The Punishment Of Solitary Confinement Essay

1492 Words Mar 14th, 2016 6 Pages
The punishment of prolonged solitary confinement, a rampant practice in American penitentiary institutions, is a form of psychological torture and violates subjected inmates’ 8th Amendment rights. The American prison system was first established as a rehabilitative asylum but has devolved into a degrading institution in which human rights are regularly violated. In order to secure just and humane treatment of inmates within the penal system, prolonged solitary confinement must be abandoned.
In solitary confinement, most commonly known within in the penal system as segregation or restrictive housing, prisoners are involuntarily committed into complete social isolation as a means of controlling the inmate population. Prisoners placed in solitary are confined to small, concrete cells, barren aside from a cot, stool, sink, and a toilet, for twenty-three hours a day. The conditions of solitary confinement permit one hour of exercise five to seven days a week in a separate, caged area1. The time allotted for exercise is overseen by a prison guard and only minimal contact is authorized. During interment in solitary confinement, most inmates are also denied personal visits and phone calls, and are deprived of adequate medical care and supervision, as well as participation in or access to any educational, recreational, or rehabilitative programs offered by the prison.
Inmates are forcibly detained in solitary confinement due to either disciplinary infractions, administrative…

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