they have not attempted to end their lives. There is a higher rate of inmates self mutilating while being in solitary confinement than if they were in the general prison population (Breslow, 2014). This means that inmates that are isolated are more of a danger to themselves. Being in solitary confinement also attributes to personality disorders, Breslow mentioned that many inmates lose the ability to communicate with others after being in solitary confinement for a long period of time and thus do not want to leave their cells (2014). It can be argued that having inmates in solitary confinement is a human rights violation. When inmates are isolated, they are constantly being monitored through a camera. The inmates have no form of communication with people and even their food is passed through a slot on the door. Solitary confinement can be considered torture because it has been proven that by subjecting inmates to this they experience mental illnesses such as paranoia, hallucination, panic attacks, and suicidal attempts (Breslow, 2014).
Solitary confinement is a penitentiary punishment developed in which each inmate is held in isolation from other inmates or any human contact, with the exception of correctional staff. Solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is usually twenty-two to twenty-four hours a day, with a sentence extending from days to years. This form of incarceration is used as a form of punishment for the inmate, commonly for violation of correctional rules. There has been some debate to wheatear solitary confinement should be accepted as an adequate form of punishment. Society views solitary confinement as a form of cruelty, while others see it as a form of safety for other inmate with in the correctional facility. Solitary confinement is an acceptable form of punishment.
For years the controversy over whether solitary confinement is considered torture or not have been a big issue. Solitary confinement is when prisoners are locked in a room with usually no windows, no bigger than a parking space, denied showers, phone calls, visitations and clean clothing (Washington Post). More than 80,000 men, women, and children are in solitary not including jails, juvenile facilities and immigrant detention centers (AFSC). Obama was the very first president to visit a federal prison and has come out and phased the question, “we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in a tiny cell for 23 hours a day, sometimes for months or even years at a time” (Goode). Many people go into solitary for multiple reasons.
While solitary confinement is one of the most effective ways of keeping todays prisoners from conflict and communication, it is also the most detrimental to their health. According to NPR the reason for most solitary confinement units in America “is to control the prison gangs (NPR, 2011).” But that is not always the case. Sometimes putting a gang member in solitary reduces the shock and awe effect that it is supposed to have, when they start losing their minds. The prisoners kept in solitary confinement show more psychotic symptoms than that of a normal prisoner, including a higher suicide rate. Once a prisoner’s mental capacity to understand why he is in prison and why he is being punished is gone, there is no reason to keep said
Since the early 1800s, the United States has relied on a method of punishment barely known to any other country, solitary confinement (Cole). Despite this method once being thought of as the breakthrough in the prison system, history has proved differently. Solitary confinement was once used in a short period of time to fix a prisoners behavior, but is now used as a long term method that shows to prove absolutely nothing. Spending 22-24 hours a day in a small room containing practically nothing has proved to fix nothing in a person except further insanity. One cannot rid himself of insanity in a room that causes them to go insane. Solitary confinement is a flawed and unnecessary method of punishment that should be prohibited in the prison
Solitary confinement has had a long history in the American prison system. America is the first country to adapt solitary confinement into the prison regiment. Pennsylvania had the first special housing units for inmates or “SHU”. When Europeans came to America to look at the new model for prisons in Pennsylvania they wrote reports describing to the European parliament on how prisoners were treated like caged animals. Many of them quickly realized that this was not what prisons were set out to accomplish. The purpose of a prison is to rehabilitate criminals and bring them back into society as an individual that has the best mental tools and skills to make their respective communities better. Putting inmates in solitary confinement for more than 48 hours can only lead to awful emotional pain and mental problems which can result in self-destructive behavior to regain the self-control that is being deprived through this process of isolation and expulsion.
When there is a mentally ill prisoner, should they suffer? Solitary confinement does this to prisoners all Solitary confinement means isolating prisoners in a separate cell as a form of punishment, worsening the prisoner’s mental health around the world. Mentally ill inmates have many factors of poor treatment in prisons worsening their health rather than helping them. Solitary Confinement remains an ineffective method of punishment for prisoners causing prisoners mental distress, many different forms of neglect, leading them to suicide, and worsening their mental wellbeing.
Four concrete walls, a steel bed, and a sink to soak the unclean clothes in as well as an insignificantly compact restroom. Welcome to solitary confinement where the lights always stay on and there’s always room for just one, you. When we think about solitary confinement we probably think of a killer or rapist getting what they deserve. What we don’t see is another human life being psychologically destroyed. Some of these prisoners have been in solitary confinement from a couple of years to decades. It is true that these are not honorable or peace keeping men, but a human life being tortured by solitude is a torture no one deserves.
Solitary confinement is a mandated arrangement set up by courts or prisons which seek to punish inmates by the use of isolated confinement. Specifically, solitary confinement can be defined as confinement in which inmates that are held in a single cell for up to twenty-three hours a day without any contact with the exception of prison staff (Shalev, 2011). There are several other terms which refer to solitary confinement such as, administrative segregation, supermax facilities (this is due to the fact that supermax facilities only have solitary confinement), the hotbox, the hole, and the security housing unit (SHU). Solitary confinement is a place where most inmates would prefer not to go.
Over the years there have been discussions about whether or not the use of solitary confinement is violating the 8th amendment and is actually making an individual worse overall mentally. Solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment in which an inmate is isolated from any human contact, often with the exception of members of prison staff, for 22–24 hours a day, with a sentence ranging from days to decades (Solitary confinement facts, 2018). If an individual is placed in a solitary confinement cell, their rights of visitation, books, and others are very limited. The reason that the use of solitary confinement is considered a violation of the 8th amendment is that some people believe that solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment
The concern of the effects solitary confinement has on those who experience it has also called up the opinions of religious figures. Pope Francis condemned solitary confinement and all capital punishment sometime in October 2014. Roughly translated by Jean Casella on solitarywatch.com the Pope said, “One form of torture is sometimes applied by imprisonment in maximum security prisons. With the motive of providing greater security to the community or special treatment for certain categories of prisoners, its main feature is none other than the isolation. As demonstrated by studies carried out by different human rights bodies, the lack of sensory stimuli, the complete lack of communication and the lack of contact with other human beings, causes
Solitary confinement is occasionally used in most prison systems as a means to maintain prison order. Mainly for disciplinary punishment, or as a place to put inmates that are at escape risk, or a risk to themselves and prison order. Sometimes inmates that are sex offenders voluntarily choose solitary as a means of protection from other prisoners. Sometimes solitary can be used to hold pretrial detainees to prevent them from messing with witness, so they can’t try and force a confession. For 23 hours a day inmates are confined to the barren environment that is their cell with high surveillance (Smith, Peter Scharff, 2006.) Inmates have no social contact. Visits and phone calls are infrequent and highly restricted. Visits sometime only take place via video screens. The physical contact one experiences is limited to the interaction with prison guards, weather it be putting on restraints or taking them off.