The Extreme Solitary Confinement Causes Mental Illness Among Prisoners

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The Pennsylvania system constructed in the early 1800s used extreme isolation to deter future crime inspired solitary confinement. In the twentieth century, inmates in solitary confinement would stay for short periods. According to Craig, people would stay in secure housing units for a couple of days or weeks (Weir, 54). Nowadays solitary confinement has become very popular. Inmates are being sent to solitary confinement for indefinite periods of time ranging from weeks to years. An Urban Institute survey of self-identified supermax wardens reported 44 states with at least one facility relatively housing 25,000 prisoners (Arrigo and Bullock, 2008). Additionally, it is believed that as prisons are being overpopulated, the numbers are increasing throughout the years.
Prisoners are locked behinds cells confined in a small space without windows for 22 to 23 hours per day. Cells are illuminated by artificial light with no means for prisoners to control the brightness. These lights remain on all day so inmates have difficulty-distinguishing day from night (Arrigo and Bullock, 2008). At times the prisoner may be confined the whole day if they decide to misbehave. Interaction with other human beings is strictly prohibited. The only contact prisoners have is through a closed-circuit television to talk to their visitors or when correctional officers placed handcuffs and other restraints (Pizarro and Narag, 2008). From the extreme isolation, such inmates tend to fear
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