The Pros And Cons Of Solitary Confinement

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Solitary confinement is the act of confining a prisoner in a room by themselves. This person is isolated from any form of human contact except the guards who bring the food trays. Some of the common nicknames that refer to solitary confinement by prisoners are the hole, the hotbox, and the SHU which is another way of saying special housing unit. They are used sometimes to place prisoners who are being investigated, behavior modification, gang involvement, protection, and to fill empty beds. During the 1970s prisons and jails increased their reliance on isolation units in order to add an increased form of punishment through behavior modification. Prisoners are confined all day and have zero access to other human beings. In most cases these cells…show more content…
There were multiple avenues surrounding the arguments on whether or not this practice violated the United States constitution. The first had to do with Eighth Amendment involving cruel and unusual punishment. In Madrid v. Gomez a suit filed by prisoners of Pelican Bay state prison stated that; violations including excessive force, inadequate physical and mental health and, and inhumane conditions in the prison’s Secure Housing Unit. (SolitaryWatch) The court in this case ruled in favor of the State stating that; the degree of psychological trauma inflicted on the average prisoner is not enough by itself to create an Eight Amendment violation. The second argument revolves around the Fourteenth Amendment involving that no state may deprive any person of life, liberty or proper, without due process of law. Often times individuals are sent to the SHU on a moment’s notice when that person is thought to have been involved in something dangerous or any of the many reasons previously discussed. However, in Wilkinson v. Austin, when examining the Supreme Court determined that because of the temporary nature of disciplinary segregation does not violate the fourteenth

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