Project Proposal Claire
Table of Contents

Part 1

Thesis: I believe that solitary confinement is a necessary evil that needs to be reformed in order for it to fit into modern society. Since back then it was considered a exceptional treatment, but in actuality it is flawed.

  • What societal problem or problems have you identified while researching your topic?
    1. mental health inmates don't receive adequate treatment if they are put in solitary
    2. solitary confinement (SC) is proven to only make problem inmates worse. It increase their temper and anger
    3. SC is still in use because prisons and jails don't know where to put the violent inmates who are a danger to the general population
    4. people in SC have a higher risk of suicide
  • What are the causes of this problem? Was it intentional? Are there extenuating circumstances?
    1. the cause is:
      • violent inmates get sent to SC because they cannot be with other inmates. It is not intentional. They have no choice but to place the inmates in SC because there is nowhere else to put them. The cells are small (7 feet by 8 or 10 feet) because it is a punishment and a lot of prisons are overcrowded so space is limited. Also some prisoners are not violent but get sent to SC because they are in danger of getting beat up by the general population. For example, pedophiles are targeted and most of the time beat to a bloody pulp, if not killed. The infamous killer Jeffrey Dahmer was killed by his fellow inmates because of what he did. The warden should have put him in SC but he did not like Dahmer so he decided to ignore the implications of placing him in the general population.
  • What can we do about it? Is there any action that can be taken to change this? What action has been already attempted to address this problem? Why wasn't it successful?
    1. There is no way SC can be completely taken out of prisons since prisons do need a secure place to hold violent and vulnerable inmates. What they can do is restrict how long inmates can be held in solitary. As of right now the average time spent in SC is a few years depending on how serious the crime is (http://solitarywatch.com/facts/faq/). It has been proven that even after a few hours an average person will start to deteriorate. Mostly because people need social interaction and when someone is in SC they rarely see anybody. It does vary though depending on the person. Some people are fine in solitary but, others don't last.
    2. Some prisons have attempted counseling programs to try to curb inmates towards a more peaceful attitude so that when they are released from SC they do not cause any more problems. Most of the time when someone is taken out of SC they immediately are returned due to breaking a prison rule. Most programs aren't successful because the people that are locked in SC are there for a reason and when or if they are released they do not last in the general population for very long. They start a fight and hurt someone or they are caught with contraband.

Part 2

  • In what ways is this thesis and topic challenging (p.108)?
    • This thesis is challenging because there are a lot of possible causes so I will have to pick the one that has the most sway in the matter
  • How is this thesis and topic compelling (p.108)?
    • This topic is compelling because just recently people have been looking into the effects of solitary confinement and how it is affecting people. So a lot of people are now interested in this topic.
  • In what ways is this thesis and topic debatable or controversial (p. 109)?
    • The debate is: Is solitary confinement a reasonable form of punishment or does it need to be changed? It is controversial because the sides are split between solitary confinement is necessary and solitary confinement is a form of torture.

Does it answer a challenging, compelling, and controversial question?

  • Noelle: It is challenging because there are multiple views and opinions
  • Claire: There are different views on both sides

Is it debatable?

  • Noelle: Yes
  • Claire: Yes

Does it get at the heart of the controversy?

  • Noelle: Yes
  • Claire: Yes

Does it avoid overused ideas or common wisdom?

  • Noelle: Yes
  • Claire: Yes

Is it appropriate for the argument's audience, purpose, and context?

  • Noelle: Yes
  • Claire: Yes

Does it meet the needs of the project plan?

  • Noelle: It's a thesis.
  • Claire: Yeah.

Does it contain specific and interesting language (avoiding the titanic mistakes of clich├ęd phrases or use of the word 'interesting')?

  • Noelle: Mine does.
  • Claire: Mine kind of does.
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