The Conditions in Solitary Confinement

"A cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment..."
-Amnesty International

Currently, more than eighty thousand prisoners are in solitary confinement in the United States. The prisoners going there are generally too violent and dangerous to live with the rest of the prisoners. Even if most of the prisoners in solitary confinement deserve to be isolated because of their violent behavior and disrespectful actions, the conditions they are put in when they arrive in isolation are at the limit of humanity.

The prisoners are completely deprived of their liberty. The size of a cell in solitary confinement is about eight feet by then feet and it rarely has a window. To see the sunlight only a few hours a week can have really bad consequences on a person like major depression symptoms. Also, because of the smallness of the room the prisoners are living in, they are constantly looking to things that are close to them and it can have repercussions on their vision. The cells have restrained furniture; prisoners are allowed to have a sink, a toilet, a table, a chair tied to the wall, and a bed with a thin mattress. Some lucky ones can have a few books, some paper, and a pen.

Prisoners are in their cell 23 hours per day and they only get out to take a shower and to exercise in a cage. The guards are not allowed to have a conversation with the prisoners so the prisoners basically don’t talk with anyone at all for weeks, months or even years. Some prisoners have a very limited access to a telephone and the rest of them are not allowed to call anyone at all. The visits are also restricted and they are done with a window between the prisoner and the visitor.

As anyone could tell, the conditions in solitary confinement are rude and it must be hard to stay mentally healthy after a few months between those walls. Finally, the worst of it is the way prisoners are reintegrating the society; most of the time, they leave the prison without any support and they generally got into drugs, alcohol and touring.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. "Enterrés. La vie dans les cellules d'isolement des États-Unis" Amnesty International. Amnistie internationale Canada francophone, 6 oct. 2014. Web. 28 April 2015.

BOULET-GERCOURT, Philippe. "Totalement coupés du monde, fous de solitude, 8 prisonniers américains parlent". OBS. Le Nouvel Observateur, 29 April 2014. Web. 28 April 2015.

FLATOW, Nicole."Exonerated Inmate: No One, No Matter The Crime, Can Endure Solitary Confinement For Very Long " Think Progress, 26 Feb 2014. Web. 28 April 2015.

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