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Jamel Ross English 1102 Professor Campbell February 12, 2014 In this section, I will be explaining why Solitary Confinement should be banned from both State and Federal prison systems. I have researched this topic on the Internet and by watching videos off the National Geographic channel. Solitary Confinement is a ruthless punishment used in many prison systems today in order to teach corrupt prisoners a lesson about whatever crime they have committed. This form of torture takes place in an eight-by-ten foot and it also forces the prisoners to spend twenty-three hours in this cell with no way out, unless they have very minimum freedom privileges (Solitary Confinement Facts). Eight thousand people are locked up in confinement a year. Prison systems need to ban severe Solitary Confinement from their programs because of its effects that it has on a criminals physical and mental health, mental stability, and actions after being released. I minor in criminal justice simply because I am very interested in the laws and studies about crimes in the United States. My focus in this research paper is primarily on Solitary Confinement solely because I have people very close to my heart who have had to go through this imprisonment. These people have told me stories that have completely changed my view on prison systems all around the world. I am in awe by how inmates are treated in confinement, and I feel that it should be illegal to punish a human being to this extreme. This is such an interesting subject to study and research, which is ultimately why I wanted to write about it in order to spread the word about this horrible imprisonment.

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Solitary Confinement was first established during 1829 in the Eastern State Philadelphia Penitentiary (Taylor 1). Prison officials seemed to believe that this disciplinary action was effective; therefore, they added this form of imprisonment to three hundred other prison systems around the United States. Before long, jailbirds became angry, causing violent, unresponsive behavior later leading to destruction to their physical heath (Burney 1). This penalty caused inmates to kill themselves with whatever they could get their hands on, no matter the drastic measures. The argument of whether solitary confinement should be banned or not came to focus in May 2012, when The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit against the state of California for its extreme use of solitary confinement in the Pelican Bay prison. The case of Ruiz v. Brown Jr. was a federal action that challenged prolonged use of solitary confinement and inhumane, unconstitutional conditions under which thousands of prisoners live and that it was against on the rights guaranteed under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Also, I was told a story by the dean of the Columbia State Penitentiary about a woman who used the bolts of her steel bed to puncture into her skin all over her body in hopes of going to the hospital. Inmates go to the extremes of hanging, gutting, and bashing just to get out of the cruel lives that they are living. This is why prison systems need to ban the use of Solitary Confinement. Solitary confinement affects not only the physical health of a prisoner, but the mental health as well. The number one emotional state prisoners fall into while in confinement is depression. One fourth of the jailbirds at the Colorado State Penitentiary were diagnosed with serious mental illnesses (Prison Safety in New York 2). Imagine being in a room as big as your master bathroom at home. Imagine that there is a steel sink and toilet with a mirror not even made of glass. There is a small bed with one pillow, and very few blankets. The desk is nothing but a tiny, foot wide shelf coming from the wall. Lastly, when you look up there is a

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window as big as your head with bars on it. Imagine that you are locked in this room every day for twenty three hours. In this room you have no telephone, no computer, no television You are left with absolutely nothing (Webb). This form of isolation causes agony to the brain which makes depression completely normal for these people. According to United States senator, John McCain exclaimed, It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment (Taylor 1). In addition, the mental stability of an inmate that is currently in Solitary Confinement, or has ever been, is most likely much worse than it was before being captivated. Physiatrists say that Solitary Confinement can be physiologically devastating (qtd. in Solitary Confinement Facts). Their minds begin to go insane after long or even short term isolation as a result of their boredom and seclusion. In addition, prisoners memories begin to slowly worsen after being taken out of a more promising environment. For example, a researcher asked several inmates to list as many animals as they could in only thirty seconds. A task like this is simple to a person adapted to the real world, unlike someone locked in Solitary Confinement. Or the researcher would ask them to basically memorize several objects and later they were asked what the items were and that quickly, they forgot. Many of the inmates are given medications for their sicknesses and insanity in order to keep them sane and to hopefully avoid suicides (Rhodes 1).

All things considered, State and Federal prison systems need to ban severe Solitary Confinement due to the effects that it has on a criminals physical and mental health, mental stability, and actions after being released. Not only is this form of captivity something that everyone needs to be aware of, but it is also something that more people should work to put an

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end to. No one wants to be imprisoned for years, or even life, without any entertainment, communication, or freedom.