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house Bill H.R. 4488

Should a Commission Study Solitary Confinement & Make Recommendations to Reduce its Use?

Argument in favor

Solitary confinement is a cruel and unusual form of punishment that may qualify as torture. It’s currently overused in U.S. prisons, and it’s important for Congress step in to legislate on this issue in the absence of a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

larubia's Opinion
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10/07/2019
Yes, please look into solitary confinement. Please look into mass incarceration in the USA and put an end to the privatization of the prison system !
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Brian's Opinion
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10/07/2019
Yes, solitary confinement has been shown to have a negative effect on the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners. If we really believe in reform and rehabilitation, then we must stop using solitary confinement on prisoners, especially those who may be eligible for parole at some point. I think this is a cruel practice that does not fit in with purported American values.
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Dawn's Opinion
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10/07/2019
Solitary confinement is a cruel and unusual form of punishment that may qualify as torture. It’s currently overused in U.S. prisons, and it’s important for Congress step in to legislate on this issue in the absence of a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
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Argument opposed

While certainly unpleasant, solitary confinement is needed to help prison staff keep themselves and prisoners safe. Congress shouldn’t waste time and money on funding a committee whose findings likely won’t change policy on the ground.

Terry's Opinion
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10/07/2019
No. Stop coddling violators of a civilized societies rules. You don’t need to treat them inhumanly but show them you don’t want to violate these rules again.
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Carmine's Opinion
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10/07/2019
Inmates continue to perpetrate violence even after they’ve lost their freedom and are living behind prison walls!!! So correction staff face a dual challenge: 1) Provide safety and security to both inmates and fellow staff!!! 2) Implementing programs designed to rehabilitate inmates so that they live as law abiding citizens once they return to society!!! Critics either don’t have experience inside the correctional system, or wrongly assume disciplinary confinement is used arbitrarily!!! Disciplinary confinement is a critical tool for ensuring this stability and safety inside a correctional facility both for other inmates and the staff working there!!! It bears no resemblance to the Hollywood stereotypes that perpetrate a myth of inhumane treatment!!!! Inmates are closely monitored through constant rounds made by correction officers, security staff, prison management, mental-health staff, medical personnel, the inmate grievance coordinator and other staff!!!! They are allowed reading and legal materials!!! In some cases, inmates can participate in limited programs, earn privileges or reduce their time in disciplinary confinement!!! Some are even housed in two man cells!!! They get time to exercise and some with substance abuse problems can participate in treatment programs!!! Make no mistake disciplinary confinement is a punishment for violating the code of conduct inside the prison walls!!! It’s the only mechanism now in place for removing an inmate from the general population for the protection of staff, other inmates or sometimes even the inmate himself!!!
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Mark's Opinion
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10/08/2019
Those who are in it belong there ! They are the worst of the worst ! WHY DO PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE PRISON LIFE INTO A VACATION RESORT? ITS CALLED PUNISHMENT
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    Yes, please look into solitary confinement. Please look into mass incarceration in the USA and put an end to the privatization of the prison system !
    Like (69)
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    No. Stop coddling violators of a civilized societies rules. You don’t need to treat them inhumanly but show them you don’t want to violate these rules again.
    Like (13)
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    Share
    Yes, solitary confinement has been shown to have a negative effect on the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners. If we really believe in reform and rehabilitation, then we must stop using solitary confinement on prisoners, especially those who may be eligible for parole at some point. I think this is a cruel practice that does not fit in with purported American values.
    Like (51)
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    Solitary confinement is a cruel and unusual form of punishment that may qualify as torture. It’s currently overused in U.S. prisons, and it’s important for Congress step in to legislate on this issue in the absence of a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
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    There are two sides to this question which lead me to accept the notions of greatly limiting solitary confinement while still using it as a limited tool for specific problems. First, it is wrong to use solitary confinement as an ongoing punishment- it is more dehumanizing than the cattle farm treatment of, in particular, violent offenders. It has the potential to undermine any rehabilitation efforts and just continue to 'harden' convicts. In particular, "Lifer's" scare the hell out of prison guards since they have nothing to lose and do not necessarily respond to lose-of-privilege threats. The threat of solitary confinement can help here. The problem is that solitary confinement cannot be permitted to be used out of convenience or because a guard has issues with a particular inmate. It is demeaning, dehumanizing and cruel and should only be administered when absolutely necessary.
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    This is fundamentally the question of whether our penal system should be rehabilitative or punitive. The system needs some more basic overhauls so address those inequalities first.
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    Yes. Get data on this inhumane form of punishment. Temporary isolation to gain control and manage aberrant behavior is a necessary safety measure. But long term solitary confinement serves no rehabilitative purpose. Its inhumane and counterproductive.
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    Yes. Solitary confinement should be understood for the damage it creates-we must strive always for humane conditions for all people.
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    Wow, something that might actually do some good. Am I dreaming or did this really happen?
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    Those prisoners put themselves in their and when they don’t comply they must be punished, solitary confinement does that. I fully support this. I have never been arrested or in prison for reasons like this and am proud of the fact. Don’t break the laws and you have nothing to fear.
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    Inmates continue to perpetrate violence even after they’ve lost their freedom and are living behind prison walls!!! So correction staff face a dual challenge: 1) Provide safety and security to both inmates and fellow staff!!! 2) Implementing programs designed to rehabilitate inmates so that they live as law abiding citizens once they return to society!!! Critics either don’t have experience inside the correctional system, or wrongly assume disciplinary confinement is used arbitrarily!!! Disciplinary confinement is a critical tool for ensuring this stability and safety inside a correctional facility both for other inmates and the staff working there!!! It bears no resemblance to the Hollywood stereotypes that perpetrate a myth of inhumane treatment!!!! Inmates are closely monitored through constant rounds made by correction officers, security staff, prison management, mental-health staff, medical personnel, the inmate grievance coordinator and other staff!!!! They are allowed reading and legal materials!!! In some cases, inmates can participate in limited programs, earn privileges or reduce their time in disciplinary confinement!!! Some are even housed in two man cells!!! They get time to exercise and some with substance abuse problems can participate in treatment programs!!! Make no mistake disciplinary confinement is a punishment for violating the code of conduct inside the prison walls!!! It’s the only mechanism now in place for removing an inmate from the general population for the protection of staff, other inmates or sometimes even the inmate himself!!!
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    I believe much of the way prisons handle prisoners does not benefit either. But it’s used for a punishment only. If prisoners are going to be released back into society it’s a win/win to rehabilitate. If they are not their lives can still be changed, for the better, by changing their thinking. There are some prisons that have started rehabilitation and even mindfulness training. If you are not motivated by a good heart then be motivated by the fact it will save us money in the long run.
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    This can’t be serious. If a prisoner is acting out, being violent towards others, running a drug ring inside the prison, there must be some sort of serious consequences for their actions. I get so sick of hearing about human rights when it comes to prisoners. Most are there because they did something to strip them of their rights. Now days every time you turn around you are hearing about prisoners rights being violated, you here about politicians wanting to give prisoners the right to vote. They can serve their time under harsh conditions that hopefully will want to make them not go back there. When they are finished serving their time they can petition to have their rights restored. Why don’t Congress spend more time doing things to better our country? To strengthen our country? Instead of digging the hole we are in deeper.
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    Solitary confinement is a form of torture. While it maybe be necessary to separate people from general population, there are other ways to manage that without resorting to denying a human being’s basic, hard wired need for social interaction. Even those whom authorities identify as “psychopaths” and who get no apparent benefit from being connected to the rest of humanity in a primary fashion should not be deprived of that contact, on the basis of assumptions about their external environment and gratification. Even if it were possible to justify this activity on the short term, the maintenance of 23.5/7 isolation - which, to my understanding is SOP for people on Death Row, for years and even decades is a violation of 8th Amendment prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment”. In cultures in which ostracism was once a form of censure and punishment, the exclusion extended only to that specific community, not all communities. My personal opinion is that it’s only true use is in a premeditated and organized effort to make a person insane.
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    I’m sure these studies and many other studies on this issue have been done, the problem is they fell on deaf ears and the privatized prison system is blocking it.
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    Perhaps the US should work on not being the number one country with the largest known incarcerated population in the world. The US should also abolish the private for profit prison system.
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    Those who are in it belong there ! They are the worst of the worst ! WHY DO PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE PRISON LIFE INTO A VACATION RESORT? ITS CALLED PUNISHMENT
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    Anything that looks into prison operations is a good thing. Mass incarceration is at an all time high in this country due to private prison systems.
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    No, because regardless of the study results, there currently is not enough political trust between either party and the voters to view the reports findings with an open mind. At this juncture, the process would be a waste of money and time, which would better used to rebuild trust/systems.
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    If that is the best we can do, then we should. What should really happen is to implement real court reform. We should start with a suspect coming in the door, through the trial and sentencing, through the incarceration. Rehabilitation and release and finding a job. The entire process needs work.
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