Wednesday, September 2, 2015
California Puts limitations on Solitary Confinement
Today I heard about the changes to the solitary confinement policy in California. After a lawsuit was settled, California says it is illegal to place prisoners in solitary confinement indefinitely. Some you ask where do the high risk, violent, totally evil prisoners go? The answer is to move prisoners to a new unit where they have more privileges, such as phone, and some leisure time.
This policy change comes after various court cases, hunger strikes, and studies reporting on how solitary confinement takes a toll on individuals more than it seems. The act of cutting off almost all interaction will affect their sanity. Along with the loss of sanity, some argue that solitary confinement does not really rehabilitate individuals. They also use the eighth amendment, no cruel and unusual punishment, to try to argue their point,m although I think I think that using the eight amendment is stretching it. There are negative affects to solitary confinement but the base of the act is to isolate someone, not torture them. However I do see pushing gang members automatically into solitary confinement, when they arrive, is unfair. Individuals should not just be judge on their past. Prison is meant to rehabilitate individuals, judging them on their past is against that.
The other side believes that prisoners are prisoners; they have no freedoms or guaranteed rights as they have lost that privilege due to breaking the law. Some guards also warn that solitary confinement is a method of suppressing the prisoners. Conclusively I think that solitary confinement should not be done away with, but like what this policy changes is prevent individuals to be in solitary confinement from being indefinite and more than 10 years. No matter the act there should always be some change in actions or violence.
You can read the original article on The New York Times here