Solitaryconfinement in Canadian prisons
Solitaryconfinement in Canadian prisons
Insolitary confinement, a prisoner is put in isolation from any humaninteraction except the jail stuff. Isolation is also calledisolation, segregation, super-max or lockdown (Sterbenz, 2016). Thepractice is widely deployed perhaps almost in every corner of theworld. However, in many cases, the confinements are short-lived andare taken as a punishment to those who breach prison rules. However,in some countries – Canada included – the isolation period isextended, and the frequency is also high. The confinement has beenknown to have both negative and positive impacts on an individual’slife. Some of them point supporting either side are outlined in thispaper. This article is written to elaborate the basis of thecontinued practice of the act in Canadian prisons.
Intypical cases, the isolation entails confining prisoners for up to22-24 hours. The separation ranges from hours, days and in extremescenarios up to years. The type of treatment on inmates entailspunishing the prisoners beyond incarceration and it is widelyregarded as the form of providing prisoners with extra security. Weak prisoners are also segregated for protection ensuring they donot undergo harassment – which is a common thing in many cells. Thepractice is additionally justified as a way of locking down mentallychallenged prisoners and as a way of keeping prisoners in a situationwhere they would not interfere with evidence collection process.
Onthe other hand, opponents of the practice argue that the prisonersare sentenced to prison as a way of achieving justice via rightfuland integral methods and not as a way of torturing them.Nevertheless, prisoners continue to undergo torture inside the cells.It is estimated that in Canada, one for every four inmates imprisonedvia the federal prison system has at some point been in solitaryconfinement section. Statistics show that at any particular moment inprovincial or federal prisons, an average of 1800 prisoners is alwaysin isolation (Sterbenz, 2016). When the detention is indefinite, thenaccording to International organs and experts, which includes UNCommittee against Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture,the whole situation amounts to torture.
Somenegative consequences related to long-term solitary confinement –for instance hallucinations, psychosis, confusion, and insomnia –can also be classified as torture. The situation poses a grave threatto prisoners amongst them the risk of committing suicide. A majorityof suicide cases in Canada happens in prison with more than half ofthem being in solitary confinements. To be precise, the rate at whichinmates commit suicide is approximately seven times more than therate at which the Canadian public commits suicide.
Theconfinement is usually used to protect weak and ill prisoners. At thetime prisoners are recovering from illness or are sick, there isusually a sense of providing them with privacy. The process ensuresif the disease is chronic or communicable, the spread will nothappen.
Solitaryconfinement, on the other hand, has been proved to have negativemedical implications on the prisoner. In several cases, reports fromCanadian prisons had indicated the creation of mental illness evenwhen the prisoner had no prior history or exaggerate the pre-existingdisorder. Additional there are numerous adverse psychological effectson prisoners associated with solitary confinement. Other adversesymptoms related to this kind of confinement includes but not limitedto Visual and auditory, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),hallucinations, Uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear,Hypersensitivity to noise and touch, distortion of time, distortionof perception, Insomnia, and paranoia.
Proponentsof the practice also argue that isolation is a way of ensuringrehabilitation. The method provides another reasonable point of thecriminal equity framework in ensuring restoration or renewal ofcharacter. If utilized methodically the results are alwaysincomparable.
However,opponents of the practice argue that increased isolation plays thepart in hindering prisoners’ rehabilitation. The adverse effects ofisolation keep increasing as the inmate continues to spend time inthe custody. In correlation to that, the time prisoners spend in thesecret rooms is supposed to be rehabilitation time. As a result, thesolitary confinement affairs leaves the persons in worse mentaldamaged situation and majority of them ends up being unable to livestraightforward lives and abiding by laws become almost impossible(ConnectUS, 2015). When a majority of nations across the world arefighting the usage of solitary confinements, Canadian government arepersistent on dangerous, uncouth and broken rehabilitation system.Ranging from United Nations to correctional investigator of thegovernment, the bodies have stood still in advocating for a change inthe of things
Isolation,as it is presently polished in Canada, breaks personalconstitutionally established human rights. It has promptedpreventable demise and enduring. It is prejudicial in its utilization– rationally sick and Indigenous detainees are set in isolation ata rate higher than warehouse inmates. Keeping in extended minddisconnection can truly intensify emotional instability, isolation isprogressively being utilized to stockroom detainees withpsychological well-being issues. Under the "administrativesegregation" administration, inmates are denied of essentialprocedural insurances – patients can be put in for months and yearsin isolation without even a hearing before an autonomous body tofigure out if their segregation is justified. According to Lobel,human beings are social beings. In connection to that, taking awaythat right of interaction (even if with other prisoners) is a totaldenial of a fundamental human right. According to judicially, eventhe prisoners have a right to enjoy human rights (ConnectUS, 2015).
Inaddition to that, confining prisoners to solitary is a constitutionalviolation of the idea that, every individual should be treated withdignity. It lowers respect and lowers the self-esteem of persons.From a logical reasoning, even a research animal should not be heldin solitary confinement when in the laboratory. Then it would beunfair to place an individual in seclusion too. By putting theprisoners in isolation, and in a cage whereby even hygiene iscompromised, it profoundly lowers the dignity of the inmates perhapslower than the animals. In some cases, the food they get is not up tothe quality of life for a normal being. More interesting, even whenthe proponents of solitary confinement are not willing to let it go,it is evident to everyone that the practice is hostile, cruel andunusual.
Inmany scenarios, the confinements are unnecessary and which can alsobe avoided. A research conducted in the early 21st century indicatedthat majority if inmates sort in isolation is neither dangerous inany way nor do they deserve the treatment they receive. In fact, itis possible to meet prisoners put in isolation rooms having violatedno rule or without substantial evidence proving they are the realviolators. For instance, a small thing as a tattoo on the hand isusually taken as an affiliation with a gang. Using of some languagesis also prohibited in some prisons and therefore, having a pamphletof forbidden language may be used to send an inmate to seclusionrooms. Such instances are just proving of how sending prisoners tosolitary confinement could be unnecessary or unsupported.
Additionally,the privacy of the inmates is not guaranteed. When the prisoner aresubjected to solitary confinement, the prison is given theresponsibility of monitoring their movements. The monitoring is donevia tools and techniques such as video cameras, communicationchannels amongst the officers in charge and the cell. In the centurywhereby the technological advancements are high, the privacy of theprisoners is high compromised. That puts a person in jeopardy andmental stress.
Inconclusion, a few individuals see isolation as a standout amongst themost challenging approaches to doing time, while others search it outto feel safe while in jail. By weighing down its upsides anddownsides, it offers a person with quite a good picture of solitaryconfinement. Some consider it is such an utterly repulsive thought,to the point that they are scared of legitimizing the reaction. Aselucidated herein, it is justified that the practice has both consand pros and should be evaluated to consider the general well-beingof every individual in this century. There are archived mentallylearns about the impacts of broadened isolation and research results.However, as it stands, Segregation of prisoners is a commonphenomenon in the Canadian prisons that we all have to live with it.Any changes to come? We have to wait and see.
Afsc.org,.(2016). Solitaryconfinement facts | American Friends Service Committee.Retrieved 3 February 2016, fromhttps://www.afsc.org/resource/solitary-confinement-facts
ConnectUS,.(2015). 13Most Valid Pros and Cons of Solitary Confinement.Retrieved 3 February 2016, fromhttp://connectusfund.org/13-most-valid-pros-and-cons-of-solitary-confinement
Sterbenz,C. (2016). 4Reasons To Ban Solitary Confinement.BusinessInsider.Retrieved 3 February 2016, fromhttp://www.businessinsider.com/jules-lobel-says-solitary-confinement-is-unconstitutional-2014-2?IR=T