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NCJ Number: 67467 Find in a Library
Title: SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN THE CORRECTIONAL SETTING - GOALS, PROBLEMS, AND SUGGESTIONS
Journal: CORRECTIVE AND SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY  Volume:20  Dated:(1974)  Pages:10-20
Author(s): P SUEDFELD
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES WHETHER SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN THE CORRECTIONAL SETTING IS EFFECTIVE AND MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE GOALS AND PROBLEMS OF ISOLATION.
Abstract: ISOLATION USED TO MAKE THE PRISONER MORE AMENABLE TO INTERROGATION OR INDOCTRINATION IS USUALLY FOUND IN TOTALITARIAN STATES AND MILITARY SETTINGS. SENSORY DEPRIVATION AN ISOLATION CAN PROBABLY BE EFFECTIVE IN THE INTERROGATION PROCEDURE, ALTHOUGH THEY CAN BE EASILY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE IF NOT CAREFULLY MONITORED IN THAT PRISONERS MAY REACT BY TELLING THE INTERROGATOR WHAT THEY THINK HE WANTS TO HEAR. THE USE OF ISOLATION TO BRING ABOUT IDEOLOGICAL CHANGE, RELIGIOUS CONVERSION, DESTRUCTION OF SELF RESPECT, AND BREAKDOWN OF FAMILY LOYALTIES IS AN ACT WHICH NO MEDICAL OR SCIENTIFIC CODE OF ETHICS CAN JUSTIFY. ISOLATION AS A QUARANTINE MEASURE IS USED TO PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL AGAINST HIMSELF. ISOLATION IS EFFECTIVE AND ETHICAL IN THESE ROLES IF IT CAN BE MAINTAINED WITHOUT EXCESSIVE SEVERITY. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ISOLATION AS A PUNITIVE TECHNIQUE IS QUESTIONABLE; ITS USE IN PUNISHMENT PROBABLY DETRACTS FROM ITS POTENTIAL USE IN THERAPY. FINALLY, ISOLATION AS PART OF REHABILITATION IS UNETHICAL IN THAT IT TAKES AWAY THE CRIMINAL'S RIGHT TO DETERMINE HIS OWN BEHAVIORS IN THE FUTURE. HISTORICALLY, THE USES OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT HAVE BEEN INEFFECTIVE AND SOMEWHAT UNETHICAL, BUT IF USED IN A MODERATE AND CAREFULLY CONTROLLED MANNER ALONG WITH SENSIBLE REHABILITATION, IT COULD BE EFFECTIVE IN HELPING TO DEVELOP NONCRIMINAL STYLES OF LIFE. FOOTNOTES AND 60 REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Interview and interrogation; Medicolegal considerations; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Solitary confinement
Note: SECTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE WERE INCORPORATED IN A PAPER 'ISOLATION AS TREATMENT OR AS PUNISH - SOME ETHICAL AND EMPIRICAL QUESTIONS' IN A SYMPOSIUM ON TREATMENT PROSPECTS IN CORRECTIONS - NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT THE ANNUAL MEETING ON THE ONTARIO PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 1974
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67467

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