speech notes Flashcard

relavance
“I’m not a criminal and will never have to worry about conditions of solitary confinement”, it is absolutely necessary that we as citizens of our country address this issue and speak for those who cannot be heard.

Many of these people suffer from mental illnesses that cause them to act out and not follow the rules, mainly because they are not getting the proper treatment they need. Even for those who don’t suffer from mental illnesses need improvements to be made with this system in order to properly rehabilitate themselves

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Now I know I was not raised to lock somebody up and leave them for an unforeseen amount of time due to an illness they were born with, let alone for those who need proper guidance to adjust their lives to where they can one day start contributing to our society. Were you?
thesis
A.How the United States prisons use solitary confinement today is a major violation of it’s occupant’s constitutional rights and is a problem that must be improved in order to stop the suffering of these American citizens. There needs to be more effort in rehabilitating these prisoners opposed to isolating them as a way to handle the problems that got them there in the first place.
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The prison systems in the United States have abused their power for far too long in how they handle prisoners in solitary confinement. I will begin with telling you how solitary confinement is used today, some of the reasons it is put to use, and ultimately what can be done to fix this problem
terms I will use
provided by Sharron Shaliv
solitary confinement, isolation, supermax

segragation and gen pop are the same thing

transition
So in order to ensure that all of our nations citizens are being treated with their constitutional rights, I implore that you take everything into consideration when I talk about prisoners being held in solitary confinement.
I ask that you keep an open mind and realize that I am going to be presenting a problem that a lot of you have not faced, and hopefully will never have to face in your lifetime.
However it is important that you put thought into how this can be fixed because if we as a whole stand by and do nothing, then our nations people will continue to suffer everyday.
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First I will talk about those put into solitary confinement
according to the huffington post
These decisions are usually made by the warden of the facility or a higher up employee opposed to just the correctional officers. According to the Huffington Post, “Rather than being a method for holding the worst prisoners, solitary confinement is often the punishment for infractions of prison rules, such as fighting, gang membership or obtaining contraband. Many of the mentally healthy who are placed in isolation develop psychological problems as a result. Inmates engage in self-mutilation, sit catatonic in their own waste, and demonstrate cognitive dysfunction, paranoia and depression.”
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In most cases their length of stay in solitary and the conditions they face are uncomprehend able. However there is evidence that this method can be helpful when punishing prisoners. D.S Jefferys, author of Crule but not unusual, “Corrections officials maintain that these isolation units reduce gang influence and contain violent inmates.” Yes this may be true, and I completely agree with punishing those who have broken rules or deserve to be punished. BUT the extent to which they are punished is the issue on hand. Putting somebody in a metaphorically speaking pending time out is an act of torture and is something that should never be inflicted on anybody. Period.
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Now, you may ask yourselves the question what does solitary confinement consist of and what are the living conditions like?
In an article from the New York Times, they also give insight on what solitary confinement is like. “The New York State prison system has for years been among the nation’s worst when it comes to the overuse of solitary confinement. At any given time about 3,800 inmates across the state are held in windowless isolation for 23 hours a day, the vast majority for disciplinary infractions. The average length of a stay in solitary is five months, and from 2007 to 2011, nearly 2,800 people were in solitary for a year or more.” They go on to include that there is lack of air quality, dull colors, bolted down furniture, and some cells only have a small slot on their door that guards can push food through.
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Prisoners dealing with this are also unable to attend religious services, get little to no human contact except for the prison guard who brings them their food, and the only exercise they get is for 1-2 hours per week where they are moved from their “home cell” to a slightly bigger cell. Once their time is up, they are taken back to their “home cell”.
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: According to a study done by the New York Jail system, only 1/3 of the people who suffer from mental illnesses are treated for their condition properly while in the jail, (Kaba, Self Harm Among Inmates) leaving the other 2/3 of people potentially suffering in conditions like solitary confinement for acting out.
People, does this make sense? A large majority of these people are in prison due to the illness’s they were born with. A goal for our prison systems is to properly rehabilitate these people so they are able to come out and be contributing members of society, not to just lock them up.
The result of this makes them more sick due to not being treated for properly, so then what happens when they are let out of prison? It has been and will continue to be a vicious circle of problems that our country must improve in order to have a safer, healthier society.
Now having seen what these conditions are like, along with the people who reside in them, I will be moving on to tell you the negative effects that extended stays in solitary confinement has on people.

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