Thursday, April 5, 2012
Long term solitary confinement
The issue I looked into briefly was long-term solitary confinement. I think we generally refer to this as putting prisoners in the "hole" as punishment for bad or anti-social behavior. We also know from movies like The Shawshank Redemption that the "hole" can be used to put prisoners in line whether they are out of line or not. To be sure, it's a reform method that has some downsides, as humans are social creatures, and a lot of recent research has shown that solitary confinement when used too much has very profound and negative impacts on prisoners. Many even "hard-line" prisons that have no agenda or rehab for prisoners are rethinking the use of this type of confinement. This New Yorker article gives a lot of good food for thought on this subject.