Solitary Confinement

” Solitary Confinement was first tried in the United States at Eastern State Penitentiary in the 1800’s and is still practiced until today. This incarceration practice has gained many proponents over the years who believe it is one of the most effective forms of punishment. But it has also gained a multitude of critics who argue that it is both cruel and inhumane.
Proponents of solitary confinement stress the importance regarding the protection and safety of inmates, prison staff, and general public. Presumably, solitary confinement also makes it more difficult for prisoners to escape thus providing an added layer of security for the public from high risk offenders. Additionally, proponents argue that prison staff need the disciplinary option of solitary confinement to aid with unruly inmates.
Critics argue that isolating inmates is cruel and ineffective. Critics view solitary confinement as a degrading means of treatment directly violating an individual’s human rights. Isolating inmates negatively effects their psyche leading to various mental health disorders ie schizophrenia, depression…suicidal tendencies.
This week – the questions to critically assess are as follows:

1. Is solitary confinement a necessary disciplinary tool within our prison system today?

2. Is solitary confinement an ethical incarceration practice?

3. What potential alternatives could be employed as opposed to the isolation of inmates?

Sample Solution