skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 67603 Find in a Library
Title: USING SOCIAL ISOLATION TO CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR OF DISRUPTIVE INMATES
Journal: JOURNAL OF OFFENDER THERAPY AND COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:19  Issue:1  Dated:(1975)
Author(s): P SUEDFELD; C ROY
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THIS CANADIAN STUDY EXAMINED THE USE OF SOCIAL ISOLATION OF DISRUPTIVE INMATES AND MEASURED THE ISOLATION'S EFFECTS ON INMATES' BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: FOUR PRISONERS WHO HAD BARRICADED THEMSELVES INSIDE THE TELEVISION ROOM OF THE CANADIAN PENITENTIARY SERVICE'S WESTERN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER WERE ISOLATED IN THIS STUDY. EACH CELL WAS APPROXIMATELY 80 SQUARE FEET IN AREA AND HAD A SMALL WINDOW. THE TWO RINGLEADERS WERE IN PADDED CELLS FOR A MONTH WITH THE ONLY FURNISHED ITEM BEING A TOILET. THE OTHER TWO, WHO WERE ISOLATED FOR A WEEK, HAD A FOAM RUBBER MATTRESS AND WERE ESCORTED TO THE TOILET WHEN NECESSARY. EACH INMATE RECEIVED THREE MEALS A DAY AND WAS ALLOWED 1 HOUR OF EXERCISE ALONE; OTHER PRIVILEGES WERE NONEXISTENT. ONE RINGLEADER, WHO SERVED THE FULL 30 DAYS OF ISOLATION, BECAME AT ONE POINT AGITATED BUT AFTER BANGING ON THE DOORS, GRADUALLY CALMED DOWN. BY THE THIRD WEEK HE EXPRESSED POSITIVE INTEREST IN MAKING SOCIALLY DESIRABLE CHANGES. AFTER HIS DISCHARGE FROM THE CENTER HE WAS FOUND TO BE PLEASANT, OPTIMISTIC, AND SELF-CONFIDENT, AND HE SPENT HIS LONGEST PERIOD OUTSIDE OF PRISON SINCE HE FIRST GOT INTO TROUBLE. THE SECOND INMATE CHANGED BY CEASING TO BOAST AND FANTASIZE ABOUT HIS PHYSICAL PROWESS, BY OBEYING ALL INSTRUCTIONS, AND BY BECOMING MORE COOPERATIVE. HOWEVER, AFTER HE WAS FREED, HE WAS REARRESTED TWICE FOR BREAKING AND ENTERING; HIS BEHAVIOR DURING THE SUBSEQUENT CONFINEMENT HAS BEEN ACCEPTABLE. ALTHOUGH THE THIRD INMATE CONTINUED TO BE MOODY AFTER ISOLATION, HE DID BECOME MORE COOPERATIVE AND MORE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN THERAPY, WHILE LIVING UP TO THE CONDITIONS OF HIS PAROLE. THE FOURTH BECAME QUIET, RELAXED, AND HE SLEPT WELL WITHOUT MEDICATION. HE RETURNED TO HIS FAMILY WHEN RELEASED. HE HAS NOT RETURNED TO ANY MENTAL HOSPITAL OR PRISON. ALL FOUR RECEIVED GRADUAL COMMUNICATION FROM NURSES WHILE IN ISOLATION. THE STUDY CONCLUDED THAT ISOLATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONOTONY, COUPLED WITH A SERIES OF RELIEF PRODUCING EVENTS, APPEARED TO HAVE GOOD SHORT-TERM EFFECTS ON THESE FOUR PEOPLE. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (JLF)
Index Term(s): Canada; Case studies; Correctional reform; Solitary confinement
Note: REPRINT
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67603

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.