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Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness Among Prison Populations  

Author:  Amy Bennett.

Source: Volume 08, Number 04, Spring 2016 , pp.295-300(6)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Media attention has increasingly addressed some of the systematic abuses found to permeate the U.S. prison system. Some of these—most notably, the practice of solitary confinement, rise to the level of violating international human rights standards. Solitary confinement—the separation of an inmate from all contact with other human beings—is widely viewed as constituting torture. It also is tied to mental illness: as author Amy Bennett points out, the causal links between solitary confinement and mental illness go both ways, with a substantial proportion of those placed in solitary suffering from mental illness, and the experience of being held in solitary inducing severe mental distress. This article addresses the egregious treatment of mentally ill inmates by our nation’s prison system, with a special emphasis on its heavy use of the barbaric and inhumane practice of solitary confinement.

Keywords: Rikers Island; Kalief Browder

Affiliations:  1: Editor, Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled.

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