This is quite harrowing and thought provoking. Many do not know the extent of the use of solitary confinement and the impact which it has. It’s not just putting a prisoner in a padded cell for a few hours till they calm down.
Solitary confinement amounts to torture: humans developed the ability to communicate for survival, the way we develop, connect and function is based upon integration into some sort of society, be that in a prison community or a family. To take that away from someone – no matter what they have done, be that their political views or their criminal record – is simply inhumane. Now I know a lot of people will say ‘as soon as you kill another person/commit x atrocity you revoke your human rights’ but, we must remember that not all murderers/’bad people’ are entirely sound in the head. Behavioural influences from childhood have an enormous impact on a person, and I cannot believe that a person who is genetically sound and has had an average upbringing willingly commits wrongful acts. But that’s a whole other subject. The point is, just because one person may have violated another persons human rights, what then gives the law makers and prison wardens the right to then become that violator?
Further mentally isolating a criminal is not the correct way to deal with people in such situations. We need to show that we are willing to rehabilitate prisoners. Even on a small scale, nurturing and educating them so they may give something back to society from behind the bars. Some prisoners have gone on to write serious academic papers through schemes which allow this. I’m well aware that many refuse to actively participate in rehabilitation schemes, but is it ever justified to simply say ‘right, I’m taking away every option you could possibly have and shoving you in a concrete cell’? It’s almost as inhumane as the death penalty.
I’m only speaking here for solitary confinement in standard prisons. When it’s done on political grounds in foreign countries that’s an even bigger issue, and if you’re interested I urge you to check out Amnesty International‘s website as they do a lot of work on this. I know this is a big political rant but we have to fight to end injustice, whether it’s overseas or in our own countries,
and we have to start now.