Essay about Solitary Confinement: A Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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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…show more content…
About 15 hours in the subjects reported seeing things and having strange hallucinations. One woman saw a zebra driving around a little car in her cell.(BBC, 2008). A simple way of explaining why these sensory deprived prisoners shut down mentally is explained through this article. “Not only do sensory inputs keep us from getting bored, they also keep our brains functioning within healthy parameters. Should we lose access to natural light, social interaction and physical touch, we quickly begin to unravel.
Surprisingly, research shows that even 15 minutes of near-total sensory deprivation can cause hallucinations on par with psychedelics. (University, 2011)”
After the BBC experiment many websites and doctors started examining the breakthrough study. The aforementioned website also states that “The results were startling. Individuals paced neurotically in their cells, and some reported visions of oysters, zebras and tiny cars. Psychological tests administered before and after the ordeal demonstrated significant declines in subjects’ intellectual faculties on the one hand, and increases in suggestibility on the other. (University, 2011)”
When the brain is deprived of all input it begins to make up input of its own. Sometimes relating to events that have occurred before, sometimes they occur with no reasoning whatsoever. All they know is that “Too much of nothing,
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