The Living Death of Solitary Confinement

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posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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I just finished reading a very interesting article on solitary confinement and what it can do to the human mind. I've been alone for days before and can relate to some of the items brought forth in the article, but I would like to hear from others who have actually been through this before. Did you experience what the article details?

I for one agree that solitary confinement is at best, a type of mental torture.


There are many ways to destroy a person, but the simplest and most devastating might be solitary confinement. Deprived of meaningful human contact, otherwise healthy prisoners often come unhinged. They experience intense anxiety, paranoia, depression, memory loss, hallucinations and other perceptual distortions. Psychiatrists call this cluster of symptoms SHU syndrome, named after the Security Housing Units of many supermax prisons. Prisoners have more direct ways of naming their experience. They call it “living death,” the “gray box,” or “living in a black hole.”

Advocates and experts in the field were invited to submit testimony on the psychological, ethical, social and economic issues raised by punitive isolation. Among the many contributors was Anthony Graves, who spent over 18 years on death row in Texas, most of them in solitary confinement, for a crime he did not commit. Graves describes his isolation as a form of “emotional torture.” Two years after his exoneration and release, he still feels trapped in isolation: “I am living amongst millions of people in the world today, but most of the time I feel alone. I cry at night because of this feeling. I just want to stop feeling this way, but I haven’t been able to.”


Can you imagine spending that long in prison for a crime that you did not commit? Can you imagine being forced to solitary confinement knowing that you're innocent. This just boggles my mind and gives me anxiety just thinking about the situation. How would you ever get over it?




We tend to assume that solitary confinement is reserved for “the worst of the worst”: violent inmates who have proved themselves unwilling or unable to live in the general population. But the truth is that an inmate can be sent to the hole for failing to return a meal tray, or for possession of contraband (which can include anything from weapons to spicy tortilla chips).


So, what say you, ATS? Have you ever experienced solitary confinement before? Would you mind sharing any personal stories? I understand if you wish to omit details as to why you might have been there, but I am very curious to hear how it affected you in both the short term, as well as the long.

Article Source




posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


Be prepared OP, people will come here and say they deserve it, that everyone in prison is guilty...
I sat in a jail that something SIMILIAR is used, detainees got out of their cells 3 hours every OTHER day, this wasn't prison, but COUNTY JAIL, where this would occur BEFORE a person went to trial or anything. I found myself sleeping like 15, 16 or more hours a day, so yeah it does get to you, but like I said, a lot will come on and say they deserve it, even if they're not found guilty...
Deny ignorance indeed
edit on 8/27/2012 by HomerinNC because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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Yeh coz they stick normal people in there, i think not. There are in for there own and other prisoners protection. IMHO this is what they should do to beasts and rapists, along with castration.
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by freakjive
Can you imagine spending that long in prison for a crime that you did not commit? Can you imagine being forced to solitary confinement knowing that you're innocent?


Can you imagine spending that long in prison for a crime that you did commit? Can you imagine being forced to solitary confinement knowing that you're guilty?



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by andy06shake
Yeh coz they stick normal people in there, i think not. There are in for there own and other prisoners protection. IMHO this is what they should do to beasts and rapists, along with castration.
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)


Ahhh, so anyone that has been exposed to solitary confinement, should be castrated as well. Seems a bit juvenille an attitude to me since forward ops and handlers (which you might define as beasts) also undergo interrogation training using solitary confinement, sleep depravation and beatings. It isn't enough that we give up everything to do our jobs for the intel community, we have to be castrated as well. Why is common sense so uncommon?

Cheers - Dave
edit on 8/27.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler

Originally posted by freakjive
Can you imagine spending that long in prison for a crime that you did not commit? Can you imagine being forced to solitary confinement knowing that you're innocent?


Can you imagine spending that long in prison for a crime that you did commit? Can you imagine being forced to solitary confinement knowing that you're guilty?



Those are not the questions I asked. Why are your rebuttal questions relevant?



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by bobs_uruncle
 


"Ahhh, so anyone that has been exposed to solitary confinement, should be castrated as well."

Dont know how you get anyone from what i said i think i was quite specific as to my target audiance(beasts and rapists).

"Seems a bit juvenille an attitude to me since forward ops and handlers (which you might define as beasts) also undergo interrogation training using solitary confinement, sleep depravation and beatings."

Why would i define whatever "forward ops and handlers" are as beasts? Do they fiddle with children or rape people? thats my definition of beast.

"It isn't enough that we give up everything to do our jobs for the intel community, we have to be castrated as well. Why is common sense so uncommon?"

You can allways quit! Get some sleep Dave im sure your common sense will return. Sounds like you have worked hard today. LoL

Peace out mate. Andy.
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by andy06shake
Yeh coz they stick normal people in there, i think not. There are in for there own and other prisoners protection. IMHO this is what they should do to beasts and rapists, along with castration.
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)


They do stick "normal" people in there. Did you not read the OP or the account left by a man who spent 18 years for a crime that he did not commit?

What are your thoughts on that?



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


"What are your thoughts on that? "

That its a complete travesti and miscarriage of justice(Why do you think she is blind). Im not saying there are not exceptions to the rules. I am saying lock up Pedophiles and rapists, beasts by my terminology and through away the key.

Whats your thoughts, shall we give them a hat and a balloon, a pat on the back? Sky TV, Playstation and there own ensuite is what they get! Maybe you would like them rehabilitated next to where you live, your children could even bring them flowers.

I imagine my thoughts on the matter are the same as any other Fathers, remove them from the gene pool as humanly as possible!
edit on 27-8-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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Not everyone in prison is in solitary and not everyone in prison is innocent. More times than not prisoners have to be put in solitary because of the way they acted in the general population. So the chances of being "innocent" AND being thrown in solitary is very VERY low.
And if you notice it does not say
1. That he spent 18 years in solitary
2. That his stint in solitary was one stretch
3. When he did to get put in solitary
edit on 27-8-2012 by Superhans because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by Superhans
Not everyone in prison is in solitary and not everyone in prison is innocent. More times than not prisoners have to be put in solitary because of the way they acted in the general population. So the chances of being "innocent" AND being thrown in solitary is very VERY low.
And if you notice it does not say
1. That he spent 18 years in solitary
2. That his stint in solitary was one stretch
3. When he did to get put in solitary
edit on 27-8-2012 by Superhans because: (no reason given)


I do not understand the nature of your reply. I never stated that he was in solitary confinement for 18 years. (it's covered above that most of his 18 years were spent in solitary) I asked if you could imagine being in prison and forced to solitary confinement knowing you're innocent. Again, you're adding extra words to my OP.

I'd beg to differ that chances someone who was "innocent" AND "thrown in solitary" are low. I imagine my own feelings of knowing my innocence and the rage I would be carrying for the lack of true justice. It's likely that I would be a constant struggle and thorn in the prisons side due to this. That's just an assumption however.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


I didn't add crap to your OP so calm down. I was just making a point that it is very convenient that he left out why he was thrown in solitary and that you must often do something to be put in solitary.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Superhans
1. That he spent 18 years in solitary....


Death row prisoners do spend most of their time in isolation. They are not kept in 'the hole', but they are in one man cells by themselves for the majority of the time...


....This little space you see, this is where we are forced to spend the rest of our lives. Five days a week we are allowed out into bigger cages, either inside or outside where we can see slivers of sky through steel bars, for 2 hours of recreation. The rest of out time we are in this cage. Measuring about 7 feet by 11 feet it is smaller then most bathrooms in homes. Could YOU spend years of your life locked in your bathroom? Ofcourse, what this picture doesn't show you are the ceilings that leak when it rains, so you wake up with a floor of water, and your property damaged. It doesn't show you the showers that are mildewed and always smell of urine. It doesn't show you how filthy the walkway is after the inmates who are suppose to clean only only pass over it with a mop soaked in dirty brown water....


Life on Death Row: An Inmate's Perspective



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 




It doesn't show you the showers that are mildewed and always smell of urine. It doesn't show you how filthy the walkway is after the inmates who are suppose to clean only only pass over it with a mop soaked in dirty brown water


Am I supposed to feel bad because the inmates don't do a good job of cleaning their own areas and then live in them?



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by Superhans
Am I supposed to feel bad because the inmates don't do a good job of cleaning their own areas and then live in them?


Huh?

Did I say you should feel bad?

I just posted about how they are in isolation most of the time. I made no comment on my opinion of the article, or it's author, or whether I think it's right or not.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


Thanks for the contribution, ANOK. It's appreciated.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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It's torture

And it shows how insane we are as a society, you get a guy who is soooo dangerous that he needs a supermax built for him and a handful of others, the latest technology, incredibly expensive structures, large use of land and resources and human potential.

To guard a guy your going to torture and never see the light of day ever again, 20 years heck 50 years all at tax payer expenses

Rather than kill him? OR cut off his hands or something? This is sane and humane?

No it's lunatic, it's stupid it's an experiment

edit on 27-8-2012 by penninja because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 07:20 PM
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Solitary could be tough to take, undoubtably.
Imagine the alternative, though. General population.
At least in solitary, you know you're not going to get killed (or worse) before breakfast.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


I have to ask this, play devils advocate (I will make my own thoughts clear after this), what are the metrics on "wrongly convicted and put in solitary confinement"?

Solitary really should be reserved for the dangerous or in danger, and NOT the base option. You place someone who is a danger to other inmates, or those who are in danger. The latter group should be placed with low risk inmates in the long term.

It basically comes down to what you place someone in prison for? rehabilitation, punishment, both? If you are punishing someone who never gets out, then well yeah it really is a punishment, and I can think of many who deserve this (someone listed them, though castration is a waste of a doctors time, lock them up, and never let them out). But others? It is not going to return a functioning human to society, and I think that is part of the problem with the prison system. It does not (on the whole) rehabilitate the offender, and give them options other than their past ones (that led to prison). That said, a spell of no contact can also be a sharp reminder of "don't be a dick".



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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Prisons are not ment to be nice places, they are build at the cost of the tax payer to house undesirable individuals. Do innocent and vulnerable people end up in these institutions unfairly and unjustly, yes but this is due to the corrupt goverment placing people in gaol for petty crimes generally related to drug addictions and mental instability. Gaols have to exist to house the violent deviants our society produces. Its not fair but then again nether is life.





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