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The effects of solitary confinement

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Solitary confinement

Abstract

Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating people in closed cells for 22-24 hours a day, virtually free of human contact, for periods of time ranging from days to decades.

Few prison systems use the term “solitary confinement”, instead referring to prison “segregation” or placement in “restrictive housing”. As this may be done for punitive, disciplinary or purportedly protective reasons, the names vary. Whatever the terminology, the practice entails a deliberate effort to limit social contact for a determinate or indeterminate period of time.

The number of people held in solitary confinement in the US has been notoriously difficult to determine. The lack of reliable information is due to state-by-state variances and shortcomings in data gathering and ideas of what constitutes solitary confinement. That said, currently available estimates suggest 80,000-100,000 incarcerated persons are held in some form of isolated confinement. Due to many reports, solitary confinement can cause many mental issues that can lead to a lot of scary things.

Incarcerated men and women can be placed in complete isolation for months or years not only for violent acts but for possessing contraband, testing positive for drugs, ignoring orders or using profanity anything that can cause trouble with you and the guards. Others have ended up in solitary confinement because they have untreated mental illnesses, this is not right due to the are children in need of “protection”, are gay or transgender, are Muslim, because of their political beliefs, or have reported rape or abuse by prison officials.

Terms in solitary confinement are based on charges that are levied, adjudicated and enforced by prison officials with little or no outside oversight. Many prison systems have a hearing process, but hearings are often perfunctory. Prison officials serve as prosecutors, judges, and juries, and prisoners are rarely allowed legal representation. Life in solitary confinement means up to 24 hours a day in a cell. People held in disciplinary segregation in federal prisons, for example, typically spend two days a week entirely in isolation and 23 hours a day in their cell for the remaining five days, with one hour outside for exercise. Exercise usually takes place alone in an exercise room or a fenced or walled “dog run”. They have all their privileges taken away from them to the point were there not even treated as people or humans they are treated like children or people without a purpose to the point that some prisoners are escorted, in shackles, to the shower, while others have showers within their cells. They have no contact with the outside world they can’t see anyone or can’t interact with people They may not be allowed to leave their cells for visits or to make telephone calls.

I feel that solitary confinement is a con due to the physiological effects of confinement A study involving extensive interviews with people held in the security housing units at Pelican Bay prison in northern California in 1993 found that solitary confinement induces a psychiatric disorder characterised by hypersensitivity to external stimuli, hallucinations, panic attacks, cognitive deficits, obsessive thinking, paranoia, and a litany of other physical and psychological problems. All of these issues can be detrimental to people and their overall health as a human being, and nobody should ever be put to this type of harsh conditions with these dangerous side effects. These conditions can be life-threatening and should never be put on a person for some petty things.

In conclusion, the effects of solitary confinement are a con due to the fact that the cons out way the pros. I feel as though that no human should go through the torture known as solitary confinement. I should be removed from prisons and should only be used if there are no other options.

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