Essay On Solitary Confinement

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It is no secret that the the US relies heavily on our prison systems to hold citizens that are not currently properly following rules set forth by the US government. The US current has twenty five percent of the worlds prisoner population despite only having five percent of the world's total population (Incarceration Nation). This clearly displays a problem within our prison system as our prison rates are most comparable to North Korea (Incarceration Nation). The US prison system is in desperate need for reforms to better rehabilitate prisoners and be more ethically responsible; the US could do this by better re-establishing government run mental hospitals, rehabilitating inmates, and getting rid of solitary confinement.

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Solitary confinement is considered sever psychiatric harm after fifteen days. More than fifty percent of the US prisoners held in solitary confinement are held past this fifteen-day marker. (The Ethics of Solitary Confinement). "More widely, according to federal records, some 80,000 prisoners were held in solitary confinement across the US in 2005 - the last time such information was released by the government" (The Ethics of Solitary Confinement). If our government is withholding the information, there is clearly something amiss. If the people of your country have to be lied to, then you are more than likely doing something that is against the moral values your country was built upon and is asked to be held to. Juveniles with developing brains are also held in solitary confinement, with fourteen percent of those under 16 in the New York prison system having experienced solitary confinement (The Ethics of Solitary Confinement). It even ends up costing the government two to three times more per inmate when using solitary confinement. That means it is benefiting no one to use this practice. A poem by Robert Walker captures the haunting spirit solitary confinement leaves within a person. "Have you ever begged for blankets from an eye staring through a hole in the door rubbing at the cold air digging into your flesh biting down on your bottom lip, while mouthing “Please, Sir”
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