This paper is aimed at discussing the documentary film called Solitary Nation which throws light on the way in which segregation and isolation can affect convicted people. The central purpose of this movie is to increase viewers’ awareness about the use of solitary confinement in prisons and demonstrate that this practice produces very adverse effects on the mental health of inmates. To a great extent, this film implies that the use of this practice should be reduced to the minimum.
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The film-makers provide several types of evidence in order to achieve the central goal. At first, the authors offer video recordings of the unit in which solitary confinement cells are located. The sounds coming from the cells suggest that solitary confine produce negative effects on the mental health of a person. For instance, one can speak about shouts, banging on the doors, and crying. Moreover, many of the confined people try to cut their wrists.
Moreover, they can damage furniture. On the whole, it seems that some of the inmates are virtually brought to the brink of insanity that can be explained by their inability to communicate with other people. Additionally, the film includes interviews with both prisoners and guards. The responses offered by these interviewees suggest that very often solitary confinement harms people. In some cases, these individuals may try to commit suicide because they can perceive solitary confinement as a form of torture.
Moreover, the authors refer to the practices of wardens who try to search for alternatives to solitary confinement. For instance, the prisoners can be placed in the psychiatric ward of the prison hospital. In many cases, this approach can be more effective than solitary confinement.
To a great extent, this film is successful in achieving its central goal because it prompts viewers to place themselves in the position of people who are subjected to solitary confinement. One should keep in mind that the use of this method is not widely discussed in the modern mass media. Furthermore, many people do not have any idea about the hardships encountered by prisoners and they regard the use of solitary confinement as a commonplace procedure.
As a result, many prisoners can be simply marginalized by the existent criminal justice system. Apart from that, the film-makers are able to evoke the sympathy of the audience. Admittedly, this film cannot bring immediate changes into the practices adopted in prisons. Nevertheless, it can significantly change the attitudes of many stakeholders by highlighting the cruelty of solitary confinement. This is one of the steps which are required for the transformation of existing policies.
Overall, this film can be improved in several ways. In particular, the authors might have paid more attention to various alternatives that substitute solitary confinement. This information can be of great benefit to policy-makers and regulators who need to understand how to bring improvements into the experiences of inmates. Additionally, it is necessary to consider the opinions of wardens who may have no choice but to use solitary confinement.
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This approach can make the authors’ arguments more balanced. These are the main details that can be distinguished. Still, despite these limitations, this documentary film is valuable for understanding the way in which prison inmates can be mistreated. Overall, this movie can produce an indelible impression on the viewers. This is why it should not be overlooked.