Solitary Confinement As a Prison Health Issue
(2014). Pp27-35 in: Who Guide to Prisons and Health. Enggist, S., Moller, L., Galea, G. And Udesen, C. (Eds). Copenhagen: World Health Organization.
9 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 18, 2017
WHO defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, affirming that health, as defined, is a fundamental human right. Solitary confinement negatively affects all these aspects of health. It is an extreme form of confinement whose deleterious physical, mental and social health effects have long been observed and documented by practitioners and researchers alike. Yet solitary confinement is a common and universal feature of prison systems worldwide, used throughout the various stages of the criminal justice process and for a variety of reasons including punishment, containment and protection. This chapter offers a brief overview of the practice, with a particular focus on key issues relevant to prison health care staff.
Keywords: prison health; solitary confinement; medical ethics
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