The Instigator
jsammmyg805
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
deelux1775
Con (against)
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Is Solitary Confinement Beneficial?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,213 times Debate No: 68571
Debate Rounds (4)
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jsammmyg805

Pro

1.Solitary confinement in terms, confines one from having any contact with the outside world.
2.It"s valuable in order to punish the wicked
3.To a certain degree, solitary confident creates jobs and opportunities from prisoners to prison
4.There are far too many criminals living without being punished
5.There is less risk of harm from other over 'aggressive' prisoners
6.Supporters of solitary confinement argue that some prisoners need to be separated from society at large for their own safety and the safety of others.
7.Overall, Solitary confinement keeps you away from general population, you do not have access to hurt the guards as often, and less likely to hurt someone

Controversial
2 when I speak of the wicked, I think it may be too broad. 3 what opportunities am I clarifying? And how are they beneficial? 4 This seems like a different type of argument, I am not sure if it ties into my discussion.

Non-controversial
1 I believe the definition is clear and argumentative. 5 and 6 both do great jobs in informing that "harm" is the number one concern for why confinement should be taken seriously.
deelux1775

Con

1.In response to premise 1: Let"s agree to define solitary confinement as the further imprisonment of prisoners in single cells, separate from general population, for 22-24 hours a day with limited access to human contact or stimulation; as a method of retribution/ further punishment for various prison infractions and/or mandatory for suspected gang affiliation

2.Wicked is a subjective term. Let"s agree to the general term "prisoner" to reflect ones being confined within a state or federal correctional facility.

3.I disagree with premise 3 for ethical reasons. But for the purpose of this argument I will agree to the idea of incarceration creating job opportunity for the community of which the prisons are located.

4.There is no reliable way to determine or assess the unreported "dark figure" of crime and its hypothetical need for punishment. For the sake of the argument let"s disregard premise #4.

5.For the sake of this argument, further explanation is needed of "less risk of harm from other over 'aggressive' prisoners" this is an unrefined thought with no definitive purpose. It is not clear as to who is initially assessing harm being done, and to whom it is being acted upon.

6. Let"s clearly define aggression as "ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression."

7. Let"s also set the standard that one does not necessarily need to be a prisoner in order to act out aggressively.

8. Further stating, there are many ways in which a prisoner can be ordered to solitary confinement, in ways that do not require acts of aggression. Such as, prior gang affiliation.

9.I agree to premise number 6. While adding that prison is a separation from society in itself.

10.I agree that solitary confinement keeps the prisoner away from all persons, with extremely limited contact with guards(correctional staff, doctors, mental health). In instances of medical emergencies, meal distribution, solitary recreation, and extenuating circumstances such as violence.

11.Solitary confinement is torturous by way of mental and stimulus depravation. The need for human contact.

12.Solitary confinement does not address mental health needs, thus creating a problem from the solution.

13.In the 1800"s prisons were being established with rehabilitative motives. Through series of journals and reports dating back to research done on the founding Pennsylvania models of corrections: solitary confinement has been proven to breed insanity, thus resulting in suicide.
Debate Round No. 1
jsammmyg805

Pro

1.I cannot agree more. In my defense I was only elaborating on the general term. However, if you are speaking about specifics, then you are only increasing my chances. To demonstrate when stated, "a method of retribution/ further punishment for various prison infractions and/or mandatory for suspected gang affiliation" these do not seem like a negative, but rather a positive.
2.I agree.
3.Everything can be link to ethics. Every action, and every decision is in assumption to our moral practice. We are humans and every action has a reaction for either positive or negative. So creating a job seems ethical?
4.Agreed, but I tend to be cynical.
5.To clarify I am pointing to the people who are seen more as a threat: criminals, death row inmates, and gangsters.
6.Agreed, but maybe we can make it simpler""over reaction"
7.But what do you say about released inmates who return back to prison? Aren"t they labeled as aggressive?
8.Regardless they do not have to physically act in violence, but what they did was enough to get them punished to be sentence in solitary confinement. In a sense their act aggressive or not is illegal.
9.Valid
10.Forsure dude!
11.Human contact is objective, yet subjective. We do not NEED contact. For the most part people carrying on their lives without "needing the urge to speak to have contact.
12.Totally we need to focus on health as the priority
13.I see were you are going...
deelux1775

Con

1.The business behind correctional institutions are present as a result of cause and effect. People commit crimes and require a retribution and rehabilitation resulting in prison.
2.In response to your initial premise 5 and the further explanation of premise 5. Firstly everyone in prison is a convicted criminal in the court of law
3. According to studies done by Robert Hanser and several experts in the field of corrections it is noteworthy to demonstrate that much of the violent offences taking place inside and outside of prison is committed by males ages 18-25. It is also demonstrated in a 2008 academic journal that female inmates are only responsible for 15 percent of crimes committed in the United States. Many of the offences being drug related or non-violent. Many male prisoners that are given sentences of 25 to life are more acclimated to prison life than career criminals that enter on shorter bids for not violent crimes. Solitary confinement is available for any classification of persons in prison.
4.The term gangster you are referring to is unclear. I think you might be stereotyping, by referring to poverty stricken males in a poor urban community, with limited resources and socioeconomic means to climb the social ladder. Or you could be referring to mostly white immigrant men that committed organized crimes during the time of prohibition in 1930 into the 1990"s when NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani took down the Italian mafia.
5.For all intents and purposes lets shorten the time lapse on the time period in question to the years 2000-present date
6.In reference to recidivism. Not all persons that recidivate are aggressive. Many cases are drug related offences and/or property crimes.
7.There are several reasons of why a person would recidivate such as parole violation, drug/mental health reasons etc... none of these factors deem that solitary confinement is good/ and or necessary.
8.Sensory depravation is not subjective. The example of deaf/ mute/ blind (handicapped) persons have means of communication through an number of other ways such as brail, sign language, touch, unspoken word, eye contact, written word. In solitary confinement there is no alternative means of communication"there is only a limited amount of reading material and your own thoughts.
9.Sensory depravation has been studied in depth with animals as well as human trials and have all resulted in mental illness and heightened rates of recidivism. Proving that S.C does more harm than good.
Debate Round No. 2
jsammmyg805

Pro

1.Agreed. In a sense it almost seems like you are agreeing to solitary confinement. Of course their needs to be a set example of how we maintain a crime, and solitary conferment is a perfect example of what could happen.
2.Agreed. But everyone is ranked differently. For example, if you do not pay your taxes, you could be sent to prison. Clearly someone not paying taxes is different then someone committing murder. Individuals should be placed different. Prison alone does more in rehabilitation for the taxpayer than say the murderer. The murderer needs a stronger does of rehabilitation, and that"s where solitary conferment gets involved.
3. That"s a strong claim, but there is something that is forgotten. Behavior. When placed in solitary confinement one has to act in an aggressive hostile gesture. Whether one is jailed for tax (for the sake of the argument) he could be behaving aggressively to inmates or worst guards, which therefore places him in confinement. Not everyone in prison is in solitary confinement. It is the worst of the worst.
4.Your right. That was ignorant of me to refer criminals as gangsters (it"s a west coast thing). In any case, lets remove gangster from the vocabulary. And just refer anybody in jail as criminal.
5.Sure, although I do believe history does hold a future outcome.
6.Again, this refers to the way the act in jail. A drug user may have a tragic lapse of withdraw, and may be dangerous. Therefore placing him in solitary confinement seems promising.
7.Even more the better to reflect in thoughts. This is a brilliant way to rehabilitate.
8.Though valid; however, just like most studies there can be faults within them. In a sense what are the REAL examples. Who is hurt from having no human contact, then again, aren"t we hurting ourselves by having too much human contact?
deelux1775

Con

1.I denounce all opposing claims to be pro solitary confinement. I agree with the need for prisons and retribution.
2.There are other means of gaining retribution as a society without further harming the very people that will ultimately (prisoners) that will ultimately be replaced back into the same society.
3.Your initial assessment for the need of S.C. for prisoners was firstly based on aggressiveness. Now there has been a shift to referring to people whose initial crime committed was murder. There are several justifications for a murder charge, such as self defense and mental illness. It has already been established for this argument that all prisoners are subject to being placed in S.C. despite their initial crime.
4.There has been no scholarly or documented evidence put forth on the opposing side to determine that solitary confinement is good in nature.
5.Drug addiction is combatted upon first entry into a CITY/COUNTY JAIL and not a STATE PRISON therefore has no purpose in this argument.
6.The opposing side has agreed to the sensory deprivation of humans result in mental illness. The originating Pennsylvania model of prisons is the best example of showing solitary confinement breeds mental illness.
Concluding Solitary confinement is not a beneficial form of punishment.
Debate Round No. 3
jsammmyg805

Pro

In conclusion, I want to emphasis that solitary confinement is a beneficial strategy for rehabilitation, as well creating job opportunities. These two reasons are more than just a claim; rather, they tie into verity of techniques. For starters, solitary confinement is not a negative, but rather a positive. In a sense, it delivers one from acting violent. In addition, it"s a rehabilitator. What this means is that it provides one from having any outside connection. The results are particularly beneficial to the importance of communication. Therefore, causing offenders to think twice before an action. Another thing worth mentioning is its gain. When I mean gain, I mean job opportunity. Correctional officers are important in restraining as well in evaluating criminals. The job is dangerous, but these are the few people who take the responsibility. Overall, solitary confinement is unique in itself. At times it may seem inhumane, but it does more in benefiting the system then destroying it. In any event, it seem those who see the negative in solitary confinement are ones who have no conflict with the law. Those who have done time or continue to do time in solitary confinement are deliberately sent back, yet they don"t seem to disagree with the treatment. Could it be that solitary confinement isn"t too as strict as we think it is?
deelux1775

Con

Solitary Confinement is unethical in nature because of agitated mental health aftereffects that prisoners face. There are many ways in which a prisoner can be ordered to solitary confinement, in ways that do not require acts of aggression. Due to the most predominant example of solitary confinement with the Pennsylvania penitentiary it is obvious that S.C. puts prisoners in harm"s way. There has been no scholarly or documented evidence put forth on the opposing side to determine that solitary confinement is good in nature. There are other means of gaining retribution as a society without further harming the very people that will ultimately (prisoners) that will ultimately be replaced back into the same society. .Sensory deprivation is not subjective. The example of deaf/ mute/ blind (handicapped) persons have means of communication through an number of other ways such as brail, sign language, touch, unspoken word, eye contact, written word. In solitary confinement there is no alternative means of communication "there is only a limited amount of reading material and your own thoughts. Sensory deprivation has been studied in depth with animals as well as human trials and have all resulted in mental illness and heightened rates of recidivism. Proving that S.C does more harm than good.
Debate Round No. 4
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