Health Effects On Inmates In Solitary Confinement Radford University/ Core 201 Research Paper

2607 words - 11 pages

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Solitary Confinement
The Health Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prison Inmates
Ashley Denney
Radford University
November 7, 2018
The Health Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prison Inmates
There is only so much a prison can do with an inmate who continues to constantly cause problems with the staff and other offenders. When the correctional officers have finally had enough, and the inmate has pushed the limits there is only one place left to go, solitary confinement. Solitary confinement, “the hole”, “the shoe”, or “ad seg” are other names for this punishment. This is a place an inmate does not want to end up in, but prison officials believe it is a way to correct inmate behavior. What the prison officials and the correctional officers do not think of though, are the serious health effects solitary confinement has on the inmates they place in there. As inmates spend time in solitary confinement their mental health, physical heath, and emotional health all start to deteriorate. In America today, there are over two million people that are in correctional facilities. Of those two million, over 80,000 of them are currently placed in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is not a punishment that should be used any longer because it causes too many health effects on inmates who before entering solitary were healthy.
The idea of solitary confinement originated in a Pennsylvania prison system that was created by the Quakers in 1790. Solitary confinement is the segregation of inmates in the prison system for different periods of their sentence at a time. Depending on what the inmate did within the prison determines if the inmate will spend a few days or a few years in solitary confinement. Correctional officers are the people who decide how long an inmate will spend time in solitary. The idea of solitary confinement was to put a stop to bad behavior among the inmates that were serving time in correctional facilities. When being placed in solitary confinement for such long periods of time, the Quakers started to observe that this punishment was causing the inmates to become clinically insane and saw inmates starting to commit suicide. After seeing what solitary confinement did to inmates the Pennsylvania prison system was switched to the Auburn system. This system allowed and currently allows inmates to have social contact and communication with other inmates (Bosworth, 2005, p. 909-913). Today, solitary confinement is mainly used as a punishment rather than a prison system. There are three types of solitary confinement that are used today, and they are, disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, and protective custody.
When inmates are placed in solitary confinement and observed one of the first health issues that arises is the inmate’s mental health. Once their psychological health starts to deteriorate some of the inmates turn to self-harm. Inmates often try to commit suicide while being placed in solitary confinement. They w...

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