1. Solitary Confinement is Frequently Used for Even Nonviolent Inmates.
Far from being a last-resort measure reserved for the “worst of the worst,” solitary confinement has become a control strategy of first resort in many prisons and jails. Reasons for placing incarcerated women in man in solitary confinement include:
- possessing contraband,
- testing positive for drug use,
- ignoring orders,
- using profanity.
- untreated mental illnesses,
Solitary confinement is also used for inmates who:
- are children in need of “protection,”
- are gay or transgender,
- are Muslim,
- have unsavory political beliefs,
- report rape or abuse by prison officials.
2. Solitary Confinement Can Last for Decades.
Terms in solitary range from days to several decades…Thomas Silverstein has been held in solitary confinement under a “no human contact” order for 32 years.
3. Solitary Confinement Causes Life-long Psychological Damage!
Following extensive interviews with people held in the SHU at Pelican Bay in 1993, Dr. Stuart Grassian found that solitary confinement induces a psychiatric disorder characterized by:
- hypersensitivity to external stimuli,
- hallucinations, panic attacks,
- cognitive deficits,
- obsessive thinking, paranoia,
- and a litany of other physical and psychological problems.
Psychological assessments of men in solitary at Pelican Bay indicated high rates of:
- obsessive ruminations,
- violent fantasies,
- trouble sleeping,
- perspiring hands, and
- heart palpitations.