Solitary Confinement Research Paper

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The United States is home to half of the world’s total imprisoned population (BBC News). In the nineteenth century, solitary confinement was thought to promote reform in prisoners. However, modern research suggests that locking a human being in a jail cell the size of a handicap bathroom stall for more than 22 hours a day does more harm than good. In spite of these scientific discoveries, prisons in the United States continue to use solitary confinement as a method of incarceration. Due to the negative impact prolonged solitude has on the human mind, solitary confinement should be outlawed as a form of torture. There is mounting evidence suggesting that the use of solitary confinement on prisoners is inhumane. Studies show that solitary confinement causes prisoners to develop mental and personality disorders. Mental illness often emerges in the minds of prisoners who are exposed to very little human contact. If a prisoner does not already have a mental illness, the prisoner is likely to contract one (Washington Post). The psychologist Stuart Grassian of Harvard Medical School claims that solitary confinement causes hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, and permanent difficulty with concentration and memory (BBC News). In 2003, the Human Rights Watch reported that at least ⅔ of the prisoners in solitary confinement have a mental…show more content…
The reality of the situation is that prolonged exposure to very little human contact can lead to various mental and personality disorders that can make an inmate even more of a detriment to society (DOP, 16). Solitary confinement is also more expensive to taxpayers (Washington Post). There is no mental or financial support for continuing the practice of segregated
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