Solitary Confinement is Torture and Wrong

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A pair of silver handcuffs

Solitary Confinement is Torture and Wrong

Terrible things happen in the jail system.  While it’s easy to feel indifferent – or even smugly satisfied – when a pedophile gets raped or shivved, we can never forget that we have an obligation to prisoners.  They are wardens of the State.  It’s you and me who are responsible for what happens to them.

People are in jail because that’s what our laws allow as punishment.  There is a legal limit to what we can do to one another, and that limit is what preserves us as a society and as humans.  One of the clearest boundaries is against cruel and unusual punishment.

Solitary confinement is cruel and inhuman.

Imagine that I developed a strongly sedative medication, but it had a 30% chance of causing you to hallucinate.  Would anyone in their right mind (who hadn’t taken it) find that acceptable?  It turns out that solitary confinement is so harsh that it can cause otherwise healthy people to hallucinate and worse.

It’s a fact that humans must have interpersonal contact to some degree to stay in good mental health.  Sustained isolation can cause psychosis, as mentioned, autism, and cause permanent mental damage.

People who spend weeks locked in a tiny room by themselves can develop lifelong anxiety disorders, and simply lose their ability to engage in normal social interaction.

Those aren’t uncommon results from solitary confinement.  To give a jail warden that kind of power is a violation of the rights we all have, whether in jail or not.

A prison sentence should only cover the time of the sentence.  It’s unconscionable to inflict permanent mental harm on someone using the authority of the state.  People shouldn’t leave jail ruined, unable to join society and become productive members.

Remember that the abuse of power must be stopped as soon as possible.  Any of us could end in jail at any moment, and it’s only the power of our democracy that ensues us due process.  Let’s not betray our ideals.

It’s time to stop solitary confinement.

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Pharmaceutical analyst who loves blogging about health and medical issues. Has written more than 150 articles and a book on attention deficit disorder. Correctly predicted delayed approval of Bydureon, approval of Provenge by FDA, and the non-approval of Acthar on June 11.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thank You for this information, as it helps me to realize that my instincts were right all along. I have a loved one who was incarcerated back in dec ’95. He faced the NY Rockefeller law at the time which was 15 to life for a drug offense at 23 yrs old. He was perfectly healthy and during his early days he was in trouble for fighting, as we know it’s prison, and not sunday school. He was locked up in Southport Correctional Facility for 7 yrs and he was released in 2009 with a permanent mental illness. I know in my heart this was the cause and I will not rest until I kow this treatment could not have been the cause. I would like to use my time to fight against this type of legal but sickening abuse! So that nobody else has to experience the pain of losing a loved one this way. If you can help me with anymore information I would be forever grateful.. Thank you so much for this helpful article.

    Best wishes,
    Haida Bitonti

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