This week I have encountered the gripping piece in Aeon Magazine first published as “Twilight in the Box” and re-printed in part in the current The Week as “”Going Crazy in Solitary.”
From what I’ve witnessed inside, solitary confinement increases the agitation, anxiety and antisocial tendencies of the functionally impaired who have been moved to isolation as a form of ‘managing’ them. Here, in print, is proof of what I have observed. It’s not only beyond harshly punitive – perhaps even beyond humane – but in fact rewires inmates’ brains. In other words, prolonged isolation makes them worse, even when they weren’t ‘mentally ill’ to begin with.
Shruti Ravindran, who authored the piece, writes:
“Prison authorities in every state are running a massive uncontrolled experiment … And every day, the products of these trials trickle out on to the streets, with their prospects of rehabilitation professionally, socially, even physiologically diminished. The Box, as psychologists and psychiatrists have been saying for decades, damages the mind. But evidence from neuroscience increasingly suggests that it is irrevocably harming the brain, too. Continue reading