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What solitary confinement does.

Chest pain, anxiety, depression.

I Spent 16 Months in Solitary Confinement and Now I'm Fighting to ...
Courtesy of aclu.org

I used to have to clear individuals for solitary confinement. It was a simple procedure that usually entailed asking basic questions. Most of these individuals just got into a fight or were amped up. The first time I did it I thought it was interesting to clear someone to be alone even if I didn't agree with the process.

Regardless, most inmates I saw who were in solitary for a week usually would be seen by me when I was working nights. Many young men, chest pain was a common complaint. I can understand that if you are alone for a week or more you may have anxiety presenting as a heart attack. Other inmates would show major depression or sluggishness. 

I remember at my orientation going into one room in the "SHMU" (special housing mediation unit). It was small, constantly lit with a bright fluorescent light, and a visually sterile void. I have no clue how anybody could last in one of these rooms, even when rounded on by staff daily.

I question the efficacy of this practice for long periods of time. Does it teach inmates skills to thrive in society? Consider reading this feature article by Kirsten Weir regarding the mental effects of solitary confinement.