A Proposal to Reform the Practice of Solitary Confinement

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Kaia Minkin


Solitary confinement is a desolate prison within the penitentiary itself. Extreme isolation in a cell barely equipped to house human life manipulates the psyche of the prisoner and works to achieve a dehumanizing experience in the name of the penological interest of the state. It is common for individuals in solitary confinement to endure decades alone in windowless cement rooms the width of a king-sized bed, listening to the echoing cries of other inmates. While some policymakers and correction officers argue that the practice of solitary confinement for extended periods maintains the safety of staff and the other prisoners, the harmful mental toll taken on the inmate is an inappropriate bargain against the protections demanded by the Eighth Amendment for law enforcement to take.

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