Women In Prison: Is Solitary Confinement Too Harsh For Female Prisoners?

Are women treated fairly in prison? It is often argued that women are treated more harshly in prison by their female prison guards. It does not matter if you end up in jail in the US or UK, if you are a woman it seems that you are much likely to end up being treated harshly by your female prison officer. The reason is not clearly understood. However, many women do say that they feel more exposed when they receive a prison sentence than men do.

What does this mean? Could it mean that women prisoner officers really do judge other women harder and are less likely to have a sympathetic attitude? Taking a little bit closer look at the prison system, it would appear that women’s prisons have more trouble on an ongoing basis compared to prisons for men. Yes, there are often riots in male prisons, but women’s prisons seem to have more ongoing problems.

Why Do Women End Up In Prison?

Many women end up in prison for the same reason as men. Women are just as likely to commit a criminal act. Initially, it was thought that women commit fewer crimes, but this has changed. Women are just as likely to commit crimes as men. The only difference is that fewer women are caught committing crimes. Women seem to plan ahead much more and play the emotional card. Perhaps female prison officers are only too well aware of how the female mind works and this is why they are tougher on female prisoners.

Are women smart criminals? The truth is that most women are much smarter criminals than men. They are much more likely to get away with a crime, or crimes, for a continuous period of time. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that some of the best criminal masterminds in the world have been women. Instead of getting caught, they have simply got away with the crime.

Are Women More Likely To End Up In Solitary Confinement?

Solitary confinement did not used to be a very common option in UK prisons. However, since the UK prison population has increased, even female prisoners find themselves spending more than 22 hours out of every 24 hours in prison. It makes you wonder why. The truth is that UK prisons are so overcrowded that control has become a serious problem. With a high level of violent female prisoners currently behind bars in the UK, the risk of violent outbreaks is high.

However, is the situation getting out of hand? It would appear that many women who are placed into solitary confinement suffer a high level of stress. Illnesses linked to stress are more common and frequent in female prisons than it prisons for men in the UK. It can be argued that women are more sociable and have a greater dependency on company than men do. As a result, women are often released from prison poorly adjusted and carry on suffering from a series of social problems.

What Happens During Solitary Confinement In A Prison?

The process of solitary confinement is not very well understood by the general public in the UK. As the solitary confinement is now so common among women prisoners, groups representing feel that it is important for the general public to understand what goes on. During the solitary confinement, most prisoners are left alone in a cell for anything up to 23 hours. The norm used to be 22 hours, but this has changed due to a lack of personnel in prison.

During solitary confinement, women prisoners are often left with nothing to do. There is no television, no writing and reading materials are supplied. This means that women often end up starring at four wheels for anything up to 23 hours per day. Meals are delivered to the prisoner via a small hatch in the door.

What Are The Risks?

First of all, it is important to point out that many women who are in solitary confinement find it hard to look after their personal hygiene. They can have a brief wash but shower facilities are not available. They may for instance only be allowed to shower every couple of days or so. This can cause problems in itself as it can make you feel unhealthy.

Socially the women suffer as well. Not being able to talk or interact with others is a serious issue for these women. It is widely recognised that women depend much more on a social network in women than men do. It is one of the reasons so many women adjust poorly to solitary confinement in UK prisons.

Why Solitary Confinement?

Female prisoners are placed in solitary confinement for the same reason as men. They may have caused disruption within the prison and even harmed other prisoners. This kind of behavior is common in women’s prisons. Women quickly become frustrated in prison and are known to protest their feelings. Also, personal clashes are very common and may even lead to more serious disturbances.

However, it can be argued with more and better training of prison officers, many of these situations can be avoided. Flashpoints differ when it comes to male and female prisoners. The training program often only teaches prison officers to deal with problems in general, not on an individual basis. But, it recognised that learning to identify the problems may indeed avoid flashpoints and decrease a number of common problems.

Should The Use Of Solitary Confinement Be Restricted?

It is argued that solitary confinement in UK prisons should be restricted. Social problems within prisons are not solved by solitary confinement or reducing interaction between prisoners. Many of the problems that we see in UK prisons today are caused by prisoners have fewer opportunities to socialise. As the number of prison officers has been reduced, it is become harder to control supervised activities.

In the past, supervised activities used to be common place in women’s prisons right across the UK. However, since the government reduced funding for the sector, a cut in the numbers of prison officer staff has forced a rethink of supervised activities. But, as the result appear to be social challenges once a prisoner is freed, it is argued that it is time we took another look at this. Was it false economy to reduce prison officer numbers/

Women who are placed on solitary confinement often self-harm. This is easy to do. Cutlery and even nails are used to cause self-harm in the UK female prison population. Once again, this is another cause for concern and points to the fact that solitary confinement is too harsh for female prisoners in the UK. To reduce incidents of self-harm counselling is introduced at later stages in many prison sentences. But by then, the harm is already done and the effects have been felt by the prisoner and often others as well. For instance, it is believed that this increases the risk of violent protests as other female prisoners react to the predicament of their fellow prisoners.
[Text Wrapping Break]What Is The Future?

What is the future for female prisoners if solitary confinement is too harsh for them? The solution is simple. First of all, we need to look at ways of reducing the prison population. Do so many women actually need to go to prison? It is often said that many women who enter prison are not violent when they do so. Instead, they become violent during their confinement. Looking towards the future, it would appear that it would perhaps be best for fewer women to be sent to prison.

Prisons are also overcrowded and pose a threat to the mental well-being of prisoners. Of course, this is likely to lead to incidents in prisons. Once there has been an incident, solitary confinement becomes more or less a normal way to deal with problems in prisons. Unfortunately, this is when it becomes a vicious circle. It leads to social problems within the prisons as solitary confinement would appear to be the wrong way to deal with problems within women’s prisons.

Better trained guards and prison officers would help, but in general, it would appear that overcrowding is the biggest culprit in UK prisons.

Who are fighting for female prisoners in the UK? There are several groups that fight for the female prisoners. It is even rumoured that London escorts are standing up for prisoners right in the UK. Could it be that West London escorts have a soft spot for other women? This is probably the case.

Also, it has been reported that West London escorts have ended up in prisons, come out and spoken to their London escorts colleagues about the plight of female prisoners. No. solitary confinement is not a working alternative and will never lead to a lower crime rate. In the long run, it will probably do more harm than good and may even lead to an escalation of social problems both in London and the rest of the country.