The Prison System: Solitary Confinement Essay

1487 Words 6 Pages
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 system.
In the 18th century, the Quakers thought of solitary confinement as a “spiritual renovation” (Griest). According to Stephanie Griest in her Wilson Quarterly Issue:
At the time, convicts were typically hanged, flogged, or tossed into wretchedly overcrowded dungeons. What these prisoners needed, Quakers argued, was a spiritual renovation. Give a man ample time and quiet space to reflect upon his misdeeds, and he will recover his bond with God. He will grieve. He will repent. He will walk away a rehabilitated man.
Solitary confinement was never intended to be a method of punishment. The Quakers were known to have no tolerance with their convicts. Many of them were hung or thrown in pits to die. Their idea of solitary…