What is Solitary Confinement in Arizona?
Criminals who are convicted of serious violent crimes can face solitary confinement in Arizona following a criminal defense case. A sentence of solitary confinement can hurt the long-term health and wellbeing of an inmate though. Hiring an Arizona criminal defense attorney can ensure that you don’t face harsh punishments, like solitary confinement.
In solitary confinement, inmates spend approximately 22 hours per day alone in a cell that is only 8 feet by 10 feet. While people can sustain being alone for short periods of time, and some people even thrive on it, undergoing this sort of situation for a great deal of time has adverse effects on a person.
Evidence of how solitary confinement hurts prisoners
While solitary confinement can be necessary for short periods of time to protect an inmate and those around him or her, extended periods are not good for their health. When inmates are sentenced to solitary confinement, they face the following psychological difficulties:
- Inability to judge time
- Lack of human interaction
- Loneliness and lack of purposes often leading to suicide attempts
- Extended prison sentences due to lack of opportunities for reforming activities
Additional side effects of solitary confinement can include:
In 2015, a lawsuit settled providing inmates sentenced to solitary confinement more time outside of their cell if they have a mental illness. However, this ignores the fact that inmates can develop a mental illness due to being alone in a small cell regularly.
Defense against a solitary confinement sentencing
Avoiding solitary confinement can be done by proving that a defendant will do no harm to themselves or other inmates. An experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney will know how to call upon character witnesses to prove their case.
Character witnesses can highlight why you can get along with others and how being among other prisoners is not a problem for you. When a judge and jury learn more about the person you are, including before the crime that you’re accused of, it can highlight the type of inmate you’ll be.
Thanks to new laws put in place, inmates are no longer automatically sent to solitary confinement due to having a mental illness. However, if you’re being wrongly treated while imprisoned and suffering at the hands of prison officials, you do still have rights.
Simply because you’ve been convicted of a crime does not mean they have a right to treat you poorly. You can contest ill treatment while imprisoned.
How an Arizona criminal defense attorney protects your rights
Lawsuits protecting the rights and fair treatment of inmates have been successful in Arizona over the last several years. As more emphasis is placed on treating inmates well and fairly, you should not stand by and accept poor treatment.
Solitary confinement is just one of many improper treatments that you can challenge with a strong attorney. An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected by ending the improper treatment or earn you compensation for the improper treatment that you received.
If the prison system is withholding proper medical treatment, including mental health wellness, you should seek an Arizona attorney to represent your case. Additionally, you should be free from facing sexual harassment or other sexual crimes against you.
The Prisoner’s Rights Law protects your rights from cruel and unusual punishment at the hands of prison officials. The law also protects your right to access the court in the case that anything doesn’t seem or feel right to you in terms of your care.
Finally, you have protections under the First Amendment to exercise free speech and practice your choice of religion. These are all areas where an attorney can help you if you believe your time behind bars has not been handled appropriately.
Click here for information on Arizona illegal search and seizure laws.