The Washington Post offers an OpEd about what many are calling a human rights abuse happening to approximately 25,000 people in the United States—Solitary Confinement.
Proponents of the practice insist that sequestering the worst inmates in conditions like these protects prison safety and rehabilitates deviant behavior. Prison safety is a legitimate concern, but solitary confinement doesn’t come close to fixing bad behavior. If anything, it makes it worse. Numerous psychiatric studies show that severe isolation can exacerbate mental illnesses and even cause mental illnesses in prisoners with no previous medical history. Indeed, solitary confinement can impede brain function, cause psychosis and depression, and even lead to suicide. Approximately half of prison suicides occur in solitary confinement.
What solutions do you think the prison system can come up with that will protect other inmates without harming those who may normally be sent to Solitary?
Do you believe Solitary Confinement is a human rights abuse, or effective prisoner management?
Image of chair inside cell block courtesy of Shutterstock