Solitary Confinement

Lived Experiences and Ethical Implications

David Polizzi

Solitary Confinement

David Polizzi

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

96 pages | 5 x 7 3/4
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9781447337539 Will Publish April 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Why is solitary confinement still used in today’s world? Does it help in the rehabilitation of offenders? And how does our justification of its use affect policy? Answering these questions and posing many others, this is the first volume to consider both the developmental history of solitary confinement and the lived experience of those in confinement. Using philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of embodied subjectivity, this book provides firsthand accounts of the inhumane practice of solitary confinement, deepening our appreciation of the relationship between penal strategy and its effect on human beings. David Polizzi draws on his own experiences as a psychological specialist in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and interviews conducted in connection with the Guardian 6x9 project—a virtual reality solitary confinement experience—to explore what the intentional aspect of this almost uninhabitable type of imprisonment says about any democratic society that continues to justify it. Aimed at policy makers, Solitary Confinement challenges the social attitudes that uncritically condone its use.
Review Quotes
Ryan M. Labrecque, Portland State University
“Traces the historical development of the use of solitary confinement in the United States and describes personal accounts of individuals who have experienced this type of confinement in order to challenge its continued use in the modern age.”
James Hardie-Bick, University of Sussex
“Reveals the psychological harm caused by solitary confinement and critically examines the philosophical assumptions surrounding this extreme and cruel form of punishment. . . . An insightful and important study.”
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