Thursday, February 5, 2015

Solitary Confinement is a National Problem

You would be hard pressed to get anyone to care about this issue:
Texas has one of the harshest and most punitive criminal justice systems in America. A new report shows just how inhuman the state of Texas is when it comes to doling out the punishment of solitary confinement.
If you have any doubt that solitary confinement is torture, all you need to is to listen to the stories of those who have been forced to endure it. Nevertheless, a new report from the ACLU of Texas finds that about one in ever 22 prisoners there is in solitary confinement— more people "than 12 states house in their entire prison systems."
This is the legal argument behind solitary confinement, as rendered by the legal minds in California last year:
In courtroom proceedings, lawyers for the state have argued that isolation is necessary to keep the peace within prisons, and to hinder gang activity inside and outside prison walls. They said that by creating a so-called "step-down" program last year that allows some prisoners to eventually earn their way out of isolation, the state had made sufficient improvements.
Solitary confinement is torture; it is no different, as far as ethics are concerned, from water boarding or putting a gun in someone's mouth and threatening their life. But, you know, prisoners are scum and they deserve it and they should have thought of that before carrying out their crimes, and so on and so forth.

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