You have heard about solitary confinement and may agree with the justification that prisoners who are considered a threat to society and themselves should be locked away in isolation. Yes, they have committed crimes and have no right to come back to society and pose danger to the community. However, for once, have you thought about the psyche of the criminal mind and understand the fundamental fact that no one is born a criminal, people become victims and they are swayed into taking the illicit path and later committing a crime!
Criminal justice specialist in the USA Adam Quirk says that inmates should be imprisoned and punished for their crimes. However, solitary confinement does no good to their psychological well-being. According to him, he says that they should be rehabilitated in such a compassionate manner that they should not be forced back into crime. These rehabilitation programs should be conducted by professionals in counseling and behavioral therapy, so that they are engaged in constructive activity.
Physical effects of solitary confinement
Now when it comes to the effects of solitary confinement, he says that in just about a few weeks of being isolated criminals show signs of distress and panic. The cases of hypertension increases and their palms become all sweaty. At the same time, they lose their appetite for food and experience drastic weight loss. This in turn makes them face digestion and other health problems. There are complaints they cannot sleep and they in turn become victims of insomnia. It is hard for them to cope with the reality they are not a part of society and in most cases they become so dejected that they commit suicide!
Most criminals that have existing mental issues tend to get worse. They experience pain in the head and body. They become psychologically sick. Human rights experts dealing with the issue of solitary confinement say that the practice is inhumane to a large extent as there are other ways to punish the criminal and make him or her understand the gravity of the crime involved.
What can be done for grave criminal offenders?
Criminal offenders need extra care and compassion when it comes to uprooting the desire for crime in them. Easier said than done. Prison reform programs play a crucial role in this direction. The prison staff and authorities should work hard with the support of federal, state and local authorities to reduce solitary confinement and help the criminal find his or her way into life with proper guidance and counseling.
When it comes to grave criminal offenders, you will find that experts like Adam Quirk say that the prisoner should be taken out from his or her cell at regular intervals to interact with other inmates under strict supervision of prison staff. This will reduce the number of mental and physical cases reported in cells. The inmates should be busy with rehabilitation and reform programs that will help them integrate back into society and refrain from committing crimes. Society should also give these individuals a chance to come back to society as reformed and responsible citizens- they should at least be given another chance!