Solitary Confinement Research Paper

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Solitary confinement is the isolation of prisoners in a separate cell as a punishment. Some people believe that this a risk of self-harm among jail inmates. This risk is believed to also include hallucinations, panic attacks and mental illness. Programs such as the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT) seek to use human rights, civil liberty groups, faith communities, current or formerly incarcerated people, as well as, concerned citizens to enable, what they believe to be, the most comprehensive and progressive legislative response to date to the nationwide problem of solitary confinement in prisons and jails. According to the American Friends Service Committee, prisoners are placed in solitary confinement for many reasons: a punishment while they are being investigated, for behavior modification, or being a suspect in gang involvement. A few common conditions of being placed in solitary confinement are being behind a solid steel door for 23 hours a day, limited contact with other human beings, infrequent phone calls and rare non-contact family visits, and limited access to educational programs. In the 1970s, jail administrators began to rely on isolation and segregation to control inmates. There were only a handful of solitary confinement units in…show more content…
Psychological assessments of Pelican Bay inmates in solitary confinement include: high rates of anxiety, nervousness, obsessive ruminations, anger, violent fantasies, nightmares, trouble sleeping, dizziness, perspiring hands and heart palpitations. Solitary Watch claims that the psychological toll of such an environment is comparable to torture, calling it “a psychological-emotional storm” and “life negating emptiness.” Thomas Silverstein, a man who was held in solitary confinement for twenty-eight years, describes his

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