Summary Of Solitary Nation

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In the documentary Solitary Nation, Adam (inmate in the Maine State Prison), was sent into an isolation cell after starting a riot. At first, he came out as a strong-minded man but it only took 25 days before his mental health started to diminish. Adam is one of the few inmates who wants to get better and fights for a chance to get his GED so he can have something good for when he is released. He finally gains the privilege to get out of his cell to study, but he starts a riot with the other prisoners (Edge et al). Adam is an example of how being isolated leads to not being able to function properly when given the opportunity to interact with other people. Peter Gibbs, another inmate in the Solitary Nation documentary, has been in and out …show more content…

Under article 8 of the Bill of Human Rights it states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted (The Eighth Amendment).” Placing a mentally ill inmate inside four walls away from any social interaction and medical attention is in fact cruel. As said by a federal judge, putting a mentally ill person in segregation is the “equivalent of putting an asthmatic in a place with little air to breathe (Wallace 11).” A mentally ill person needs help, not a poor environment in which they won’t get any better. Not only does solitary confinement mess with the mind, but it inflicts inmates to self-harm in any way possible. 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. It is not valid to say that these mentally ill people act out because they want to

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