Pros And Cons Of Solitary Confinement

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Over the last couple of decades, prison systems have adopted the use of solitary confinement as a means of punishment and have progressively depended on it to help maintain obedience and discipline inside the prison structure. Solitary confinement is a form of incarceration in which a prisoner is isolated in a cell for multiple hours, days, or weeks with limited to no human contact. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the United States represents only 5% of the world's population yet houses 20% of the world’s prisoners (ACLU). Two of the biggest problems with our modern day criminal justice system is the overwhelming number of people that are incarcerated in the United States and the overwhelming number of convicts who return…show more content…
In their observation of the Auburn Prison in New York, they found that the use of solitary confinement and subjecting the inmates to complete isolation had serious negative results, in which Beaumont and Tocqueville noted that solitary confinement did not reform and rather killed (Panzarella & Vona, pg 287). As a result, solitary confinement lost much of its popularity over the next couple of decades and later reemerged with the establishment of supermax prisons in the late nineteenth century. Supermax prisons, which is short for maximum security prisons hold the most dangerous convicts using the methods of isolation and solitary confinement to primarily control and direct them. Inmates in maximum security prisons are held in isolated cells for years or even decades as they serve their sentence. In her University of Michigan Journal of law Review, Solitary Confinement, Public Safety, and Recidivism, Prisoner Rights advocate Shira Gordon states, “Unlike the nineteenth century, correctional administrators in modern prisons do not implement solitary confinement for rehabilitative purposes. The goals of modern solitary confinement are simply to incapacitate and assert control over prisoners: the warden and
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