The Instigator
YakovF
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Cenc
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Solitary Confinement

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2018 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 710 times Debate No: 110390
Debate Rounds (3)
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YakovF

Con

R1 - Bring the claim

R2 - Debate

R3 - Finisher.

My Claim:
Solitary Confinement on a moral level is wrong. It drives people insane, and dehumanizes people. When people go back into society, they are no longer the same functioning person they were before. It should only be used for the most dangerous of criminals.
Cenc

Pro

Accepted.

As the Pro, I will be arguing for solitary confinement within psychiatric hospital and correctional facility settings.


Solitary Confinement is Necessary in some Circumstances

These circumstances would include:


1.) When the inmate is a danger to others.

2.) When the inmate is a danger to themselves.

3.) When the inmate is vulnerable to attack from other inmates.

4.) When the inmate has displayed improper conduct or violated the rules of the institution.

In cases one, two and three - solitary confinement is a necessary course of action. Solitary confinement usually entails more exposure to staff working at the said facility, thus if the patient or inmate is a danger to themselves, there is increased oversight and observation from staff to prevent the individual from harming themselves. In terms of whether the patient or inmate is dangerous to others - in order to prevent violence inflicted on other patients or inmates - they should be removed from the general population and placed in solitary confinement for the amount of time necessary. The convicted murder Thomas Silverstein - who killed a correctional officer in 1983 and has been in solitary confinement since - provides an example of why it can be both a punitive and a preventive measure. [1.]

To expound on my third point, solitary confinement can be used as a tool to actually protect the human rights of the individual placed in it. It is occasionally outlined as an option for inmates who do not comply with the general profile of a 'criminal.' People who deviate from this profile are usually pedophiles and serial killers. Overall, they are not outwardly violent so have limited means of protection against other inmates. Pedophiles and lone-acting serial killers are confronted with wide disapproval in jail, therefore, solitary confinement is often the only option they have for guaranteed protection - their consent is usually requested, however. [2.]

According to this source:

'
Male sex offenders made up about 15% of the prison population but accounted for nearly 30 percent of homicide victims, the AP found in cataloging all 78 killings that corrections officials reported since 2007, when they started releasing slain inmates’ identities and crimes.

The deaths – 23 out of 78 – come despite the state’s creation more than a decade ago of special housing units designed to protect the most vulnerable inmates, including sex offenders, often marked men behind bars because of the nature of their crimes.

In some cases, they have been killed among the general prison population and, in others, within the special units by violence-prone cellmates. Officials acknowledge that those units, which also house inmates trying to quit gangs, have spawned their own gangs.

The report looked at 11 homicide cases that were closed in the first half of 2014 and found that 10 victims were sensitive-needs inmates. Using corrections records, the AP found that eight of them were sex offenders.

The inspector general recommended the reinstatement of a policy dropped 15 years ago that required potential sensitive-needs cellmates to fill out a compatibility form before they are housed together and that inmates with a history of violence toward cellmates should be housed alone.' [3.]

An example of what can happen when lone-acting serial killers are not placed in solitary confinement, is the murder of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. After spending three years in jail for multiple murders, he was repeatedly hit over the head with a metal bar, violently struck against a wall, etc. and as a result died of severe head trauma one hour later. His killer claimed that he murdered Dahmer because he was 'disgusted' by his crimes [4.]

Thus, there is an obvious question as to whether pedophiles and serial murderers should be allowed to live within the general population - for reasons relating to their own safety and prevention of murder within correctional facilities.

Citations:


[1.] http://murderpedia.org...

[2.] http://abcnews.go.com...

[3.] https://www.theguardian.com...

[4.] http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
YakovF

Con

First of all, you already failed to follow the rules. Your "claim" was basically the debate. The debate is round 2, not round 1. Please follow the rules, but here is my argument.

"Solitary Confinement is Necessary in some Circumstances

These circumstances would include:

1.) When the inmate is a danger to others.

2.) When the inmate is a danger to themselves.

3.) When the inmate is vulnerable to attack from other inmates.

4.) When the inmate has displayed improper conduct or violated the rules of the institution." - You

I agree with none of those.

This is to address every single one of your reasons.
No. There is no reason to cut of communication, any source of entertainment, or any source to keep your sense of morality. Why wouldn't you give the person something to do if you're going to lock them in a room? But the biggest point of all is the effects solitary confinement, it physiologically messes up people. They become a danger then they were before, especially to themselves. It is cruel and downright immoral. If someone killed someone, there is a different way to approach it then just shoving them in solitary confinement. It will not improve anything, and only make matters worse. We are no better than the murderers to put people in solitary confinement. It's the easy way out, messes up people's minds, and is downright immoral. Also, more on your second reason. Solitary confinement makes people even more of a danger to themselves. So many people tried slitting their wrists and drowning themselves in confinement.

Read all of these. They are well worth your time. They aren't just articles like the stuff you posted, these are official sites and research papers. They explain how solitary confinement can lead to physiological problems, lead to more dangerous prisoners, suicide, self harm, depression, mental illnesses, murder of other people, and much more.
Sources:
[1]https://www.nmlegis.gov...

[2]

[3]https://books.google.com...

[4]https://steinhardt.nyu.edu...

[5]https://www.psychologytoday.com...
Cenc

Pro

Con states that I have violated the rules, but I figured that I would follow the usual debate structure; which is acceptance, presentation of arguments, rebuttals and closing arguments. There are only three rounds with 5,000 charterers for each - thus, merely accepting in the first round seemed rather senseless to me - especially as it leaves little space for rebuttals and closing arguments.

Rebuttals:

Con in fact violates his own rules, as instead of presenting an argument of his own, he proceeds straight to the quoting of various excerpts of my argument and attempts to rebut them. He states that he disagrees with my contentions, without providing a detailed explanation as to why. He asserts that 'there is no reason to cut of [off] communication, any source of entertainment, or any source to keep your sense of morality.'

Inmates who are placed in isolation, in many cases, are still able to maintain some contact with the outside world - mainly in the form of communicating with family members, etc. They also are still entitled to some forms of entertainment. As for Cons comment regarding morality, this seems rather vague and misplaced. My argument primarily revolved around practical reasoning - I.e that isolation can prevent suicide and harassment - or indeed worse - from other inmates. Citation three in my opening argument presents a thorough account of how life is for pedophiles and sex offenders in some U.S prisons. In living with the general prison population, they are strongly exposed to repercussive violence and aggressive mob-like behaviours from other inmates.

Con additionally demonstrates some ignorance on the subject of solitary confinement. He assumes that merely killing someone is enough to warrant someome being placed in isolation - this is incorrect. I explained the reasoning behind solitary confinement in round one and outlined why it is necessary in some circumstances. It requires more than one murder to isolate an inmate. The criterion is that they must pose a direct threat to the general prison population. If they do not pose a direct threat and have not exhibited any violent behaviour, they will not be placed in isolation. That is, unless, they actually request it because they have been harmed by or could be harmed by their fellow inmates - this would specifically apply to pedophiles or serial killers, as previously stated
.
The sources used by Con are without added context, therefore they can be dismissed as sources. His first source is a research paper, but he failed to reference exactly what part of the research paper he was alluding to [you cannot just include a research paper without providing additional context for it]. His second source is a YouTube video - again, easily discounted.

His third source is a book titled 'Health and Human Rights in a Changing World', but once more there is no context. The same can be said for his fourth source - it is a Steinhardt research paper, but again, Con failed to add context or outline what he was referring to in this paper. The same applies to the PsychologyToday article. It would appear that Con believes you win an argument by including random sources and not detailing what they reference in your argument. At the least, he could've directly quoted excerpts from these sources.
Debate Round No. 2
YakovF

Con

If we are going to dis-credit sources, all of yours has NOTHING to do with solitary confinement, therefore it can be dis-credited as a source. I know you outlined the points, but it really doesn't matter. Your points were rather on how people commit crimes, and how dangerous people are. My context of the sources is my argument. Also understand a YouTube video is a valid source as long as it by a reliable source. My sources still stands

"He assumes that merely killing someone is enough to warrant someone being placed in isolation"
No, I'm saying that if someone is going to get solitary treatment, they need to do something serious.

Pedophiles don't need solitary treatment. There is no children in adult prison. I can understand serial killers, but pedophiles? No.
Cenc

Pro

Final Rebuttals and Closing Arguments:

'If we are going to dis-credit sources, all of yours has NOTHING to do with solitary confinement, therefore it can be dis-credited as a source. I know you outlined the points, but it really doesn't matter. Your points were rather on how people commit crimes, and how dangerous people are. My context of the sources is my argument. Also understand a YouTube video is a valid source as long as it by a reliable source. My sources still stands.'

Note: all four sources used by myself are in fact relevant to the debate and its premise. Con has failed to expound further on why he believes my sources are not credible, therefore, his contention here can be dismissed. As to the context of Cons own sources, once again, he did not explain exactly which part of each source he was referring to when using them. I, however, numbered each source according to what I was referencing. Sources mean invariably nothing if they are not numbered to what you are outlining - so they should be used as direct citations that support and validate specific parts of your arguments.

'Pedophiles don't need solitary treatment. There is no children in adult prison. I can understand serial killers, but pedophiles? No.'

Either Con has not read my argument properly - or he is deliberately employing strawman tactics. My argument was not that pedophiles are dangerous to other inmates in jail, as I'm well-aware that there are no children in adults jails. Rather it was that pedophiles, due to the nature of their crimes, are widely disapproved of and are thus targets of violence from their fellow inmates. I suggest that Con review source three to understand what I am arguing for when asserting that solitary confinement is a safer living option for pedophiles. I was in fact stating to the contrary of what he has written.

The same argument was applied to serial killers, who are also subject to violent behaviours from other inmates on account of mass disapproval. I will reiterate once more that pedophiles and serial killers usually operate alone, and are thus not accustomed to group-oriented criminality or violence.

As Con did not address any other points of mine, I will conclude the debate here. Con failed to affirm his resolution and adequately address my arguments, therefore, vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
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