Why Is This An Important Topic?
Currently, there are 2.3 million people incarcerated in our jails and prison systems. The United States incarceration rate is more than 7 times the average in European Union countries. The best available data suggest that about 84,000 individuals endure extreme conditions of isolation. Solitary confinement is extremely bad for a person's mental and physical health. Correctional officials often defend their frequent use of solitary confinement as an effective means of maintaining order and preventing violence and gang activity but, relying on solitary confinement ignores the large number of studies demonstrating the harmful and often long-lasting effects it wrecks on the human mind and body. Usually, when the incarcerated individual gets out of jail or prison, usually they are worse off mentally, than when they went in.
Effects Of Solitary Confinement
Researchers and formerly incarcerated people made it clear that any “positive” benefits correctional institutions gain by using solitary confinement are outweighed by the severe and often permanent damages caused by prolonged isolation. Even if someone does not enter solitary confinement with a mental health condition, it is possible for them to develop a specific psychiatric syndrome from the effects from the isolation. Solitary confinement also increases the risk of premature death after they get released. Deaths by suicide, homicide, or opioid overdose after being released from prison are more likely for those that spent any amount of time (even one day) in solitary than those who never did. Prisons, juvenile systems, and jails are already inherently harmful, and placing people in solitary confinement adds an extra burden of stress that has been shown to cause permanent changes to people’s brains and personalities. Also, people who experience solitary confinement are more likely to develop anxiety and depression along with physical damage such as vision loss, chronic pain, and fractures. Solitary confinement does not help anything or any situation, in fact it does the opposite. Solitary confinement increases violence, causes more behavior problems, and increases institutional and public safety.
What Can We Do?
Go to https://socialworkersasc.org (Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement Website) and join the task force, and participate in the monthly call to see how you can help!
Go to https://solitarywatch.org/ ,which is the National Solitary Confinement Watchdog Group and review the information about legislative campaigns in your state.
With help and support, we could end solitary confinement and help save lives and mental health. Lets advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves!
11/15/2022 02:48:31 pm
Little early language cover task room.
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