Why Confinement Is Solitary Confinement

707 Words3 Pages
Nicole Ivgui
Criminology
Ms. Kovat
December 13th, 2013
Is Solitary Confinement Unconstitutional?
Solitary Confinement is the isolation of a prisoner in a separate cell as a punishment. Aside from the death penalty, confinement is the most extreme punishment that a prisoner can be sentenced to. Prisoners deserve to maintain their human rights while incarcerated just as much as any ordinary citizen in the United States. Solitary confinement is unconstitutional because it violates the fundamental rights of inmates by physically and socially isolating them, which potentially inflicts severe long-term damage on adolescents.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has deemed solitary confinement as an unconstitutional form of punishment. It expresses that solitary confinement should be classified as torture because it inflicts potential physical and mental damage on inmates. Being confined to a cell for over 22 hours a day with absolutely no human contact is an inhumane practice and cannot be beneficial enough to overcome the consequences that an inmate must face upon release. Solitary confinement clearly violates the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” Solitary confinement is the epitome of torture. Inmates often recall not being able to distinguish the time they spend in confinement; hours feel like days, and days feel like months. Certain prisons use solitary confinement differently than others. The Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU) is known as the “most restrictive prison in California.” It is one of the harshest “super-maximum” prisons in the country, meaning that inmates may be subjected to solitary confinement for a set amount of time or an indefinite duration. This is known as the ‘supe...

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...t in solitary confinement because they cannot handle the isolation. When a human being is confined to a small, windowless room in complete isolation from other human beings, the results can only be negative. Communication is key to survival, people feed off of each other to survive. Furthermore, when a human being is deprived of communication and is forced to be alone, it is an unknown experience to them. Nothing in life can prepare someone for this sick excuse of a punishment- the degree of isolation that one is expected to endure in solitary confinement is inhumane. Young people are a lot more vulnerable than adults; therefore the physical and mental effects of isolation take a greater toll on adolescents than on adults. It is not only unlawful but also implacable to place any human being, much less an adolescent, through such a ruthless form of ‘discipline’.
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