40 Years in Solitary Confinement.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by PocketChange, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. How does this qualify as rehabilitative punishment?
    The Urban Institute found the per cell cost for confining one prisoner in solitary for one year is $75,000. Over 80,000 of our 2.3M prisoners are in solitary confinement costing the tax payers over $6B a year. From every indication, money spent on a supermax is money poorly spent.

    We have 111M tax payers with a median income of $24K. Our taxes are paying on average $52K per year just to house 2.3M prisoners. $119B before you add in their legal and our prosecution costs.

    Does it make sense to provide our prisoners free room, board, healthcare and not our citizens?

    Two US prisoners who have been held in solitary confinement for nearly 40 years should have their isolation ended immediately, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

    Albert Woodfox, 64, and Herman Wallace, 69, have been held in solitary at Louisiana State Penitentiary ever since they were convicted of murdering a prison guard in 1972, the London-based human rights group said.

    Their four-decade ordeal "is cruel and inhumane and a violation of the US's obligations under international law," said Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty's Americas deputy director.

    "We are not aware of any other case in the United States where individuals have been subjected to such restricted human contact for such a prolonged period of time."


    On any given day, more than 80,000 Americans are in solitary confinement, also known as administrative segregation. The National Geographic Explorer series entry “Solitary Confinement” focuses on Colorado State Prison, a maximum security facility that houses 756 inmates in solitary confinement, some for decades. Prisoners are sent there from other facilities when they are deemed unmanageable (e.g., they are involved in gang activities or have attacked guards). Administrative segregation is the toughest disciplinary tool in the American prison system.

    Based on the concept of penitence and reform through isolation, solitary confinement was—for the most part—abandoned in 1913, largely because it resulted in more damage than penance. It is believed that isolation causes severe behavioral problems, and that the people most likely to be put into isolation are the ones who will be most seriously damaged by the experience. Isolation increases impulsive behavior; it’s impulsive behavior that sends a prisoner to isolation in the first place.

  2. Lucrum


    We need an annual nation wide public execution day, to "cull the herd" as it were.
  3. Ricter


    By the time an inmate "earns" their way to segregation, rehabilitation concerns are secondary (at best).
  4. Why not pay Iraq or Haiti $5K to let our prisoners immigrate there.
    Give the prisoner or even accused a plea deal option to give up their citizenship and start a new life abroad.