Solitary Confinement. Torture?

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Have you ever felt very stressed and sad when you've been by yourself for a just a few hours? Everyone needs some alone time once in awhile but as humans, we all suffer when we aren't around others for a certain length of time.
There are over 25,000 U.S. prisoners in "supermaximum" facilities, which is solitary confinement. These prisoners live in a small cell with little to no windows. The stay in there for 23 hours each day. These prisoners over long periods of time suffer from depression, anxiety, high levels of stress and other psychological issues. psy blog1.jpg
Studies of volunteers in solitary confinement can't last a week, sometimes not even minutes in these environments. In studies with monkeys, those that didn't have contact with others for a year were never able to socialize and made themselves outcasts when released into an environment with other monkeys.
Solitary confinement is psychologically damaging, sometimes permanently. To many people it is considered torture and yet 40 states in the U.S. have these "supermax" facilities. These prisoners are facing the consequences for their actions, but is this punishment humane?psy blog2.jpg


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Interesting article, but to add to the fact that you pointed out here. Do you want to know whats the funny part about it all?..These same people that you described about what they are going through...will be released and moving to a neighborhood near me and you. I can hear it now..people will say..."they're not" or "yeah right", well where are and they will released.These same people that have been mentally dehumanized will be released at some point. They we become our neighbors, co-workers, friends and will be around children. Why would we want someone that "suffer from depression, anxiety, high levels of stress and other psychological issues", without any treatment upon release? We feel as a society that we can throw away the key, as if these people will(everyone doesn't get life)never be released. We need to put pressure on our local legislators and government to implement mandatory rehabilitation on inmates as part of their release. If these people are released after enduring years of this very violent and isolated subculture what good are they serving society? They have been conditioned to live in a totally different society and environment that we are normally use to.

I really enjoyed reading your article-I actually just completely a research paper on the same topic and focused heavily on the idea of "humane" practices within prisons. In addition to complete solitary confinement, many prisons are overcrowded to double there capacity and this is lowering prison conditions to what some people deem "unconstitutional". In a specific case in California, prisoners actually filed law suits against law officials, citing "cruel and unusual punishment" because of such poor prison conditions. Solitary confinement and long-term sentencing clearly are not working.

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This page contains a single entry by erics096 published on December 4, 2011 2:09 PM.

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