Should Solitary Confinement Be Banned

Good Essays
“I found solitary confinement the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one's mind, which can begin to play tricks. Was that a dream or did it really happen? One begins to question everything.”This is a quote from Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison and many of those years in solitary confinement. He only got through with intense determination which many criminals don’t have. Solitary confinement should not be allowed and must be banned. Solitary confinement, or SHU(special housing unit), causes severe mental problems as well as brain damage. Solitary confinement violates basic human rights. SHU is not just used for the “worst of the worst”, it is a common punishment for misbehavior in…show more content…
According to the AFSC, “If a person isn’t mentally ill when entering an isolation unit, by the time they are released, their mental health has been severely compromised’’ This shows that if the person isn't mentally ill before he/she enters SHU, he/she will mostly likely become mentally ill. Also, solitary confinement causes severe mental problems that are constant among the victims of solitary confinement. According to Professor Craig Haney, a professor of psychology who has done research on criminals in SHU for decade,“Finally, the deprivations, restrictions, the totality of control, and the prolonged absence of any real opportunity for happiness or joy fills many prisoners with intolerable levels of frustration that, for some, turns to anger, and then even to uncontrollable and sudden outbursts of rage.” Not only that, but they experience hallucinations constantly. This means that most prisoners will experience extreme mood swings because of the restriction/ lack of stimulations. This not the complete list of the results of SHU, more effects include increased risk of suicide, paranoia, panic attacks as well as the inability to focus. These effects can continue to affect the person for the rest of their life. This type of punishment is setting up the criminal up to a life of nothing. Most prisoners go months without contact with humans and their family.…show more content…
Worst of all, people that are bad that are released are unprepared for society and don't have a changed mindset. According to “Solitary Watch”, “In Virginia, a group of Rastafarian men were placed in solitary–some for more than a decade–because they refused to cut their hair on religious grounds. In South Carolina, 400 prisoners have been disciplined for using social networks like Facebook — 40 of whom received at least two years of solitary confinement as punishment, including 16 ordered to serve at least a decade in solitary.” This means that a lot of prisoners were put in SHU because of minor things like using social media. Also, people in Solitary confinement that come out aren't changed. According to Ann Trent, “Solitary confinement can also make it more difficult for inmates to integrate themselves back into society, as solitary confinement can cause inmates to lose the ability to regulate their lives and have normal interactions with people.” Although many people may think that SHU gives time to rethink and reevaluate, this isn't true. People that come from banishment from society to society probably will end up committing crimes and on the streets without a job after losing their friends because of their inability to have normal interactions. These people, even if they leave solitary confinement without
Get Access