The documentary Solitary Confinement raises an important problem of the impact of the solitary confinement on an individual’s behavior, life and mental health. In actuality, the documentary depicts the experiment involving three individuals. The experiment was conducted and depicted in details by the director of the documentary to uncover possible effects of the solitary confinement. The documentary pays a particular attention to behavioral changes and attempts to forecast long-run effects of the impact of the solitary confinement on an individual’s behavior and mental health. Eventually, the documentary concludes that the solitary confinement has a negative impact on the behavior of individuals, whereas the long-lasting solitary confinement can have a destructive impact on the mental health of individuals, including the development of paranoia and other serious mental health problem. In such a way, the documentary leads the audience to the clear conclusion that the solitary confinement is definitely bad and cannot be applied in the contemporary society.
Nevertheless, the documentary attempts to present two opposing views on the problem of the solitary confinement. On the one hand, there are proponents of the solitary confinement, who consider this form of imprisonment effective and essential. Proponents of the solitary confinement argue that the solitary confinement is the fair punishment for criminals, who have committed severe crimes. Also, they believe that the solitary confinement will lead to the re-evaluation of the criminal’s behavior. This means that criminals sentenced to the solitary confinement have time and opportunity to re-evaluate his or her past and values. In such a way, criminals can understand the severity of their crime and change their attitude to the life and their deeds. In addition, the solitary confinement causes sufferings of criminals which are respective to their crimes. Moreover, proponents of the solitary confinement argue that the solitary confinement is essential because it leads to the isolation of extremely dangerous offenders. They argue that criminals sentenced to the solitary confinement can have a negative impact on other offenders in a prison. Therefore, the solitary confinement secures other offenders from their negative impact and allows other offenders to change their behavior and lifestyle and to return to the normal life.
On the other hand, opponents of the solitary confinement argue that the solitary confinement has no correctional effect on an individual because an individual fails to communicate with other people and understand their guilt and responsibility for the crime and sufferings of other people. In addition, the solitary confinement drives criminals angry and they become extremely aggressive in relation to the society, which they believe condemned them to the solitary confinement. As a result, they release from prison being aggressive and angry in relation to all people and society. In addition, opponents of the solitary confinement believe that this punishment is dehumanizing because it puts criminals into inhuman conditions. Finally, the solitary confinement can provoke serious mental health disorders in criminals that make the punishment just purposeless and dehumanizing again.
In fact, I believe that the main point of the documentary that the solitary confinement is wrong and should be banned is right. I totally support the message of the documentary because I believe that the solitary confinement has no positive effect on criminals and does not change their behavior for better. Instead, they may become more dangerous feeling being alone in face of the penitentiary and justice system and the society at large.
Abramsky, Sasha. (2002). Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation. Thomas Dunne Books.
Brantingham, P. J. and Brantingham, P. L. (1991). Environmental Criminology. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Stewart, G.W. (2003). The US Justice System. New York: Random House.