Taking the Solitary Confinement Debate Out of Isolation

In the March 1, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Reena Kaapor, MD shines a bright light on the use of solitary confinement and its effects on prisoners, prisons, and society. The use of solitary confinement, especially with mentally ill prisoners, has been a main focus of many prison reform efforts for years. It is not uncommon, and has been shown in studies, to cause feelings of loneliness, confusion, and agitation in prisoners, as well as higher rates of suicide and self-harm. 

In several high-profile court cases, use of solitary confinement (22 or more hours a day) on mentally ill inmates has been found to be cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Eighth Amendment. In response, many states have drastically reduced their use of solitary confinement. Do initiatives that minimize the use of solitary confinement bring about positive results?


Read the full paper at jaapl.orgArrow