Sunday, January 25, 2015

Solitary Confinement

I recently read an article on solitary confinement here on Mother Jones. The article, in part, discussed movements to ban solitary confinement for juveniles.

Here are my thoughts:

Solitary confinement is incongruous with the notion of prison as rehabilitation. Prison is punishment enough without this exercise in stripping people of their humanity. This needs to stop, not just for juveniles, but for all people. It is a hazard for prisons and it is a hazard to normal society when these individuals are ultimately released.

One potential solution would be to have the equivalent of solitary, but in a place where prisoners can see and communicate with one another. I guess it wouldn't be solitary if people can see and communicate with others - but what is needed is a way for prisoners to be incarcerated in a way that balances the need for the safety of prison officials and the general prison population and the need for us as a society to respect the dignity and mental health of disruptive and/or disobedient prisoners.

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