Solitary Confinement Reality: Physical and Psychological Abuse

Whenever I read or hear prison staff, politicians, and others supporting solitary confinement, especially long-term solitary confinement, speak about solitary confinement, they make it seem like being locked up in a cell for 23 or 24 hours a day is no “big deal” or problem physically or psychologically on a person. And, of course, they never speak about the malicious and sadistic things that prison staff do that causes and contributes to the negative physical and psychological effects of solitary confinement. Like maliciously skipping a prisoner’s cell for meals, showers, and yard, tampering with/contaminating prisoners’ food, tampering/playing games with prisoners’ incoming and outgoing mail, cell light on 24 hours a day, giving prisoners cold meals that should be hot and hot meals of food items that should be cold, staff routinely banging on the cell door throughout the night in order to cause sleep deprivation, keeping the cells freezing cold or extremely hot, staff physically abusing prisoners, staff humiliating prisoners, staff falsifying your file, staff lying to you and lying on you, and staff committing other civil and human rights violations against prisoners.

They also tend to make it seem like it’s only corrections officers (C.O.s) who subject prisoners in solitary confinement (RHU, SHU, etc.) to such malicious/sadistic treatment. But nurses, counselors, and other prison staff initiate and/or join the campaign of harassment and also help cover-up (hide) the mistreatment of prisoners.

Most of the abuse and deplorable conditions are recorded 24 hours a day on the video cameras stationed throughout the solitary confinement cell blocks (housing units.) And all prison staff (counselors, nurses, religious staff, etc.) who come through the solitary confinement housing units (RHUs, SHUs, SMUs, etc.) daily have witnessed or are aware of the abuse, terrible conditions, etc. But they don’t do or, at least, say anything about it, even though their job description requires them to. So, they are just as guilty and vicious as the actual victimizers. They don’t even have to use their own names. Department of corrections (“D.O.C.”) policy states that everyone (prisoners and staff) can report abuse of prisoners, deplorable prison conditions, etc., anonymously. But said staff say and do nothing. Instead, they stay quiet and fool themselves into believing that they are still “good people” because they are not the staff member who is actually or directly committing said atrocities against prisoners.

Most abuse of prisoners and terrible prison conditions are unreported and undocumented, so statistics don’t even scratch the surface of the reality of what’s going on. Also, judges and the courts encourage and allow prison staff’s/official’s malicious and sadistic violations of prisoners’ civil and human rights by pretending that prisoners’ lawsuits that have merit don’t have merit, making it harder for prisoners to file and get relief from lawsuits and other complaints, seldom punishing guilty prison staff, and giving prison staff/officials punishments that are so light that they are meaningless.

Prisoners’ voices (pleas for assistance, relief) are often heard but ignored. So, the physical and psychological torture of prisoners continues to be a harsh reality encouraged/allowed throughout the United States of America.