Jack Thomas, Blog Post #4

Solitary Confinement


For 29 years Robert King lived in a 6x9x12 foot box in solitary confinement for a crime that he didn’t do. In the cell there was a steel bed and a sink that doubled as a toilet. Robert King has been free since 2001 but still has geographical orientation problems. He said to CNN, ” I get confused as to where I am, where I should be.” In February 2014 he joined the ‘American Association for the Advancement of Science to inform them about the mental and physical consequences of solitary confinement. The director of legal studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz said , “The widespread consensus among mental health professionals is that solitary confinement, for the overall majority of mentally ill prisoners, places them at severe risk of additional harm.”

After Robert King had been sitting in solitary confinement for about 6 months he began to notice that his eye sight began to worsen significantly. He said that it was because his eyes had became accustomed just to look at objects that were such a short distance away in his small cell. A professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law, Jules Lobel said that this is a very common thing and that there have been many cataract surgeries done at the Pelican Bay Prison in California. Lobel represents more than 1000 inmates at the Pelican Bay Prison in lawsuits for keeping these prisoners in these conditions. This can relate to what we are learning in class right now because to keep these people in these small, cold, windowless, isolated cells with no human contact violates the Constitution and international law because it is “cruel and inhumane.”




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