Free «Solitary Confinement» Essay Sample

It is the general idea that preventing a risk is much safer than treating the consequences of this risk. Solitary confinement is a system set to prevent the rise or occurrence of risks from already proven quilty suspects. In this paper is going to propose  the good side of solitary confinement with regards to the ethical issues. This paper is going to tackle the question whether there is justification usage of solitary confinement and where there is a chance or no chance of an offense recurrence. This paper will also collect the date on what critics say about the solitary confinement and counter their accusation.


Before looking at the benefits of solitary confinement, first one should look at a good example of what solitary confinement is all about. Solitary confinement is assisting in criminal healing and reintegration. The psychologists involved increase staff and inmate well-being by upholding a healthy institutional atmosphere. While correctional facilities have become a highly accepted sub-discipline of psychology, however, some critics are busy accusing the correctional facilities solitary confinement of consistent violation of ethical issues. Along the paper, there will be a look at the presumed ethical violations and contradictions addressed.

A good basis to approach the topic of solitary confinement is a corporal punishment. The methodology used to achieve the results in solitary confinement is the same as that of corporal punishment. Domestic corporal punishment is a form of installing self-regulation to children from a parent figure. This method increases the compliance with parental commands. Every society is governed by a set of rules and protocols, to ensure a smooth flow of interaction. There are many consequences, if those rules are not adhered to. This calls for a sense of responsibility within a person (Prenzler, 2009).

In the prison, there is a social life just like in the normal society. There are rules in place and to be respected by everyone. Every setting of the social grouping should be based on the domestic setting of a standard family. A domestic setting is the basis of every society and, therefore, it should not be an exception when it comes to rules and regulations. To make the society a better living place, we must start by ensuring that we acquire unimpeachable moral characters right from our homes. That is the reason why parents ground their children, if they do something wrong. The confinement or punishment gives the child a fitting room and space to mediate about his or her wrongdoing. At a later stage of life, the child gains some decent morals and knows how to regulate him or her around those morals. These magnificent and rare qualities come as a result of considerable efforts by parents, who ensure that their children are fully disciplined. This can be achieved by drilling a sense of fear within children, if the certain commands are not followed. There is no better path to achieve this than the use of corporal punishment or any other relevant method (Christensson, 2007).

History and Use of Solitary Confinement

The practice of solitary confinement is used when a rehabilitation entity is considered risky to oneself or to others in the environment. Risky here means suspicion of or being involved in illegal activities outside and in the prison. Illegal activities in prison are particularly rampant. We cannot blindly assume that the prisoners are at no risk. Whether they are prisoners or not does not proof that they are not human beings, who should be cared for at all costs (Tarrant, 2009).

The history and use of solitary confinement prisons began in the early 19th century by a Quaker of spiritual philosophy that lone introspection would lead to the atonement and restructuring of a personal self-character. This is abundantly true, as it gives someone the necessary time and space to focus on ones mistakes. When one is alone, one is left to think why the rest of the world is against him or her. However, as time goes by, they are bound to ask themselves what is wrong with them. This is because the whole world cannot be wrong and right. After this realization, they are left to create the room for change. Isolation as the means of governmental management of crooks has developed to an alarming extent. This only means that the world has realized the effectiveness of solitary confinement.

In 1972, the first ever certified "control unit" was used in Marion Federal Prison, in Illinois, as a conduct adjustment investigational unit. Units of such kind have been adapted in other places due to the effectiveness of the unit opening in state prisons.

The history and use of solitary confinement is more of a success story than a failure. Its massive use and acceptance are a reflection of government satisfaction of such a system. Critics have come up with uncounted stories of the system failure. The allegations that the critics have put forward cannot measure the benefits of the solitary system. Below is a summary of those allegations.

Critics of Solitary Confinement


When investing some money or resources, the first question is always the return on investment. Critics argue that the solitary confinement system usually costs a lot of taxpayer’s money. Return on investment for the solitary systems’ application is usually the security. Confinement systems are meant to seclude people with intentions of harming other from making communication with the rest of the world. Confinement is just like jamming the masterminds plans and advancement. The cost of confining one terror suspect is 8,000 US dollars per year. This is very few compared to what such suspected or terror criminal can achieve in one year or just a single month. The least the terror suspect can is destruct, if allowed to freely roam is bombing a four-storey house with around one hundred people. The 8,000 US dollars are not worth the lives of one hundred people. There is no one to blame when such situation happens? It is always important to be logical and do the basic math before condemning something.

Violation of People’s Rights

To say that solitary confinement leads to violation of people right is a joke. Some of the inmates are even too much willing to spend their sentence in confinement. This is because the inmates fear for their lives or health. This is also because of pedophiles and murderers in the prisons. Such people who are not willing to change should be put in confinement. They make the correctional facility of social life becoming unbearable.

When one is given a sentence to serve in the correctional facilities, one should make up one’s mind and acknowledge that the facilities are meant for the correctional purposes. Otherwise, involvement in illegal activities in prison will lead to the forced detention. Under no circumstance the solitary confinement violates the rights of the people. Every action has a consequence. When criminals are put in prison, it is because they do are not in line with of the world. If a prisoner is put in confinement, it is because he is a criminal who cannot fit in the prison. Solitary confinement is a third chance for redemption for criminals who overlook the second chance given to them by the judiciary to serve in prisons.

Psychological Torture

Psychological torture in the confinement systems and units is realized only, if prisoners allow themselves to be exposed to negative thinking. Critics say that the confinement leads to the mental sickness. One should oppose and say that a prisoner’s negative thinking leads to mental sicknesses. There are countless cases of prisoners who have redeemed themselves in the solitary confinement.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Critics say that confinement is an exceedingly harsh torture, because those in confinement lack human contact, and the sensory denial that often goes with lonely incarceration, can have a brutal unenthusiastic bang on a prisoner's psychological state. This is the opposite of the fact. We all know the people who are put in confinement. One should first ask oneself if these people are in need of other people. This is because before you are put in the confinement, you must have hurt someone in the outside world and the rehabilitation centre. Thus, that person cannot easily be associated with people, or they do not need the association (Pollock, 2008).


There are three approaches to conclude the matter of solitary confinement. The firstone is the empirical premise which states that punishment debtor’s crime. The second is the normative thinking that says that reducing crime is valid. Third, punishment is legitimate. If one focuses on these three statements, one will understand that every crime has its own approach. If the society accepts the different types of the same approach then, crime will reduce. Reducing crime is acceptable, and punishment is terrific too. Every crime should be punished accordingly. Citizens should support the government in their methods of regulating crimes. The government does not make a decision a single entity, but as the majority representation of the people. The critics are just single entity considering the welfare of other single entities. Our understanding should not be solely limited to the negative side of a thing, after all the confinement security, the main aim is to safeguard the security of the citizens. The solitary system was not started as a system of torture, but as a system of correction.


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