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.
Over 80,000 inmates in the United States are in Solitary Confinement as said by the Bureua of Justice Statistics (“Solitary Confinement Facts”). Because the federal government doesn’t keep count of the number if inmates in Solitary Confinement, there is no more recent data. However, solitary confinement is a form of punishment used all over the country. Solitary confinement is used as a punishment for the most “dangerous” criminals, but is the right way to approach the problem? Sarah Jo Pender, a woman who experienced solitary confinement in the Indiana Women’s Prison writes, Women who enter sane will become so depressed that they shut down or hurt themselves.
A recent PET survey showed that only 18% of offenders felt supported by prison officers in their learning. One third of prison courses are not completed, half of which are a direct result of the release or transfer of prisoners, wasting an estimated £30m annually. Around two thirds of those who do have a job lose it whilst in custody. 1 in 14 prisoners participate in an activity to help other prisoners, eg. the Samaritan
Once released from prison, one is labeled a felon, often denied employment because of their status, and therefore typically unable to secure work and money. This then negatively affects all aspects of the person’s life, including their finances, transportation, lodging, health, and even family. Statistics show that a family is 40 percent more likely to live in destitution while the father figure is imprisoned. And children whose guardians are imprisoned are more likely to experience (Johnson, 2009). The purpose of this study is to understand the behaviors of released felons as they re-enter society and analyze their psychological behaviors as well.
Private prisons tend not to house costlier inmates, due to the higher cost of supervising them. Scott Merryman states that, from 1990 to 1995, the overwhelming numbers of inmates in private facilities were classified as minimum-security, and this condition is still relevant today. Public prisons consist of twenty percent maximum-security inmates compared to the five percent in private prisons. Also, public prisons have thirty-five percent of their inmates in minimum-security, while the private prisons have sixty-five percent of their inmates in minimum-security. There are states that have private prisons that choose not to have any high maximum-security inmates at all.
Solitary confinement has been used in the United States prisons for more than one hundred years. Recently, the use of solitary confinement has become a large issue in whether it is constitutional. Many people believe that solitary confinement will cause mental illness in the inmates. This paper examines the research that have been conducted to see if solitary confinement will cause mental illness symptoms in the inmates. The studies include inmates throughout the United States, in jails and prisons with all different backgrounds, but mostly focuses on male inmates.
“ The Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel presents a deep understanding and meaning of the topic that people lack the ability to communicate. Peoples thoughts are ordered by the media and forget about the true meaning of their own voices. Simon and Garfunkel represent this through the use of figurative language and poetic techniques which served really well to their song. Darkness is sometimes described as a depressive state to those who can't confide in no one and are all alone. In the first two lines, “Hello darkness my old friend/ I’ve come to talk with you again.”(1-2) describes mainly the key theme of this song, the lack of ability to communicate with other people.
Lastly, shelters can be either too full or too dangerous for people, and if living in cars and streets is illegal there is no place for homeless to live. Fining homeless does not have a positive effect on the community and often homeless end up in jail because of it. If you are homeless it is most likely because you couldn’t afford necessities like food or shelter. By allowing fines to be put on homeless you are setting them up for failure. Also if homeless get sent to jail because of a fine they know have criminal records.