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Is solitary confinement constitutional?

March 15, 2013

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

Imagine spending 23 hours a day in a 10-foot-by-7-foot room. The fluorescent lights are constantly on, and contact with the outside world is limited to a few guards. For estimated 80,000 inmates in the U.S. prison system, this is their life; some have spent 10 to 30 years living in these conditions. It’s called solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement, a punishment doled out to the most violent criminals, has come under scrutiny recently. Congress conducted hearings in 2012 to review the practice.

The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” So is solitary confinement “cruel and unusual” punishment or a necessary tool for prisons?

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, chair of the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights subcommittee, led the hearings.

Charles Samuels, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testified that solitary confinement is a necessary evil to keep guards and other prisoners safe from violent inmates. “The use of any form of restrictive housing (solitary confinement), however limited, remains a critical management tool that helps us maintain safety, security, and effective reentry program of all federal inmates,” Samuels said.

Prison officials across the country agree with Samuels, arguing that long periods of solitary confinement are mainly used to punish violent inmates.

The former Wisconsin secretary of corrections, Walter Dickey, told National Public Radio: The federal prison system “had experiences in which they had inmates kill multiple staff members and multiple inmates. People like that need to be isolated, at least temporarily, if not for a longer period of time until you can release them into the population, the general population, with some confidence that they’re not going to do severe damage to other people.”

Opponents of solitary confinement argue that prisoners’ mental health is at risk when they are in solitary confinement for long periods.

Craig Haney, a University of California, Santa Cruz, psychologist, testified that long periods of solitary confinement could have detrimental effects on a person’s mental state. Quoting Sen. John McCain, who experienced years of abuse and solitary confinement as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, Haney testified that solitary confinement is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

Haney testified: “Your colleague, Senator John McCain, characterized solitary confinement as ‘an awful thing,’ noting that: ‘It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any form of mistreatment.’”

Haney said: “Serious forms of mental illness can result from these experiences. Moreover, many prisoners become so desperate and despondent that they engage in self-mutilation and, as noted early, a disturbingly high number resort to suicide.”

And solitary confinement might not be the answer for dealing with violent inmates. Durbin noted that in Mississippi, which did away with solitary confinement in prison, violence in the prison system decreased by 50 percent.

“It was a wake-up call to all of us to take a hard look” at solitary confinement, Durbin said. “Maybe this just isn’t the best way to deal with these problems.”

What do you think? Based on the Eighth Amendment, is solitary confinement constitutional? Would you argue that it is a necessary or “cruel and unusual” punishment? How should prisons handle violent prisoners, keeping in mind the safety of guards and other inmates? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
12/19/2017
Magnolia, TX
Catherine Fleitas
Magnolia West High School
Solitary confinement is very useful for keeping criminals that are too violent with the guards and inmates safe. This is constitutional because we are imposing the law to protect others peoples rights and liberties when a person is not respecting those rights of other people. In contrast, there should not be long term confinement because it can mess the minds of those that are imprisoned. There should be a short period of time that we can restrain them of hurting people inside the prison and when it passes we should ask them if they are ready to go out and behave. Even though it seems a little bit childish to confine them like if it's "time out", we need to give them time to make them reflect on their actions.

12/18/2017
Winthrop, MN
Benji
GFW Schools
Solitary confinement is good

3/29/2017
Houston, TX
Divina I.
Mrs. Scherzer
Solitary confinement is a necessary tool for prisons, especially for those that committed the most heinous crimes. These people are a danger to society and happen, in most cases, to not be mentally right. I believe the objective of solitary confinement is to break down the individual so that they can be rebuilt in a way to rejoin society. Based on the Eighth Amendment, I would say that solitary confinement is constitutional because the prisoner should receive the punishment that fits the crime. Solitary confinement has good and cautious intentions meant to change people for the better, which will allow them to be more civil to other inmates and guards.

2/17/2017
Houston, TX
Alexander
Mrs. Scherzer / Wunsche
For the right crime, solitary confinement is a necessary punishment. Crimes such as murder or rape deserve more of an extreme punishment. Someone should not be let go even if it goes against the constitution. By that person committing the crime they did, puts an end to all constitutional rights. This could also save the future lives of other victims, either another civilian, or another inmate.

2/16/2017
Spring Texas
Sara Huerta
Mrs. Scherzer/Wunsche
I think that solitary confinement can be used for punishment for prison when a inmate misbehaves, but I don't its right to keep to the in a cell for 23 hours with hardly any space to move in. Also just giving them a hour of "liberty" is not enough for a human to do all of their needs within a hour. The Court puts them in these cells thinking that they will be less violent, but most of the time they are mostly likely to turn violent for not having human interaction and being stuck an a small space, regardless if they are in prison.

2/13/2017
houston, texas
Mariah
scherzer/wunsche
I think solitary confinement is necessary but depending on the circumstances. Although I don't think it is constitutional because it would be a cruel and unusual punishment. The way prisons should handle violent prisoners is by keeping them by themselves until you know they won't be violent anymore.

2/13/2017
Spring, Tx
Eboni
Mrs.Scherzer
I think solitary confinement would be unconstitutional with the reason being that it is cruel and unusual punishment. I feel/agree that solitary confinement is effective in a way that it keeps violent individuals from harming or effecting others. I fel that it should not get to the point to where is affects ones mental state and that it should only last until it is shown they are no longer defiant an are ready to abide.

2/10/2017
Houston
Rochelle
Mrs. Scherzer
I think that solitary confinement is in fact constitutional. Even though it may be a way of confinement and punishment for certain individuals, it can also serve as a form of protection for younger individuals. As long as there is no harm being done to an individual, and they are just being isolated as a punishment for a crime.

2/10/2017
Spring, Texas
Emily
Mrs.Scherzer/Carl Wunsche High School
I think that solitary containment is necessary in certain occasions, however, it would not be considered constitutional because it is a cruel punishment. I would agree that solitary containment is a necessary "cruel and unusual" punishment. The way prisons should handle violent prisoners is by keeping them in solitary confinement until their violence decreases or goes away so that nobody is put at risk.

2/10/2017
spring
Joshua
Scherzer
I believe that solitary confinement is not a form of curel and unusual punishment because it seems more like a type of interrogation. Based on the eighth amendment it does seem that solitary confinement qwould be considered constitutional. Being in the same situation, i would argue that solitary confinement is necessary and not cruel or unusual punishment because its nothing more than a procedure that police take. How they should handle violent prisoners is not leaving them in there for a very long period of time because the mind needs to be able to express freely so it con concentrate. 

2/10/2017
Spring, Texas
Alyssia
Mrs. Scherzer / Carl Wunsche SR. High School
I believe solitary confinement is constitutional, but nobody likes to be left alone with their own thoughts. Human contact is a need in this world. I would argue that in some way it's necessary if inmates misbehave and can't get along with others, but its cruel and unusual punishment if you take away their contact from other humans even when they did nothing wrong at the time. Prisons should handle violent prisoners by giving them some type of lock down and disconnection from the outside world for awhile, not to the point where they go insane. Watch the inmate very closely.

2/10/2017
Houston/TX
Melanie
Scherzer
I think solitary confinement is constitutional, because there is a reason that they must confine that person. The confinement of a person who is dangerous is necessary because if they are not confined they could hurt others. I think prisons should handle violent prisoners by separating them in order to keep everyone safe.

2/10/2017
Texas
Josh
Scherzer
I feel that solitary confinement is totally constitutional. I believe in retributive justice meaning that the crime should connect to the crime in a righteous fashion. When you have those who have committed multiple murders or rape a slap on the wrist will no longer deter the criminals from committing another act.

2/10/2017
Houston TX
Stephany Ramirez
Mrs.Scherzer/ Wunsche High School
In my opinion, I think solitary confinement is a great way to punish an immate who has commited a highly dangerous crime. It is extremetly important that they do this to make sure other inmates and guards stay protected from such individuals. Not only that but, it is the best way to punish a person and make them suffer for what they did without violating the 8th amendment which protects an individual from cruel and unusual punishments.

2/10/2017
Spring/Texas
Emily
Mrs.Scherzer/Carl Wunsche High School
I think solitary confinement is constitutional and necessary in prison. This confinement is used to protect other inmates, guards and the inmate doing the harm therefore it is not cruel and unusual punishment. I do feel as though there should be a way to help those inmates in solitary in a psychological way so that they don't feel the need to do further harm to themselves or others when they get out.

2/10/2017
Spring, Texas
Alyssia
Mrs. Scherzer / Carl Wunsche SR. High School
I believe solitary confinement is constitutional, but nobody likes to be left alone with their own thoughts. Human contact is a need in this world. I would argue that in some way it's necessary if inmates misbehave and can't get along with others, but its cruel and unusual punishment if you take away their contact from other humans even when they did nothing wrong at the time. Prisons should handle violent prisoners by giving them some type of lock down and disconnection from the outside world for awhile, not to the point where they go insane. Watch the inmate very closely.

2/10/2017
Houston TX
Emily Lafuente
Scherzer/ Carl Wunsche High School
The article talks about how prisons have been using solitary confinement for a long time and some people argue wether or not is cruel and unusual punishment as a violation of our rights to let those inmates locked in solitary confinement. I think solitary confinement is cruel and it could indeed affect the mental health of some inmates who spent too much time in there as a punishment. It has been seen how solitary confinement has had good results on inmates with violent tendencies but I dont think it should be done , there should be a better alternative to better the behaviors of such inmates.

2/10/2017
houston,tx
Jocelynn
sherzer/wunsche high school
I think solitary confinement is constitutional because it's necessary to keep the other inmates and guards safe. The solitary confinement is what keeps the violent inmates from hurting any more people. The more freedom a person has the more they tend to abuse it.

11/3/2016
Sidney, Montana
Taylor Schepens
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that solitay confinement is aloud to be used if the case is bad enough. If someone is a threat to themselves or others, then they should most definatly be put in solitary confinement. But if a case isnt that bad, then I dont think that they should be put into solitary confinement because it could possibly just make it worse. Like the article said, its a padded room with lights and no connection to the outside world, and that could definatly make someone go crazy.

2/2/2016
Sidney,Montana
Marlee
Mr.Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I think that solitary confinement is constitutional although I do not believe it should be used for long periods of time. I believe it is necessary in certain circumstances but I understand it can hurt their mental so it should not be used for long periods and only when absolutely necessary. If violent prisoners are such a problem and they are in there for life they might as well be death sentenced. That would reduce taxes towards jails. Programs should be made to help the prisoners who have somewhat sort jail time so they can quickly adjust to normal life and not end up back in jail.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Coleton M.
Mr. Faulhaber / Sidney High School
Is solitary confinement cruel? Yes. Is it unusual? Maybe under certain circumstances. But is it necessary? Yes. This country has grown extremely soft-hearted in the last 40 years and it has effected our foreign policy, economic stance, and of course, our crime punishment process, as we are discussing here. A type of punishment is necessary for criminals. And cruelty has to play some sort of role in punishment because then what deters crime? Everybody would commit illegal acts if the result was a slap on the wrist.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Harmonie H
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe that in certain circumstances that solitary confinement could be constitutional. There has to be a pretty good reason to why that person is there, and there must be evidence. Sometimes though people may be put into solitary confinement for "their own protection", but I don't believe that. If an inmate was being threatened by another inmate then they should put the one doing the threatening into solitary confinement.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Mattie
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I think that solitary confinement is, to a certain extent, constitutional. If a prisoner is harming other workers or inmates, I think that they should be put in to solitary confinement. They are taking away other people’s right and harming them. I do agree though, that too long of solitary confinement can harm the prisoner mental health.

2/2/2016
Sidney MT
Braxten
Mr. Faulhaber
I feel that solitary is constitutional and necessary for prisons. It is a way to deal with high level convicts so they do not cause an uproar in prison. It does have many different effects on inmates but in my opinion they put themselves in that position so they have to suffer with the consequences. sure it could be improved but overall is fine.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Nang
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe that solitary confinement is completely constitutional. Solitary confinement is a form of punish for violent criminals. This punishment isn't cruel nor unusual. It is just a form of punishment, like any other punishment it isn't supposed to be easy. Especially if they committed a violent or terrible crime. Overall you shouldn't do something that you don't want to take the punishment for.

2/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Robert
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that solitary confinement is not constitutional. It can lead to self-mutilation or even suicide. Although the inmates that are in solitary confinement are violent, there are other ways to keep the guards safe. Prison systems could follow in Mississippi's footsteps, their violence decreased by 50%. Of coarse there will be violence in prison, the people there are there for a reason and they are mad that they got caught; the best way to stop it is to keep the inmates happy.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Maika Vang
Mr. Faulhaber
I think solitary confinement is constitutional unless being in there for long periods of time. An inmate who is put in there for days to weeks on end then I see how it could be at risk for causing some mental health issues.

2/2/2016
Sidney
Amanda
MR. FAULHABER
I do think solitary confinement is constitutional. Yes they are already being punished by being in prison for whatever crime they committed, however, if someone commits another crime while in prison they should be punished more. I do not think isolating the prisoner is cruel or unusual. People make their decisions and consequences come with them. Although, in order to avoid solitary confinement being abused or overused, I think there needs to be a cap on the amount of time they have to be in there.

2/2/2016
Sidney/Mt
Bridger
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think solitary confinement is pretty tough, but it is constitutional. I feel like it is necessary for those criminals that you can not trust enough to have them around the other guards or inmates. Without having solitary confinement many guards and inmates are in danger from these criminals.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Kyle Mueller
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High school
I think that solitary confinement is constitutional. The person being placed in it has made the a bad choice or has done something wrong. I do believe that there should be a limit on how long the person is aloud to be put into it. But when I comes to other inmates or guards safety, solitary confinement is the way to go. If it is used properly and not abused it is not cruel and unusual punishment.

2/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Reiley
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I feel like solitary confinement is constitutional. I say this because the U.S. set laws for a reason which makes us a nation. I feel like if people can't follow those rules they should be punished because if they don't get punished they think it's okay to continue not to follow the laws.

2/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Tayler F.
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Solitary confinement is necessary at most times to keep criminals from hurting others. After a period of time, it could be considered "cruel and unusual" punishment. Being confined to small spaces for a long time causes some to form mental illnesses, which could be more damaging. Like the article said, eliminating solitary confinement often decreases violence in prisons. I don't think that locking someone away where they have no contact with anyone will help in any way.

2/2/2016
Sidney/ MT
Sierra
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe solitary confinement is constitutional if used in the right way. It is necessary to use solitary confinement when there is an inmate that is highly dangerous. The other inmates and guards deserve protection too and solitary confinement will protect the other inmates and guards as well as the dangerous inmate. They should however do research and see if they can find an alternative way to confine the inmates.

2/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Micala Morehouse
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I believe that solitary confinement is unconstitutional. It is cruel and unusual punishment and I believe that it should not be allowed. It does too much damage on people's mental health. I think the way to handle violent prisoners is through hard labor. Make the prisoners go through training just like military soldiers have to do and keep making them have to take the course if they chose not to behave.

2/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Michael
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think that solitary confinement can pass as cruel and unusual punishment and seems only necessary to keep other prisoners and officers safer. From the information given, I can't conclude whether the treatment during the confinement is effective of creating a better citizen. From what i can see, the Psychological effects would far out weigh the benefits, that is if there were any benefits in the end. Solitary confinement in itself is considered cruel and unusual when you consider how long someone is sentenced to it, if it was only used as a temporary punishment for misbehavior i think it wouldn't be put as much into question. When people spend years upon years in a row is when it becomes cruel. In my humble opinion, I don't think it should be completely banned, just used as a temporary punishment ranging from a day to a week at most (give or take).

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Dylan
Mr. Faulhaber / Sidney High School
Solitary confinement is not a form of cruel and unusual punishment and therefore is not unconstitutional. There needs to be harsh punishments for brutal and violent criminals. If every crime was treated the same the inmates would likely end up right back into the prison system.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Clay
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Under a certain circumstance, solitary confinement could be considered cruel and unusual, and would violate the 8th Amendment. However, this circumstance would be the elongated exposure to solitary confinement, such as being placed in it for years on end. Otherwise, solitary confinement does not violate the 8th Amendment. It is in the interest of safety that the inmates are placed in solitary; this is a method of separating off the especially violent criminals that will or have caused harm to staff or other inmates. Therefore, solitary confinement is a necessary punishment, but only if inmates are not overexposed to the practice.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Hunter Nice
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
i think that solitary confinement is constitutional. Because separating these violent criminals from the rest of the prison population is the best thing. These criminals have to learn sometime and i think that solitary confinement does just that. I think that it gives these criminals a reality check. And if it doesn't so be it they can stay there longer. After all it is the criminals fault for ending up there.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Katlyn
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Although solitary confinment is a harsh punishment, I do not think that it is cruel or unusual. It is necessary in order to keep the prisoner from hurting other inmates or gaurds. I think that they should have a probable cause and know the prisoner will be a danger to other inmates before issuing solitary confinment.

2/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Cade
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney high school
I believe solitary confinement is constitutional if used under correct circumstances. If a prisoner harms themselves, other inmates, or the cell guards, I think it is necessary for the inmate to be taken to solitary confinement. I would say the the inmates that get taken to solitary confinement are the ones that already have social problems.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Luke
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that solitary confinement is consitutional; however, I think that basic entertainment should be provided. I believe that the inmate that did something that awful should not be allowed to live, but most people do not share that view with me. Solitary confinement is the second best option option in my mind. I understand that solitary confiment is a terrible place to be, but maybe the criminal should've just followed the laws. For inmnates living in solitary confiment, I believe that they should be allowed to read all the books that they want and possibly have limited access to a televison.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Trista Papka
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that if someone is a danger to other inmates then they have the right to confine them. But there are certain circumstances that they should follow; like not being able to keep them confined for years. I think that confining them for a few days, at the most, is acceptable if they are a danger to the public.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Tyrell
Mr Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Solitary confinment Is constitutional. people who are in there are in for a good reason, they are the ones who have commited the worst of the crimes. these are the murderers, rapists, and so on. when you release these people in with the rest of the prison population they could become violent and kill other inmates or even staff members. This is constitutional because its not cruel or even unusual it my cause low profile problems but when they are a danger to prison inmates staff and even the civilized world then putting them in a cell by themselves for a couple years is not as bad as the death penalty which is legal in 31 states.

2/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Christian Eggar
Mr.Faulhaber Sidney High School
In my opinion i belive that Solitary Confinement is in fact constitutional. I beleive that it is neccessary for extreme criminals to get this type of punishment. They chose to do this crime. There punishment needs to be harsh. Why do we think as americans that punishing criminals is cruel? Solitary Confinment is a way of telling the criminal that they can sit there and think about what they have done. In my opinion this is a humane and actually good thing. Now they could maybe reduce the sentence but other than that i belive they deserve it if they do a terrible crime. So yes i beleive that it is constitutional!

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Kaitlyn Tibbits
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Solitary confinement sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me. However, it might be the go-to punishment for certain crimes. I think the states have the right to decide whether or not they want to use this in the jails and penetentiaries.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Clay Fox
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I feel that at this time solitary confinement is the best option for these cases. Finding an efficient punishment for some of these terrible criminals is hard. In my honest opinion I think the U.S. should keep the solitary confinement. I think that if an inmate is really willing to change their ways and get better, than they wouldn't need to worry about being in that situation.

2/2/2016
sidney, MT
matt
Mr. Faulhaber/SHS
Solitary Confinement is constitutional because it is in the main interest for the people around them. People in Solitary Confinement are there either by choice or by necessary means.

2/2/2016
Sidney/Mt
Dillon
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think solitary confinement may not be constitutional. It should be on how serious the crime is on. If the crime is serious then they should either be in solitary confinement or have the death sentance. People that rape kids should be killed they shouldnt be in solitary confinement.

2/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Danielle S.
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that solitary confinement needs to be used for inmates who are a likely threat to themselves, other inmates, and guards. A limit on the amount of time an inmate can be kept in confinement should be set so that inmates don't reach a severe mental illness.

2/2/2016
Sidney MT
Quinn McGlothlin
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I think that solitary confinement is needed for the prisoners that need to be there. The prisoners in solitary confinement are in there for a reason. You don't need those prisoners causing trouble with other prisoners. Solitary confinement is needed for the protecion of other prisoners and gaurds. I do not think that solitary confinement is cruel and unusal punishment.

2/2/2016
Sidney/Mt
Dominic Anderson
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The process of solitary confinement would be cruel possibly a cruel punishment as to psychological effects it can have upon a person. But this punishment does not at all seem unusual because of the fact that if someone is doing something very bad you tend to isolate them from the problem. In this case it would be away from people to prevent further misconduct. In respect to it I believe it can be effective but you have to keep a close watch on them and make sure that they are psychologically sound and give them something to pass the time. So not so much as solitary confinement as removing them from an environment in which they may do harm.

2/2/2016
Sidney Mt
Lucas
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that solitary confinement is constitutional to a certain point. It would ultimately depend on what the inmate did to get themselves put in solitary confinement. Depending on how serious the situation is would determine how long or even if they would get placed in solitary confinement. The way I see it if someone wants to act like an animal then they can get put away like one too.

2/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Tel Hermanson
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe solitary confinement, however bad it sounds, is a tool that is needed in the justice system. To protect other inmates and staff, some violent inmates need to be kept away from everyone else. These inmates do not deserve to be treated the same as other inmates if they have done violent actions towards staff or other inmates. The use of solitary confinement is a tool that is used to keep the prison system safe from violent offenders.

2/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Kade Jacobson
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Solitary Confinement has been used for hundreds of years to protect inmates and guards while dealing with violent inmates. The procedure is neccessary to confine and move violent inmates away from the stable inmates and guards. Plus, what would the difference be on mental health if the violent inmate went about killing other people without being punished than be sent to solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is necessary procedure to use until something more effective is used.

2/2/2016
Sidney/MT
Lexi
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think that solitary confinement is constitutional. I think that if there is a crazy person killing people in a prison something should be done about it. Obviously if they are in prison they've done something bad to get in there. Being a gaurd in a prison is a dangerous position and everyone needs to be protected.

2/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Nick
Mr. Faulhaber
I do not believe that solitary confinement is "cruel and unusual punishment", unless it is used for an extended period of time. Sometimes people act out in prisons, and prison guards need a place to put the violent inmates until they can calm down. Leaving them in solitary confinement for a few days gives inmates the opportunity to think about their actions. I think that people are able to handle being alone for a few days, because out in the real world, sometimes we are alone for a few days. Whether we are sick or live alone, we can manage just fine for a few days. I emphasize a few days. Any more than a week seems excessive. I don't see the need for it. They would have already calmed down, thought about their actions, and the other inmates and guards would be safe by then. Solitary confinement shouldn't really be used as punishment, just sort of a "time out". If they are that dangerous that they are constantly hurting inmates and guards, then maybe the death penalty would be the right thing... I think killing one dangerous, violent, and guilty criminal is better than putting a bunch of basically innocent people at risk of serious injury or death

1/31/2016
Sidney, MT
Chelsey Metcalf
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think solitary confinement is a bad place to be, but in some ways constitutional. The people in solitary confinement make the decisions to put themselves there. The safety of others is a main concern for everyone at the prison. Guards do need to protection, as well. I think if there were an alternative way to treat dangerous inmates, it would be in use. Those in the confinement are given what is necessary for survival. I think restrictions should be set on the amount of time an inmate is locked in confinement depending on the behavior over a certain period, though.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, California
Dorian P.4
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that, under the correct circumstances, solitary confinement is constitutional. If the inmate endangers themselves, other inmates, and staff, I think that it can be necessary for the inmate to be confined. Although, that being said, they should have some sort of therapist or counselor that meets with them regularly to keep their mental health in check. I don't think that under the Eighth Amendment it is considered "cruel and unusual punishment", since it can be necessary for some inmates, in order to keep them physically safe. Sometimes though, the periods of solitary confinement are extensive, and the conditions aren't the best, but if these things were fixed slightly, solitary confinement can be good for inmates. Craig Haney, a psychologist, claims that solitary confinement, "crushes your spirit", under long periods of time. I think, if the conditions are upgraded, in solitary confinement, it can help inmates stay safe and the people around them, too.

12/9/2015
Portland Maine
Abdirahman
Ms. Reagan/ Portland High School
Yeah. Solitary confinement should be used for violent criminals and people who are not safe to be around.

12/9/2015
Portland, Maine
Iman M.
Mrs. Reagan/Portland High School
Solitary confinement should not be used to punish a prisoner psychologically but should only be used to protect the prisoner from others or the safety of the other prisoners. I also think there should be a limit to how long they stay in there. if the prisoner is suicidal then they need help so giving them more time in solitary confinement is unnecessary. 2 weeks should the maximum period of time one can stay in solitary confinement.

12/9/2015
Portland, ME
Austin
Ms. Reagan/Portland High School
I feel it is necessary to have solitary confinement for the people who can't obey by the rules set in order to keep people safe and keep themselves safe. If a person is putting other people in harms way and they know what will happen then the deserve to be put in there for a long time. In my opinion they're in there for a reason which is their fault so if they want to break the rules and they get put into solitary confinement then thats also their fault and what ever happens to them is their fault.

12/9/2015
Portland Maine
Gianna G
Ms. Reagan/ Portland High School
I believe that solitary is not constitutional, even a few days can cause serious mental health issues. The lack of sensory stimulation, things to do and some type of structured socialization. I do believe in seperating violent offenders but in a different way. People crave structure wheather they realize it or not. If you treat people like animals they're going to act like it. We need to come up with better ways to handle these situations. Solitary breaks people. That can be more harmful for themselves and others.

12/8/2015
Portland, ME
Mia
Ms. Reagan/ Portland High School
I think that separating high risk inmates from others is crucial, however, the conditions that they have to endure is unconstitutional in my opinion. I agree that solitary confinement is a useful tool to help maintain safety and security, although I highly doubt it provides an effective reentry program to a majority of inmates who suffer from severe mental illnesses due to their punishment. I don't think that this is the best way to go about this problem and that society needs to work to find a better solution.

12/7/2015
Portland, ME
Clautel
Ms. Reagan/ Portland High School
Yes. Solitary Confinement should only be used for violent criminals and for people who are not safe to be around.

12/7/2015
Hoover/AL
Lauren
Parker/Spain Park
I do not think solitary confinement is constitutional, for I believe it falls under cruel and unusual punishment. Solitary confinement can lead to mental deterioration and suicide, as it chips away at the prisoner's spirit and willingness to live. I understand that certain prisoners can pose serious threats to guards and other inmates, but they should be restrained via handcuffs or other mechanisms to keep them from harming others. They should be monitored closely at all times when they are around other prisoners, but should not be kept alone for years on end. I believe solitary confinement is not the best way to deal with violent inmates, as the prison in Mississippi noticed a 50% decrease in violence after solitude was done away with. Keeping a person completely alone is a cruel form of punishment that should not be continued.

12/7/2015
Portland ME
Antonia D
Ms. Reagan
I do not agree with solitary confinement in terms of sensory deprivation. Causing inmates to feel like they are losing their minds is not the right way to handle things. I do agree with separating high risk inmates, but I believe they need bigger cells, more outdoor time, and more things todo.

12/7/2015
Hoover/AL
Lauren
Parker/Spain Park
I do not think solitary confinement is constitutional, for I believe it falls under cruel and unusual punishment. Solitary confinement can lead to mental deterioration and suicide, as it chips away at the prisoner's spirit and willingness to live. I understand that certain prisoners can pose serious threats to guards and other inmates, but they should be restrained via handcuffs or other mechanisms to keep them from harming others. They should be monitored closely at all times when they are around other prisoners, but should not be kept alone for years on end. I believe solitary confinement is not the best way to deal with violent inmates, as the prison in Mississippi noticed a 50% decrease in violence after solitude was done away with. Keeping a person completely alone is a cruel form of punishment that should not be continued.

12/3/2015
Portland/Maine
Ben F
Ms. Reagan
I believe that solitary confinement should be constitutional, but not used as much as it is now. Prisoners should stay in there for a week only, otherwise psychological damage can occur if they are in solitary confinement for long periods. I think only prisoners who are in harm should stay there for longer times. Putting prisoners there for only a couple days to a week makes it so the prisoners could reflect on what they've done bad, and is not to mentally demanding to them.

12/3/2015
Portland Maine
Amir
Ms Reagan Portland high school
I feel it is necessary for prisons and is constitutional. Because it is a way to deal with the more violent and disruptive inmates. It may have different effects on people but it's not cruel or unusual in anyway. But I do think it could be improved in ways where inmates don't and can't hurt themselves.

12/2/2015
Portland, Maine
Matty K.
Ms. Reagan/Portland High School
I believe that solitary confinement is constitutional because it is not intended to be cruel or unusual even though it can have different damaging effects on people. I think that it is a necessary step in the efforts to keep the staff at the prison along with the others prisoners safe from certain extraordinarily violent individuals. It is also an effective way to cut off communication between certain dangerous inmates who could be planning an insurrection or escape plan. That being said, lawmakers should find a way to make it a more humane process while still keeping the isolation piece intact.

12/2/2015
Portland, Maine
Tasha T.
Ms Raegan/Portland High School
I think solitary confinement shouldn't be consititutional because people are slowly killing themselves, mentally and physically. Yes it is to "protect the other inmates" or "they do deserve it", but there is other ways to deal with this situation. The way the prisons deal with this punishment is a complete shut off to society and denying them basic human aspects, which can lead to extreme forms of mental illness and self harm.

12/2/2015
Portland maine
Adrian
Ms.Reagan/Portland High School
While I prefer that the violent criminals be just 'disposed of', I agree with solitary confinement both as a punishment and as a sort of message to potential criminals. It may seem unfairly dehumanizing for the criminal to most, but it's important to realize that they had dehumanized a probably innocent person first by infringing that person's expected safety in life, (whether through injury, murder, or rape).

12/2/2015
Portland/Maine
Ben F
Ms. Reagan
I believe that solitary confinement should be constitutional, but not used as much as it is now. Prisoners should stay in there for a week only, otherwise psychological damage can occur if they are in solitary confinement for long periods. I think only prisoners who are in harm should stay there for longer times. Putting prisoners there for only a couple days to a week makes it so the prisoners could reflect on what they've done bad, and is not to mentally demanding to them.

12/2/2015
Portland/Maine
Ben F
Ms. Reagan
I believe that solitary confinement should be constitutional, but not used as much as it is now. Prisoners should stay in there for a week only, otherwise psychological damage can occur if they are in solitary confinement for long periods. I think only prisoners who are in harm should stay there for longer times. Putting prisoners there for only a couple days to a week makes it so the prisoners could reflect on what they've done bad, and is not to mentally demanding to them.

12/2/2015
Portland, Maine
Sophia L
Ms Reagan/Portland High School
I do not believe that solitary confinement is constitutional because it is psychologically damaging, therefore it is cruel and unusual punishment. I believe that if inmates are put in solitary confinement they will only become worse people because it makes them go so "insane." Instead of solitary confinement, prisons should handle violent prisoners by constantly keeping them handcuffed or in rooms that were not as secluded and small (maybe two to a room). I guess in the end violent prisoners only want to hurt others and may never get "better" due to mental illness, but I do not think it is right for prisons to let their minds rot in solitary confinement when there are other options.

12/2/2015
Portland/ME
Abigail S.
Ms. Reagan/Portland High School
I do not believe that solitary confinement is "cruel and unusual punishment", unless it is used for an extended period of time. Sometimes people act out in prisons, and prison guards need a place to put the violent inmates until they can calm down. Leaving them in solitary confinement for a few days gives inmates the opportunity to think about their actions. I think that people are able to handle being alone for a few days, because out in the real world, sometimes we are alone for a few days. Whether we are sick or live alone, we can manage just fine for a few days. I emphasize a few days. Any more than a week seems excessive. I don't see the need for it. They would have already calmed down, thought about their actions, and the other inmates and guards would be safe by then. Solitary confinement shouldn't really be used as punishment, just sort of a "time out". If they are that dangerous that they are constantly hurting inmates and guards, then maybe the death penalty would be the right thing... I think killing one dangerous, violent, and guilty criminal is better than putting a bunch of basically innocent people at risk of serious injury or death.

12/2/2015
Portland, maine
Mayzie C
Ms Reagan/Portland high school
I do believe solitary confinement is constitutional, however I believe it is being abused and overused nationwide. I think solitary should only be used for extreme cases as a last resort. If a prisoner is causing or will cause harm to others, and is labeled as a threat, I think solitary confinement is a suitable option. I don't believe prisoners should be put in solitary confinement for small infraction, though. I also believe the sentences should be for no longer than one week at a time, because even that much time is enough to force someone to assess the situation they're in and hopefully change their actions. 6 months is far too long to keep someone in that kind of captivity, and no one should be subjugated to it.

12/1/2015
Maine
Sophia F.
Ms. Reagan
I believe solitary confinement is not constitutional because it is somewhat cruel and unusual punishment. The amount of time people are forced to spend in there for little crimes in prison does not seem humane. I also don't think it is humane to keep people in there for their own protection, there are other ways to protect them. If it is because they are a child molester or rapist, they should have to stay in normal prison and face the consequences from their prisoners as well, it's only fair.

12/1/2015
Portland/Maine
Jessica K
Reagan/Portland
I would say that any punishment shown to cause psychological damage would qualify as 'cruel and unusual', so no, I don't agree with solitary confinement. It is difficult to determine how to deal with high risk prisoners, but those who are someday expected to integrate back in with society should not be put through this form of punishment that will likely make them even more violent. An alternative needs to be found.

12/1/2015
Portland, ME
Elinor H.
Ms. Regan Portland High school
I think that solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment. It promotes self harm, mental illness, and violence. I can agree that some people in solitary are too dangerous to be around other inmates, but I think there are other way to separate them that would be less damaging. I wish that the US prison system took mental illness more seriously and did not punish people for acting in way they cannot control. I also with that social outcast (in the prison society) were not immediately punished with solitary. This seems overtly unfair. In general, I think it is crucial to create a more effective confinement method in prisons.

12/1/2015
Portland Maine
Alyssa
Ms.Regan
I believe that long periods of time in solitary confinement should not be allowed. Although shorter and non mental alternating periods should be allowed to further enforce the punishment of the inmate. I believe it solitary confinement should still be allowed and used in prisons and is not cruel and unusual punishment.

12/1/2015
Portland/Maine
John A
Reagan/PHS
I belive that solotary confinement is a good thing for the rest of the prisoners in the prison. Though it is a good thing I also belive that it should have a cap time on it, of about 3 months. This could lead to further violence, but it would give incentive to not misbehave, because if you did you would just go right back in to the confinement. Another option would be seperate prions for these dangerous people, but it is very dangerous.

12/1/2015
Portland/Maine
Aedin
Ms.Reagan/Portland High School
The idea of solitary confinement might lead prisoners to reflect upon their crimes and find guilt in it, but there seems to be almost no evidence to support that idea. Putting human beings into a small cell with no contact for months is excessive and demeaning. Prisons in general should focus more on re-introducing people into the outside world in healthy ways. Isolating them is not a way to re-submerge them. There either needs to just be short-term isolation, or some way of regulating the confinement to make it so they can still participate in activities that can allow them to grow. Maybe something relating to education? Online classes perhaps? Something needs to be done to make sure that the living conditions of the cells aren't just to torture.

12/1/2015
Portland
Sabrina S
Ms. Reagan
I don't like that they put people back in solitary confinement who have hurt themselves because of being in there

12/1/2015
Portland Maine
Jonah B
Mrs. Reagan/Portland high school
What aren't the solitary confinement cells much bigger. If prisons are going to keep this punishment around they should at least make the stay more comfortable.

9/2/2015
Sidney,Montana
Peyton T
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I agree with solitary confinement, keeping these prisoners away from others that they can harm is what it's doing. Solitary confinement can be cruel in ways being you're keeping prisoners away from interacting with people and the outside world for such long amounts of time. If an inmate commits a crime in which they are punished or even considered to be in confinement they have committed a serious crime. When an inmate has a violent history you never know if they will harm another human. This is why we need solitary confinement to protect others. I don't believe that this will change the prisoner because he hasn't interracted with anyone in a number of years. That is how it could cause a problem if they ever are able to come out of solitary confinement.

7/29/2015
Kimball Michigan
Lisa
Roseville high
Yes sometimes this is the only way to keep people safe .. But because a man did get his breathing machine and gets a little mad and let's the officer no it .. To me is crazy it's not like he did anything .. What happen to freedom of speech.. They put someone in the hole that hasn't even been to court yet .. Someone needs to change the way things are done in this world.. That's someone loved one and u think your only hurting them your not .. If they hurt someone then I understand but because u get mad .. No I don't understand ..

11/14/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Owen
Mr. Hanna/ SJHS
Solitary confinement should be allowed for violent criminals/prisoners. Yes I agree that it is "cruel and unusual" but if someone is given solitary confinement then they obviously did something "cruel and unusual" to someone else to deserve this punishment. In the end I believe that it is constitutional and should be allowed.

5/30/2014
Maple, WI
Heather
Mr. Crail/Northwestern High School
I think that based on the psychological effects of solitary confinement, for some inmates and the periods of time it is assigned with, it could be considered "cruel and unusual." Some prisoners need to be kept away from people to insure the safety of guards and other inmates, but the resulting mentality could cause further damage to those people, citizens they may encounter outside of prison if and when they are released, and themselves. There should be certain regulations for solitary confinement, so that its main goal is accomplished without any unintended side effects.

9/13/2013
Montana
Alyssa
Mr. Faulhaber / Sidney High School
Solitary Confinement is meant as a punishment as much as it is a safty regulation. I believe that if you are on the way to getting put in solitary confinement, I would assume you have done something bad enough to have you placed there.

9/13/2013
Sidney, Montana
Jozi M.
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I agree with solitary confinement due to the fact that it is keeping the gaurds and other inmates safe. Although, solitary confinement needs to be used only in times of need. I dont agree with using solitary confinement for long amounts of time. If an inmate commits murder or rape, I believe that they deserve punishment. So solitary confinement isn't as cruel as many would like to think.

5/1/2013
Irving/Tx
Kelsie
Bradley/Nimitz
I disagree with solitary confinement. I understand that there are violent prisoner that need to be put away, but why in a 10-foot-by-7-foot room. That is torture and I believe its "cruel and unusual." If prisoner spend 10 to 30 years in solitary confinement, obviously its not effect their behavior but we never know how it's effecting them mentally.

4/26/2013
Benson, AZ
Kourtney
Sorensen
I think that solitary confinement is a good punishment for only a reasonable amount of time. A criminal should only remain in solitary confinement long enough for them to think about what they have done depending on their crime and then afterwards they should be removed and taken to a correctional facility or something of that sort.

4/22/2013
Irving/TX
TJ
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is a necessary punishment for the right crime. Some crimes like murder or rape deserve much more extreme punishment. Someoen shouldn't be let off just becasue it goes against the constitution. Them commiting the crime they did gets rid of all constitutional rights. The deserve the punishment they get regardless of feelings. This could save future lives of other victims whether it is another civilian, or another inmate.

4/22/2013
Irving/TX
Dennys A.
Bradley/Nimitz
I do not believe solitary confinement is unconstitutional but one cannot know the damage done upon an individual's mental state unless experiencing solitary confinement themselves. Solitary confinement creates a reason for prisoners not to act up as the thought of being trapped with no hope presents itself, lost in your own thoughts and forced to accept seclusion. Solitary confinement serves to not only protect other inmates from each other but also to keep their threatening erratic behaviors in check should they express them continuously.

4/21/2013
Irving/TX
but nguyen
Bradley/Nimitz
A man once said,” The hardest job in this world is to do nothing.” During the space race, American scientist found out that because astronauts are isolated in space, it can affect their thinking and cause mental instability. Solitary confinement is unconstitutional because it’s cruel and unusual punishment. It’s is equivalent to torture except for years and years. Prisons should have a high security place that gives prisoners something to do even if it’s harsh and tough because doing anything beats doing nothing.

4/20/2013
Irving/Texas
Darian
Bradley/Nimitz
Long periods of solitary confinement can damage peoples mental state. So it is unconstitutional to hold a violent inmate in confinement for a long period of time. It is cruel to do that to any human being no matter what they have done, they are humans. Prisons should add time to their sentence or take away privileges. If long times of solitary confinement breaks down soldiers think what they do to inmates .

4/18/2013
Irving/Texas
April K.
Bradley/Nimitz
Based on the Eighth Amendment, solitary confinement is constitutional. It is necessary to keep the other inmates and guards safe. Solitary confinement is certainly not unusual as it has been around since the 19th century. However, if solitary confinement was taken away, security in prisons would have to be doubled up, costing lots of money. Some people actually prefer solitary confinement, because some prisoners have came out of prison with gruesome stories from what their inmates did to them, and solitary could keeps the prisoner safe not only hurting other prisoners, but the other prisoners hurting him or her. Being in solitary brings no physical pain, so it is not cruel as that would go against the Eighth Amendment.

4/16/2013
Irving/Texas
Alan
Bradley/Nimitz
There is nothing wrong with solitary confinement. It helps keep other prisoners and guards safe from the violent ones in solitary confinement. If they are in there, they obviously did something that made them be punished in that way. Some of the criminals in there already have mental issues, and should be kept away from others for what they did.

4/15/2013
Irving/Texas
Delaney
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is completely constitutional, and necessary. Any crime where solitary confinement is given as a punishment, is obviously a worthy consequence. People who are guilty and in jail have lost certain privileges because they have shown that they are not able to live in civilized society and cannot follow the laws. Solitary confinement is one of those privileges ( given the punishment fits the crime ). Solitary confinement can also be used to protect prisoners from others in jail, so it isn't against the constitution.

4/9/2013
Irving/Texas
Zachery
Bradley/Nimitz
I'm not exactly sure what side of this I am on, whether solitary confinement is constitutional or cruel and unusual punishment. I know I wouldn't wanna be locked up in a 10-foot-by-7-foot room for 23 hours a day so I would be a hypocrite to say that I think its a good idea to keep inmates locked away in solitary confinement. However I can say that even though it may be cruel and unusual punishment, it may be necessary for certain inmates here in the United States. In order to handle the violent inmates and keep the guards safe at the same time, maybe they can still have the inmates in solitary confinement, but not as bad as they have it. Give them something to do while in their cell or things to keep the stable and entertained.

4/5/2013
BEnson, AZ
Rhiannon
Sorensen/Benson
If someone is a major danger to society and can't control their own actions, solitary confinement should be taken into mind. It's better than the death penalty.

4/3/2013
Irving/Texas
Samantha Sandoval
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is a cruel, but no longer very unusual, punishment. Secluding an inmate to a empty, bare room for an extended amount of time is detrimental to their mental health and that should not be condoned by the government. There should be other measures to ensure the safety of guards and fellow inmates aside from soliary confinement- such as a lesser degree of isolation- perhaps allowing the inmate to still see/interact with other inmates, but through a protective barrier like a window of some sort. Many justify the harsh punishment with the arguement that the criminal being held to solitary confinement is a dangerous and rightfully deserves the punishment, but that's biased and absurd- which are two things that the law is not. Their punishment is jail and when a conflict occurs where an inmate needs an additional form of punishment within the prison, it should not be extensively furthered to a point where constitutionality is able to be questioned.

4/3/2013
Irving/Tx
Tasia
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion sloitary confiment is constitutional and is not an unfair punishment. Some inmates just don't care about life and choose to take others life and make irresponsble decisions and not care about other people's life. It would be diffrent and unfair if a criminal got sloitary confiment and they wern't a threat to society or inmates. Also inmantes with menatl illness and that cant control themselves should be in solitary confiment, because the officers have a prison full 800,000 people they can't babysit and be worried about a person that is going to be irresponsible.

4/1/2013
Irving/Texas
Elyssa
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is constitutional and necessary for the well-being of the guards and other inmates. Depending on the crime punishment varies. Minor crimes do not deserve as cruel a punishment but the mass murderers who are capable of killing should be in solitary confinement. We shouldn’t let them have the available interaction given to them like everybody else. Everyone chooses their own future and these people deserve the punishment that goes along with their crime. We cant let these people be in a social environment where they can hurt again and shouldn’t allow it to actually happen before we do something about it. The best way to shield these violent prisoners from other inmates and guards is solitary confinement. This is not a “cruel and unusual” punishment because these prisoners made their own choices.

4/1/2013
Benson/AZ
kayla
sorenson
i believe it is constitutional because they are being punished for something they were not suppose to do, at the same time the most violent people cant handle other people without hurting them. i do believe they should have more protection with prisoners based on their certain crimes.

3/27/2013
Irving/TX
Alexis
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes I believe Solitary Confinement is constitutional. However,I dont think it is a proper punishment for all prisoners. If a prisoner was brought to prison over a miniscule crime and exhibit no violent behavior and are only be in prison for a short period of time then they are the last people who should be in solitary coonfinement. But for the prisoner who is a murder, rapist or a serial killer who thrives on violence and causing destruction then yes I believe it to be necessary to isolate them from hurting others. We are all intitled to our own choices and we all have the choice to make something of ourselves or destroy ourselves. The moment your choose to break the law and become evil and corrupt you throw away your freedom. For a prisoner to have no redeeming qualities,to want to continue to kill and hurt the innocent no matter where they are,should be in solitary confinement. Give them 30 years to think about all whom they have harmed and betrayed.

3/27/2013
Watertown/MA
Gabriel
Dr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I believe that yes, solitary confinement is constitutional. I believe that it not only serves as a form of punishment for the more severe inmates but also serves as a form of protection from a young inmate to an older, more dangerous inmate.

3/27/2013
Watertown, Ma
Kevin Michaud
Rimas/WHS
Solitary confinement is a direct violation of the eighth amendment. If a member of congress was locked in a 70 square foot room for 23 hours a day, they might come to this realization as well. Being a prisoner does not mean you should be stripped of your rights and freedoms. This includes the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. Solitary confinement forces a prisoner to be alone with his/her thoughts for a long period of time. It deprives them of human interaction and is in no way therapuetic. There is no need for such a constitutional violation. #FreeLeo

3/25/2013
Irving/Texas
Wesley
Bradley/Nimitz
Anything in moderation has far better effects than extremities. Confining an inmate to long terms of solitude is truly not constitutional because it is in fact very cruel. Humans, by nature, crave and need human touch. There is a reason why people gather in communities, in cities, and in societies because we live off human interaction. Taking away this interaction, although logical in the sense that it protects guards and other inmates, is equivalent to taking away a person’s humanity, which in turn I find very cruel and unusual. Nevertheless, short terms of solitary confinement can be used via a system of punishments and rewards. Bad behavior would equate to a short period of solitude while good behavior would equate to human interaction. But truly, prisons should really step around the issue and go right to the source: allowing violent inmates the freedom to be violent. Mild sedation and extra restraints would not only take away this freedom but would also open up the possibility for more human interaction and rehabilitation.

3/25/2013
Benson Arizona
Amanda
Mr. Sorensen Benson high School
Based on the Eighth Amendment, solitary confinement is indeed constitutional. Solitary confinement is not cruel and unusual punishment. Guards and other inmates need to be protected. Solitary confinement is a punishment for a prisoner's behavior, but it is not cruel and unusual. If they are mentally unstable enough, then the prisoners should plead insanity and be put into a mental institution.

3/25/2013
Irving/Texas
April S.
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is not unconstitutional. It is merely keeping other prisoners and guards safe. Even if it is “cruel and unusual,” they deserve it. I'm sure that most of the prisoners that are put in there caused their victims “cruel and unusual” pain as well. They should continue to have solitary confinement to insure the safety of everyone else that is in prison or working at the prison. If they let them out, that would probably cause more problems than usual in the system.

3/25/2013
Irving/Texas
Edgar
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is constitutional, as it is neither cruel or unusual, so it does not violate the Eighth Amendment. Solitary confinement is necessary as people who are very dangerous should not be able to interact with other as they are threat to everyone. Prison should continue to handle violent prisoners the way the do now, as it is the most humane and reasonable way to keep guards and inmates safe.

3/25/2013
Irving/TX
Kelly
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't see anything wrong with solitary confinement. There are crazy people out there who kill and harm people for no reason, and they should deal with the consequences. Especialy if they are being violent with other inmates, then I see no reason why they should be seperated and put in a room by themselves. If it keeps everyone else safe that's all that matters. I don't believe it's unconstitutional because it's not an unusual punishment. You're just seperating them from everyone else in their own room. There's nothing "cruel and unusual" about that.

3/25/2013
Irving/TX
Gabe
Bradley/Nimitz
We've established as a country that cruel and unusual punishment would never be implemented to make criminals pay for their crimes. The way "the hole" is being used is cruel because it mentally cripples the violent prisoner and could cause paranoia or schizophrenia and make them even more violent, so it becomes counter-productive. If it were used to hold upset or violent prisoners until they calm down, like the drunk tank, in order to keep their mental stability, and remove them from a place where they could injure others.

3/24/2013
Irving/Tx
Crystal
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is in fact constitutional. For many years, people who are considered very dangerous are locked up in these four white wall room(s) --just to keep them out of harms way. People who argue this are those who haven't been struck by these criminals. It is hard to argue whether this confinement are the reason these criminals' insanity increase. For one, they are already murderous and sick in the head, there is no cure for this type of sickness. It is best to keep them away from people who just want a safe life without the worry of keeping a gun under their pillows at night. Remember, people's son and daughter are in that prison guarding those criminals, even with that, they are still able to kill the prison guards. Are you seriously worry about the sanity of the people who are already insane?

3/24/2013
Ledyard/CT
Al Z
Hargus/Ledyard High
It depends. If the person in solitary confinement is a major threat to society, then so be it. If the person shapes up and things, maybe there could be a test for psychological signs of sanity, they could be let free.

3/23/2013
irving/texas
Samantha S
Bradley/Nimitz
Long term solitary confinement is a bit unconstitutional because it keeps a person isolated from human contact, which can produce many mental disabilities, as well as physical. In the end if someone is in solitary confinement for so long they will not know how to interact with people and that will give them a restriction on the jobs they can get and life activities. Then again short term solitarty confinement is constitutional because it is used to protect imates from eachother, or it is used for suicide watch to protect someone or the others around them.

3/22/2013
Irving/Texas
Monica A.
Bradley/Nimitz
There's nothing wrong with solitary confinement and it is constitutional. Nobody is being harm, they're just being isolated. Inmates can't harm anybody from where they're at. It's not a cruel punishment. They committed a crime and as punishment they're going to be separated away from everyone else. It'll give them time to think about what they did wrong. Violent prisoners should be kept away from everyone else. As long as it's kept to a minimum. You don't want to keep inmates in solitary confinement too long, because maybe one day they could just snap.

3/22/2013
Sidney, MT
Jesse Ziler
Mr. Faulhaber
Of course solitary confinement is necessary. If they were stupid enough to commit a violent crime or just a crime in general that would land them in jail, then they need to sally up and deal with their consequences. Jail isn't supposed to be a nice stay at a resort, it is supposed to teach you your lesson about what you did wrong.

3/22/2013
Irving/Texas
Yessica
Bradley/Nimitz
We all know that criminals of various evil crimes must be punished and kept away from society. However is solitary confinement the right way to make a person pay for their mistakes? The inability to view the outside world can make a person go crazy to the point of never learning his or her lesson. Not only could it lead to mental issues, but it could also lead to depression and other medical issues. The prisoners can share a jail cell with other inmates which would be better than being all alone. The only reason they should put someone in solitary confinement is if they are mentally insane and can harm other inmates. Therefore the solitary confinement should not be unconstitutional but yet have higher restrictions for incarcerating someone in solitary confinement.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Leslie
Bradley /Nimitz
Based on the Eighth amendment solitary confinement is consider constitutional because this is the safest way for us the citizens to be in this world safe. Having prisoners be in jail in such type of state it seems cruel but this is the best way in order to keep those bad people away from us the good citizens . There has been many cases where prisoners do get in a bad shape physically and emotionally because of being in prison. But there is others that once they have went through those places they do not change who they are. The best way is to keep those bad people away from us. And if the prisoners are then consider as people that are being affected then that’s when there should be a mental or medical test (physician involved) to prove the prisoner is experiencing a unusual thing in there body.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Giancarlo
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is constitutional because it is not cruel and unusual punishment. This confinement is necessary because some criminals are very messed up in the head. The punishment will keep others in the prison safe with watchful eyes of the guards. They will be put in a "time-out" to learn of their wrong doings.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Jessica West
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary Confinement might at first seem like it is okay because of the fact that it keeps the violent inmates from hurting others, but it is also very detrimental to their health. Therefore, I do think that it is unconstitutional. There is proof in the example of the Mississippi prison. After the prison had done away with solitary confinement, the violence lessened and was a more safer prison. Solitary confinement is a “cruel and unusual punishment” because it affects their mental health. Keeping the inmates away from human contact just made the inmates worse. The prisons should find different ways to handle violent prisoners so that it makes them better and not worse. Like giving them activities to do that teaches them to manage anger and become better people.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Maddie
Bradley/Nimitz
Based on the Eighth Amendment, solitary confinement is indeed constitutional. Solitary confinement is not cruel and unusual punishment. Guards and other inmates need to be protected. Solitary confinement is a punishment for a prisoner's behavior, but it is not cruel and unusual. If they are mentally unstable enough, then the prisoners should plead insanity and be put into a mental institution.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Steven Hutchason
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary Confinement is too much of a punishment in my mind. But I don't believe it should just be dropped immediately. More tests should be done or tried like the state of Mississippi. I think the solution is to just have a safer overall prison. Like more walls and beds that can't be torn and used as nooses or bed springs that can be used as shivs. Guards should be very-well trained and high in combat skill in case of an attack. If there is an inmate that is acting too out of hand then there needs to be a seperate facility instead of a blank room where one's mind will simply destroy it's self with over thought and stress.

3/21/2013
Irving/Tx
Joshua B
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is constitutional beacuse it is put in place for criminals who have broken the law. It keeps them from hurting somebody or from hurting themselves. I say its constitutional because if you think about it, most of our laws and guidelines comes from the constitution so if someone were to break that then they must be punished.

3/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Helen
Bradley/Nimitz
Solitary confinement is constitutional because we are not inflicting any pain on the body and it helps keep guards and other prisoners safe. We have to remember that we are not putting innocent people in solitary confinement, we are putting dangerous criminals who represent a threat to the rest of society. Some people are concerned that they may have mental problems because of solitary confinement but the confinement is not permanent and it should only be enough for the prisoner to understand the inutility of hurting others. We don't like to think of inflicting any kind of misery on prisoners but they don't think twice about inflicting it in other members of society. We cannot have a functioning society if we condone bad behavior on the basis that punishment will cause mental health damage. The human brain is capable of adapting and healing but we need to enforce laws even with people who continually disobey them. If solitary punishment is something that works then there is no reason to get rid of it.

3/20/2013
Denver,Colorado
Jacob S.
Mumby/JFK
In my opinion long term solitary confinement is unconstitutional because it keeps a person isolated from human contact, wich can lead up to many mental disabilities and scars, and maby physical scars to. In the end if someone is in solitary confinement for so long they will not know how to interact with people and that will give them a restriction on the jobs they can get and life activities. Then again short term solitarty confinement is constitutional because it is used to protect imates from eachother(fights) or it is used for suicide watch to protect someone or the others around them. Short term it can help get someone back on track with their life but long term solitary confinement can mentally harm someone. It all depends the way you look at it and how long they are in solitary confinement, to determine whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional.

3/20/2013
Denver/Co
Abdul
Mumby/John F. Kennedy
What I think is that solitary confinement is perfectly constitutional Because it is a punishment for inmates who have done bad. We do things a lot worse than solitary confinement. Such as death penalty. Yes, it is kind of cruel forcing a person in a concrete room, and not letting them see the light of day, But it is an act that insures that the prisoners and the guards' safety. This act can also prevent future trouble that that person can cause. I mean if they get in that room they will never want to get back in it.

3/20/2013
Irving/Texas
Misael
Bradley/Nimitz
Based on the Eighth Ammendment solitary confinement is obviously cruel and unusual punishment because of the psychological effects it causes. Through the example of the mississippi prisons that do not have solitary confinement it's clear that its not a necessary tool. Solitary cinfinement is actually not at all effective in trying to lower prison violence. Prisons should have violent criminals do activities that makes everybody happier like sports or crafts. Anything would be better than making another human being go crazy because of a lack of human contact.

3/19/2013
Denver Colorado
Juvenal Casas
Ms Mumby / John F. Kennedy High School
Solitary confinement sounds constitutional but its really not. Solitary confinement is cruel and unusual way of punishment. I think this is not constitiutonal because this is braking some ones rights. All rights need to be enforced by every one so every one is treated equal. Solitary confinement needs to be replaced by some thing less harsh and that is not cruel and unusal. Who eles think that this problom is non constitutional

3/19/2013
Irving/Texas
Timothy
Nimitz/Bradley
As easy as it is to understand the want to lock up criminals and never let them see the light of day, one has to consider the idea of cruel and unusual punishment. The scene described in the article may be fine for one day, but weighing this kind of punishment against even the most heinous of crimes, one has to see that the isolation does more than just punish. How can we, in the land of the free, condone a psychological torture. We have to recognize that no matter the crime, these people are human: subject to the same social needs and anxieties as the rest of us. We should recognize that they are people and treat them accordingly. We must allow prisoners contact with the rest of the world, and this can be accomplished without a lessening in the security. Just as we have realized that the use of water boarding is morally wrong. We know this because of studies that show the psychological and physiological results of water boarding, and the same is true of the psychological results of complete isolation. Why can't we realize that this is wrong?

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