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Should the U.S. put some prisoners in solitary confinement ?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 68491
Debate Rounds (3)
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1)Solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is in a cell behind a solid door, in which he/she is isolated from other prisoners and human contact; though often with the exception of members of prison staff in some cases.
2)Solitary confinement helps protect prisoners and guards from those who are a treat of violence.
3)Solitary confinement is used as a punishment while felony is being investigated (if not definite yet).
4)Solitary confinement helps with behavior modification.
5)Solitary confinement is appropriate for prisoners who are deemed dangerous, who committed a major crime or in danger.
6)Dangerous as a threat to oneself or others, or in danger of other inmates.
7)Major crimes involving murder, gang activity, aggravated assault, and rape.
8)Prisoner"s may claim that it is "inhumane and cruel" and "torture" to keep them in the cell walls, but haven"t they not broken the law in the first place to be put in such a situation? (eliminating falsely accused cases)
9)These inmates held no regard for human life in the first place.
10)Therefore, the United States should put some prisoners in solitary confinement.

Non-Controversial Premises: Premises 1, 5, 6 and 7 are non-controversial. Premise 1 is just the definition of solitary confinement. Premise 5 is just stating who solitary confinement is appropriate for and premise 6 follows premise 5 in explaining what is meant as dangerous. Premise 7 is what is defined to be major crimes.

Controversial Premises: Premises 2,3,4,8, and 9 are controversial.
2: Often guards or prisoners are put in a situation where their life is in threat or they"re being harassed by other inmates, so isolation would be a preferred choice in these cases.
3: This is one of the reasons in which can get one to confess and also keep them isolated.
4: Those who are against solitary confinement may not see it as a behavior modification. They may see the negative effects such as causing depression, hallucinations, and becoming anti-social.
8: There are different ways a punishment can be "inhumane and cruel" and also how it is "torture".
9: There are different reasons as to why the prisoner committed the crime.


1.I agree with my opponents definition of Solitary Confinement and that it is isolation that denies the basic human need to interact with others.

2.I agree with Solitary confinement helps protect prisoners and guards from those who are a threat of violence in theory, BUT In Supermax: Controlling Risk through Solitary Confinement , it mentioned that as it is known solitary confinement is to reform prisoners, but evidence showed "little proof that they were any more effective than other forms of confinement" (Shalev, 2009).

3. I don"t agree with premise 3 Solitary confinement is used as a punishment while felony is being investigated because they usually hold them in the general population first if it"s still being investigated. If they are put into Solitary while there felony is being investigated it is due to their wrongdoings and that they may pose a threat to others and the correctional staff. Also When being sentenced, judges do not sentence the fugitive to solitary confinement prisons, it is due to their wrongdoings as well.

4.I do not agree with premisise 4. It does not help with behavior modification because if put into Solitary Confinement, then they can become depressed, and harm themselves and others.

5.I agree with premises 5 that it is appropriate for inmates who are deemed dangerous or who committed a dangerous crime but as I stated before it has shown little proof that being in that confinement is any more effective than the other forms.

6.Agreed they are dangerous

7.My opponent"s premise 7 "Major crimes involving murder, gang activity, aggravated assault, and rape" is very imprecise. It is too Vague. If you have committed major crimes involving murder, gang activity, aggravated assault and rape, you can be in the general prison population and you can also be into solitary confinement too. It does not necessarily mean that just because they committed major crimes that they will be put into solitary confinement.

8. I agree that the prisoners may claim it is inhumane and cruel but they shouldn"t have broken the law to begin with to be put into solitary confinement.

9.I disagree with premise 9 because sometimes people are manipulated into situations like these that cause them to end up in jail. Saying that they have no regard to human life in the first place is a subjective claim. Some young adults are just na"ve and don"t know any better. They have to go through something to realize from what"s right and wrong.

10.If you put prisoners into Solitary confinement, they will go crazy, and crazy is bad.
11.Fugitives in the 20th century were thrown into solitary confinement for only a few days or weeks at a time. Nowadays fugitives get put into solitary confinement for years.
12.It is being used more often now than ever leading us to believe that it causes mental health concerns. The after effects are lethal, and can cause mental health concerns.
13.Solitary Confinement is worrisome to most psychologists who study the issue.
14.If you put prisoners in Solitary Confinement, then they are lacking the basic necessities of life. For example: interaction with others.
15.Solitary Confinement causes prisoners to suffer from anxiety, panic, insomnia, paranoia, and depression. (Weir, 2012)
16.If the US should put prisoners in Solitary confinement then it violates constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment, and damage the mental health.
17.Damaging the mental health immoral because it restrains the regular human rights to collaborate with others and that alone is manufacturing madness.
18.Building a Solitary Confinement prisons is too expensive to build, house and manage.

C.That"s why the US should not put prisoners into Solitary Confinement.
Non-Controversial: 5, 6, 8, 11,14, 16, 18
Premise 1 see above for details, Premises 5 it is meant to house the worst of the worst, Premise 6 agreed, Premise 8 that"s is cruel and should"ve not being committing bad crimes so they have to deal with the consequences. Premises 11 because its known fact, Premise 14 its in the definition, Premise 16 its cruel and unusual, Premises 18 they are very expensive
Controversial: Opponent"s Premise 2,3,4, 7, 9 are controversial 10, 12, 13, 14, 17 are controversial as well. Premises 2 because little proof shown its effectiveness, Premise 3 Because only way to be put into confinement is if you"re behaving very bad and pose a threat to others, Premise 4 see above for details, Premise 7 it can go either way. Premise 9 people a young and don"t know better. Premise 10 some can dispute that they don"t go crazy, Premise 12 some can dispute that it dont lead to mental health concerns, Premsise 13 some may argue not, Premisise 15 some may argue not, Premise 17 some may say otherwise.
Debate Round No. 1


1)Responding to premise 2, "little proof" doesn"t mean that it wasn"t enough to reform prisoners. It is vague and doesn"t show us how much little is.
2)I agree with premise 3. Convicted criminals do not usually end up in solitary confinement and are sent to prison but this shouldn"t be the case if the criminal is being arrested for an act of violence. The government"s job is to protect the community from violence. Thus, by putting these prisoners in an area where they are deprived of such surroundings, it can help to change.
3)I agree with premise 4. Prisoners may fall into depression and harm themselves but I putting them in solitary confinement wouldn"t let them harm others, instead it would help to prevent it.
4)Yes, I agree with premise 7. You can be in either general prison or solitary confinement. To clear up my premise 7, I was explaining what I referred to as "major crimes", not that all criminals were going directly to solitary confinement.
5)Answering premise 9, "being na"ve and don"t know any better" is downplaying the situation. Just because an individual isn"t experienced or not an adult, nowhere should it be rightful to take ones life. It is completely inhumane. There are many young adults out there who know killing and violence isn"t the way to solve a problem. Killing one shouldn"t be used as a learning process to not do it again. It"s more serious of a case compared to if a young adult were to jump a turnstile.
6)I agree with premise 11. The amount of time one is kept in solitary confinement has increased but it also depends on the crime committed. Some are let out in a week.
7)I agree with premise 12.
8)Referring to premise 14, if they are lacking the basic necessities for life, then where would you draw the line that taking the life or severely abusing another human being is a much greater problem? Instead of acting violently, if social skills and interaction with society was important, then why wasn"t communication used in the first place to solve the issue, rather then a act of violence?
9)Not everyone who is put in solitary confinement suffer anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, or depression. Some may actually be able to reform and use the experience as a way to become a better person. Being put in a room where they are isolated can help to realize wrong doings, be more at peace, have time to actually sit and think about what they have done, and the guilt may also help them to change,
10) Some punishment is needed for retribution for violating laws.
11)As quoted in an NPR program, a prisoner complained that his mattress in solitary was uncomfortable. In response to that was the following, "Sorry Pal, but the man you murdered while already serving time doesn"t get to complaining anymore about doesn"t get to complain anymore about bad mattresses- or anything else". If a violent prisoner ends up murdering someone who is already in prison, why should his punishment be lessened. One he already committed a crime, which put him in prison, and then on top of that he killed another inmate. He is clearly still a treat to others (eliminating self dense).
12)I agree. Solitary confinement is more expensive but should we be worried about spending more money on something that actually helps save and keep humans out of trouble and violence from others. There are many other issues in the world that do not need as much money put forth, and the government has no problem giving it there.
13)Everyone handles the situation of being in solitary confinement differently. They can maintain a daily routine of exercising at a certain time, eating at certain times, pretend the hour break into the open is part of schedule, and other activities they do to be an everyday thing. If one were to use this thought and process day to day, their life may seem normal. It all depends on how each prisoner chooses to live by.


la_mun3ca158 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Kunjal4 forfeited this round.


la_mun3ca158 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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