Solitary confinement was first introduced in the 19th century in the United States. Quakers found this way of punishment more human and less degrading than the capital punishment. Back in these days, criminals were hanged publicly to demotivate other villains into acting recklessly. This method was found inefficient due to the increasing crime rate in this country. Solitary confinement would enlighten the inmate through his profound reflection while in jail. In silence, every prisoner would work alone all day. After, they had to go back in their cells for the night. They would endure that for maximum two years, which was the longest incarceration sentence at that moment. Although this technique did not stop the increasing crime rate, the US government continued applying this type of punishment. Until 1890, every single person who got into a prison experienced solitary confinement. It got unconstitutional in 1890 due to a complaint made by a life prisoner. It was against the law to keep this prisoner under solitary confinement before his execution. However, it is reported, even when it was illegal, that guards had their own way of confining reckless prisoners alone. They'd let some for days without access to bathrooms, daylight or food. The US government never admitted to encourage such practices.
Nowadays, it got reintroduced in the 8th amendment as part of the ''War on Drugs'' program. Dangerous members of drug gangs would be instantly sent into solitary confinement. However, at this moment, most of the inmates in this situation weren't sent in prison for drugs related issues. Some stayed in the Special Housing Units for up to 25 years because they can't adapt to prison life. These unhuman conditions cannot be accepted in our democracy, just like public punishment was.
Source 1: ''Stories from Solitary''. American Civil Liberties Union. n.p. Web. 2015.
Source 2: Landau, Elisabeth. ''Solitary Confinement: 29 years in a box''. Cable News Network. n.p. Web. February 23, 2014.
Source 3: American Friends Service Committee. ''Solitary Confinement facts facts'' AFSC. n.p. Web. January 25, 2012.