The Instigator
Ari.Castillo
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Abraham.perez44
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Is solitary confinement, as it stands today, good?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 611 times Debate No: 68831
Debate Rounds (4)
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Ari.Castillo

Con

1.Solitary confinement is the practice of imprisoning people in solitary cells with little to no access to human contact for up to 23 hours, daily.
2.My overall claim will advocate a reformed, if not complete overhaul, of solitary confinement.
3.To distinguish solitary confinement (the problematic practice my argument addresses) from my proposal, I will use, "solitary confinement," in reference to my reformed version of solitary confinement as it is implemented today.

4.Supporters of solitary confinement report that its major benefit is the isolation of inmates that cause a threat to themselves and the prison population, (i.e., correction officers and fellow inmates).
5.This is seemingly good.
6.However, the root of the issue, problematic or troublesome behavior, is not truly being addressed or reformed.

7.Most often, the individuals who are being placed in solitary confinement are mentally ill.
8.Persons placed in solitary confinement without prior evidence of mental illness have shown significant higher rates of mental illness after their time in solitary confinement.
9.Some prisoners, who may or may not be mentally ill, are released directly from solitary confinement into society, without deinstitutionalization programs or resources.
10.(7.), (8.), and (9.) are bad.
11.Numerous studies have documented the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners, naming it SHU Syndrome.
12.Some of the many SHU Syndrome symptoms include:
a)Visual and auditory hallucinations
b)Hypersensitivity to noise and touch
c)Insomnia and paranoia
d)Uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear
e)Distortions of time and perception
f)Increased risk of suicide
g)PTSD

13.In the 8th Amendment, incarcerated individuals are protected from cruel and unusual punishment.
14.Putting a population, whose majority is mentally ill, and will respond poorly to solitary conditions, into solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment.
15.Conditions in solitary confinement are often severely inhumane and cruel, leaving inmates confined in a small concrete room, full of darkness, for extensive days at a time.
16.Solitary confinement is often used as method of torture to coerce inmates into revealing details of fellow inmates.
17.Solitary confinement is also used as a method of silencing or removing inmates that may serve as jailhouse lawyers, doctors or activists that might administer the needs of their fellow inmates.
18. (14.), (15.), (16.) and (17.) violate 8th amendment rights.
19.Violating any amendment rights is bad.
20.If mentally ill prisoners were protected from enduring long periods of confinement by providing regular and meaningful contact, then solitary confinement would de-socialize prisoners less.
21.De-socializing prisoners less is good.

22.The cost to keep inmates in solitary confinement is potentially greater than other endorsed methods of rehabilitation.
23.Spending more money on solitary confinement while there are other cost effective methods of rehabilitation that can be more efficient is bad.

24.The few negative consequences of more humane forms of solitary confinement, such as less information coerced to (perhaps) protect other prisoners or get further convictions (or the need to alter how we coerce to get revealing but protective statements from prisoners) are acceptable in light of the benefits of healthy rehabilitation.

C. These conditions should be restructured to ensure the rehabilitation of inmates placed in solitary confinement.
Abraham.perez44

Pro

1 agree
4 agree
7 agree
8 agree
9 agree
10 agree
13 "To show an Eighth Amendment violation, a two-part test
must be met: 1) the action or condition must be objectively
serious, and 2) prison officials must be R13;deliberately indifferentR14;
to the harm caused by the action or condition. " http://solitarywatch.com...
15 agree
16 agree
17 what is your evidence for this?
19 agree
20 What do you define as mentally ill, and why are they not in mental institution?
21 agree but only in the united states
22 Where is your evidence for this?
23 Where is your evidence for this?
24 What would you do with those that have no desire for rehabilitation?
25 For the inmates that do not desire rehabilitation prolonging their sentence is no real punishment or threat.
26 Prisons have their own cultures and gangs.
27 If a person is placed in Solitary confinement they are being properly disciplined.
28 What would be an effective way to discipline an inmate who is hurting other inmates, already has a life sentence, and will never stop hurting or killing others.
29 Solitary confinement is the only effective way of dealing with these types of inmates.
30 What is a more effective way to discipline these types of inmates?
C Solitary confinement is the only and best way to legally discipline inmates who have no interest in rehabilitation, no desire for release and continue pose a threat to other inmates and guards without hurting them physically..
Debate Round No. 1
Ari.Castillo

Con

17. This premise was paraphrased from the Center for Constitutional Rights' article on the use of solitary confinement in the U.S., (http://ccrjustice.org...).

20. According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, "Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life." http://www.nami.org...

Unfortunately, these individuals are not placed in mental health facilities because of lack of accessibility. Mental health facilities are often poorly funded and under supported. Also, some individuals go their entire lives being affected by mental illness and disorder, without awareness of the impairment. More tests must be done on these individuals in order to assess their disorder or illness in order to properly rehabilitate these individuals.

22 & 23. The average national cost of housing an inmate in solitary confinement is $75,000 annually, (http://solitarywatch.com...).
The cost of educational programs - the leading form of rehabilitation, subsequently leading to the lowest rates of recidivism - is about $1,744 annually per inmate. This should be added to the average $25,000 to house an inmate in general population. (http://www.usnews.com...).
The cost of psychotherapy annually per inmate is $49, 041, which should be added to the cost of housing in GP, (http://www.cdcr.ca.gov..., Pg. 393). The price to keep someone in solitary confinement is a mere $159 more expensive, however, rates of rehabilitation and recidivism greatly improved.
Other forms of rehabilitation such as drug or addiction counseling and dispute resolution are just a few other cost effective forms of rehabilitation to be named.

24, 25, 28 & 30. A person who has no desire for rehabilitation, little value for their own life or the life or others, apathetic, and violent most likely suffers from some form of antisocial personality disorder or dissociative disorder. These people could be treated through psychotherapy or counseling.
It also should be mentioned that my argument is that solitary confinement should be Reformed. However, as it stands today, it is ineffective. If reformed, solitary confinement can be a progressive form of rehabilitation.

26. Agreed.
Abraham.perez44

Pro

Abraham.perez44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Ari.Castillo

Con

Ari.Castillo forfeited this round.
Abraham.perez44

Pro

Abraham.perez44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Ari.Castillo

Con

Ari.Castillo forfeited this round.
Abraham.perez44

Pro

Abraham.perez44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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