Comment: to most, yes, isolation is a form of punishment.

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to most, yes, isolation is a form of punishment.

why do you think they also do it at Gitmo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and practically almost without exception, in almost ALL countries??

In most human cultures, social exile or shunning has always been the ultimate form of punishment.

So, why would iso being used as a widely deployed form of punishment in prisons, be such a puzzling notion, to you, especially as you stated that you actually had experienced the evil strong arm of the State?

Have you shared stories with others who were coming out of their iso rotation? Did they deal with it similarly as you did? I would proffer, perhaps not. If they also felt the same way as you on iso-con, that would be a rarity, at least from my experience/encounters with a few who have been through the system.

now if you were to tell me that they locked up a long practicing Tibetan Buddhist monk, or an Indian Yogi? It almost most certainly won't affect them, AT ALL, as the primary core of their path is concerned with searching the soul in solitude and honing and applying meditation skills and techniques.

Aside from a few sects, in most Western cultures, particularly in religious context, there's no real solo meditative traditions in the Buddhisht/Jane/Indian sense, other than prayers, which is practiced more communally than not.

And prayers, even when done solo, are more concerned with 'channeling' answers-in, from the outside with the specific goal of fulfilling a 'wish' of sorts, than vs. Eastern meditative traditions where it is more concerned with 'calming the mind' and letting the ego flow out and let the non-local 'Cosmos' in, to find one's true self; so, it's no accident that isolation has always been used as a form of punishment in most Western cultures.

Though that is not to say that it hasn't been used in the East, particularly in 'modern' dictatorships over the yrs: China, NK, Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia/Timor, Philippines, etc.

But, it is my understanding that the practice of isolation confinement in a large-scale institutional policy sense (not as, by local viceroy, warlord or chieftain's individual mandates, I mean more as a nation/state-wide specific policy decision to use iso-con as a political tool for population control), it's only really been deployed in the post-modern warfare, where such psychological tools have been used in the East.

Also depends on the length of confinement; if you're locked up for more than 3weeks straight, most people start hallucinating, coupled with sleep depravation, fasting, below nominal room temperature, chances are likely most non meditatively honed human will in fact go insane. This is historically proven and documented fact.

And, if you're Jose Padilla, that 3 straight weeks become months, then years.

I personally would prefer it too, but you and I must be the rare exception.

But you, as someone who has been in prison, even if it doesn't apply to you and a few others, I have trouble understanding how you don't 'get' that there's a reason why fascist regimes have always historically used isolation confinement, to purposefully drive their prisoners insane, and often, to suicide, on purpose (it cuts down time and the expense of having to house and feed a prisoner, and less trail of paperwork).

You almost sound as if you find it silly that these innocent, your fellow American, political prisoners were needlessly complaining about their isolation, as a form of punishment??

Such is the feckless useless disaster that is 'our justice' system.

It uses brutal Roman/English empire/Commie psychological techniques to punish political dissent. It never punish those that deserve it. Every single one of the State's enforcement mechanism solely exists to support the political ruling class, and to keep the 'peons' in line. There's a reason why all these sentences are utterly absurd and rarely does the extent and depth and duration of punishment fit the 'crime.'

Worse still, is the entire way the prisons are run. Even excluding the publicly traded-for-profit Prison Industrial Judicial Complex, frankly at a more Pavlovian psychosis level, prisons exist as an awfully degenerate lab for testing various social engineering memes.

For instance, the reason why even some SuperMax have common areas is in fact TO nurture 'criminal university,' to let them network, transfer various key individuals around from one prison to another on purpose, to in fact, branch out and spread their criminal organizational infrastructure.

It's no accident that coastal gangs morphed into soldiers for the more Wall St.-FRN laundering arranged/plugged-in Cartels, and franchised out like McDonald's into the heart of America.

Sure, something like narco-trafficking is inherently scalable and 'franchise-able,' but anytime one of their soldiers who were more closer to the internal infrastructure of the cartel gets locked up, the more a run-of-the-mill street thug has a chance to 'hone his craft' by hanging around that more seasoned said Cartel's 'inner core' soldier.

I'd posit that by all factual indications, it's by design that they want such prison social anthropological structure to persist: it helps to rationalize the 'need' for a police state. In some states like TN, by law when one prisoner goes in, one must come out: it's literally designed to be a revolving door.

More apropos of the original discussion, which is why it would seem counter-intuitive to have ANY common areas like cafeteria, gym, showers, library, etc. in prisons, where racial, factional, fights can break out and spinout into a full blown riot. But to the Ruling Class, it actually makes perfect sense.

That, is why isolation is a form of punishment, even in the criminal paradigm; it's not a 'performing investment into a criminal asset' to simply have you lull away, and not learn from other criminals how to expand your illicit skills.

So from the innate, intuitive, communal biological human disposition for a need to socialize, and even from the State/the Leviathan's criminal psychological social engineering POV, isolation confinement is indeed a form of punishment, not a perplexing reprieve. IMO.

Predictions in due Time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul