Olivia Dalebout Final Paper CRMJ 1001 5/4/2023 Red Onion Documentary The Red Onion Supermax Prison documentary is a documentary that shows an inner glimpse of what life is like for inmates sentenced to the Red Onion facility in Wise County, Virginia. Red Onion opened in 1998 and was designed to house the most dangerous and violent inmates in Virginia. The prison has often been a subject of controversy due to concerns about the ethics of long-term isolation. Inmates in Red Onion are in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, with one hour of allowed exercise. They do not have cellmates and have no outside interaction with others. These individuals are locked down in a small 8 by 10 feet cell for the entirety of their sentence. The inmates have …show more content…
Due to Red Onion being one of the few supermax facilities the prisoners are often far from their families. This creates the issue of family visitation which often the inmates do not get. A couple of the inmates talked about how the prison was too far for their family to visit, and even if they did they only get one hour with them which they are not allowed to touch. This is another contributor to the psychological harm that these inmates face. Many of the inmates also do not receive mail or phone calls from their families, further isolating …show more content…
The first being I view solitary confinement as psychologically harmful. As the documentary highlighted, there are a lot of psychological issues that arise when offenders are incarcerated in solitary confinement for a long period. Mental health is such a big issue in our society and is often overlooked in the prison system. I believe inmates still deserve the same access to good mental health services and solitary confinement is the opposite of that. Solitude is proven to cause mental health issues and social issues, such as depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, etc. I think one of the main goals of incarceration should be rehabilitation. This is why I am against solitary confinement because seg is not rehabilitating these inmates and even worsens them in some cases. Rehabilitation is supposed to be helping restore health and goodness into a life and essentially teaching an individual how to act properly in society. Solitary confinement is doing the opposite by isolating individuals so they lose social skills, develop mental health issues, and even make some individuals more angry, violent, or harmful because they are deprived of needs. Deterrence is also something I think solitary confinement doesn’t necessarily help with. A lot of the individuals incarcerated already have mental health issues or even just anger issues and putting them in solitary confinement doesn’t fix those issues so they
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Guenther discusses the effects of solitary confinement such as “They experience intense anxiety, paranoia, depression, memory loss, hallucinations and other perceptual distortions” (1). But doesn’t provide enough reasons as to why U.S prisons should become a rehabilitation place to help those get back into the society they were once in. she only establishments that solitary confinement and prisons are not good to inmates because they caused them to develop psychological problems. What I mean is that, the entirety of the article and her arguments gives the sense that, that’s the purpose of what she is trying to achieve here, making prisons a rehabilitation place instead of something else. But the thing is why should prisons become a rehabilitation center, Guenther claims that “Given that 95 percent of all inmates are eventually released into the public, and that many of these will be released without any form of transition or therapy, solitary confinement is a problem that potentially affects every one of us.”
According to Bassett, 50% of suicides occur inside solitary confinmenet (419). Not to mention, inmates are sometimes physically abused by the guards in power. Through the Solitary Nation documentary, it is seen that guards sometimes have to use bigger forces like a toxic gas to get an inmate out of their cell. While it makes sense that guards have to do it for their own protection, there needs to be thought about why inmates do the things they do. When inmates suffer from their mental illnesses, they begin to lose their sense of reality as well as sense of right and wrong.
The article is mostly fact and it does provide references for quotations and dat. The author of this source is Kevin Johnson, and this source was originally published by USA Today Information Network. The article does not give the author credentials. Owning the fact that the author is trying to inform the ready that solitary confinement is an effective punishment, the article is mostly free of bias. In this source, I learned that once you are released from solitary confinement it is hard for someone to adjust to the real of the world.
The documentary solitary nation demonstrates the effects of solitary confinement on the prisoner’s health. There are several problems associated with using segregation as a punishment, however, the main problem is the effects to the mental health of the inmates. The documentary illustrate that some prisoner lost their sanity in solitary confinement. One example is what happened to the prisoner Adam Brulotte, at the beginning of his solitary confinement time he was optimistic and have plans to improve himself by reading books and think about his future, but only after twenty five days he started to lose his mind and become unstable, threaten to cut himself, pushes feces under the door and flooded the unit. This behavior clearly indicates segregation bad affects to the mental health of the inmates.
While it is true that prisoners in these facilities are kept in solitary confinement for long periods of time, and their interactions with the outside world are limited, the conditions in some supermax prisons are not as inhumane as they are sometimes portrayed. Many facilities have implemented programs to mitigate the effects of isolation, such as education and rehabilitation programs, as well as regular interaction with staff members. The question of whether the conditions in supermax prisons constitutes cruel and unusual punishment is a complex one. The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, but the interpretation of this clause has evolved over time. In recent years, there has been a growing consensus that prolonged solitary confinement can amount to cruel and unusual punishment, especially when it is used as a punishment in and of itself, rather than as a temporary measure for security
Ronald Joncas, an inmate in the documentary, notes that it is illogical to expect the inmates to behave as humans yet they are treated like animals while in jail (Edge). The idleness in the cells prompts the prisoners to do the craziest of things including cutting and even sacking their ball, such an inmate may end up crazy after the jail term, and the prison, therefore, fails in its objective which is correcting the behavior (Edge). The filmmaker aims to draw the attention of the federal government and the state of the prisons in America. Solitary cells should be minimally used so that they serve as a corrective measure and not making the inmates worse. The information is accurate because it is based on real life experiences.
The use of solitary confinement to help rehabilitate the inmates. The idea was that while these criminals were in solitary they would be able to think more clearly about the crime they had committed, giving them time to repent, and so they would be able to receive penitence. Yet in reality the silence of the prison didn’t help the prisoners. Now studies have found keeping a prisoner isolated for long amounts of time can lead to more damage than good. Many men have been found to have become violently insane during their stay at Eastern State.
Solitary Confinement Every day 48,000 inmates are held in solitary confinement for 22 hours or more. These inmates are held in confined spaces for days and sometimes years. This is detrimental to the health and well-being of inmates, and it can leave them permanently disabled. Even though it negatively affects the inmates, many people believe that they deserve this treatment because of their crimes.
Solitary confinement has so many harsh conditions that negatively affect these prisoners. The practice of solitary confinement should be put to an end due to the long term damage it causes to one’s physical and mental health. The rooms that are used for solitary confinement are made very uniquely in order for these prisoners to feel trapped, isolated, and alone. They are put in dangerous conditions which may not look dangerous to the naked eye, but do actually damage these inmates. The prison cells that are used for solitary confinement are extremely concerning.
I agree with Madeline and Julie that the cons of solitary confinement are much larger than the pros of solitary confinement. As the number of incarcerated increases in the US, which is a country with an abnormally high number of incarcerations annually, there are also a larger number of prisoners in solitary confinement. There have been studies shown that correlate lasting psychological damage with the amount of time a prisoner has spent in solitary confinement or isolation. The complete lack of human association and contact for a long period of time can cause severe psychological distress to a prisoner. Solitary confinement was once used as a form of short-term punishment; however, more and more prisoners are now placed in solitary confinement
It is well documented that keeping an inmate in solitary confinement for long periods of times exacerbates mental illness, increases the risk of suicide, and creates a sense of hopelessness. In performing my research on this issue, I came across a program that was developed and implemented in Michigan by Warden Catharine Bauman and her staff at Algers Prison. The “Incentives in Segregation” program, contains six stages that prisoners need to complete to work their way out of high security to a lower-security status. Advancement through each stage is contingent upon prisoners’ behavior. Prisoners could not act or speak threateningly or use inappropriate language or gestures towards staff or other prisoners and must keep their cells and themselves
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 20% of inmates spent time in solitary confinement between 2011 and 2012 (1). Solitary confinement, or more commonly known as extreme isolation, is when prisoners are locked up in small cells and have no contact with the outside world for at least 23 hours a day. This could last for several months, and sometimes decades. What are the effects of this sort of treatment towards inmates in prisons and jails?
Some might argue that solitary confinement is actually effective and has its benefits, however this is not the case since this punishment only seems to make criminals much more dangerous when they leave prison than they were before and research shows that inmates who left solitary confinement experience increased anger and end up committing the kind of criminality that society is looking to prevent by using this method of punishment. Thus, solitary confinement ultimately fails as a rehabilitative measure, and as a way to "settle down" problematic
Imagine being locked away underground, in a room with no window, no source of sunlight, neglected from any source of human contact; it is a terrifying thought, is it not? Now, imagine living in such a manner for days, months, years to decades, this is the haunting reality for numerous prison inmates that are subjected to solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is the act of isolating people in closed cells for 22-24 hours a day, restricted from human contact, for periods of time ranging from days to decades (Solitary Watch, 2012). There are beyond 80,000 men, women, and children imposed to solitary confinement in prisons throughout the United States (American friends service committee, 2010). The negative effects on prison inmates due to solitary confinement are: psychological harm, physical harm, and a greater harm on the individuals in their communities and themselves after they are released.
Prisons use of solitary confinement is meant to maintain the prison order as an administrative measure for inmates who are considered an escape risk or risk to themselves. One example would be sexual offenders who voluntary choose to isolate themselves to avoid harm from other inmates, another reason for the use of isolation is to prevent pretrial detainees from tampering with witness or to force