The United States adopted the use of solitary confinement within prisons during the 1970s. This controversial method of punishment has served as an alternative to the death penalty, and has left many prisoners with disturbing psychological effects. According to several recent studies, here’s a list of some of the symptoms:
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Hypersensitivity to noise and touch
- Insomnia and paranoia
- Uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear
- Distortions of time and perception
- Increased risk of suicide
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
We all know the story of the famous Gilad Shalit, right? Hamas (“Palestinian Resistance Movement” in Gaza) captured Israeli Defense Forces soldier Shalit and held him captive for over five years. But what many of us do not know about this story is that the Hamas placed Shalit in solitary confinement for the duration of his captivity. Besides the rare phone calls and videos to his family that were forced by Hamas officials, Shalit had absolutely no contact with others until his release.
Shortly after his release, Shalit underwent several interviews. When asked what he missed the most about his life, he said that he missed talking.
As Jews, we have a moral obligation to implement fair and just punishment to the greatest degree possible. This widespread form of punishment has become a form of acceptable torture, and we, as the Jewish people, must take a stand to prevent this from hurting others and our own people. Please sign this online petition to end the use of solitary confinement: http://bit.ly/ucqddR
Also, check out Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz’s article regarding solitary confinement for more information.