Mentally Ill Prisoners Are Destroyed By Solitary Confinement

By Paul Willis | Vice.com
February 2, 2016

mentally ill prisonersWhen President Obama announced the end of solitary confinement in federal prisons for juveniles and as a response to low-level infractions last week, he cited “devastating, lasting psychological consequences.” Among them, research has shown that spending time in the hole makes people depressed, anxious, socially withdrawn, paranoid, and ultimately more likely to lash out. Being alone can drive someone crazy, but being alone inside a concrete box can ruin a person.

Prisons have been slowly reconsidering the use of solitary confinement, particularly within the past year: In September, California agreed to drastically scale back its use, including an end to indefinite isolation; three months later, New York promised to rehouse about 1,000 solitary confinement prisoners into less isolated units. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy told Congress last year the practice literally “drives men mad,” and in July, President Obama ordered a Justice Department review of the practice, which he determined was “not smart.”

But the president’s recent actions only go so far as to address the 26 juveniles in federal prisons, leaving many more vulnerable. The practice is perhaps most damning to those who suffer from mental illness (or who are predisposed to mental illness), a population growing within prisons. Clinical studies have estimated that as many as 20 percent of inmates in correctional facilities are in need of psychiatric care, often due to a serious mental illness.

Read more here: http://www.vice.com/read/mentally-ill-prisoners-are-destroyed-by-solitary-confinement

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1 Comment for “Mentally Ill Prisoners Are Destroyed By Solitary Confinement”

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