Red Onion Sociology

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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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