Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Solitary Confinement: A Clinical Social Work Perspective

Solitary Confinement: A Clinical Social Work Perspective

Wilson, Melvin H. “Solitary Confinement: A Clinical Social Work Perspective.” Social Justice Brief. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 2016.

“While social workers are engaged in the conversation about the need to reform the use of segregation at the federal, state, and local level, this particular social justice brief is on the severe and often life-altering mental health consequences of prolonged segregation and isolation. Social workers are a major part of the professional mental health workforce in the United States, especially in serving low-income and marginalized populations. Therefore, the primary objective of this discussion is to examine the problem from a mental health perspective, and to examine the role that social workers can play in providing clinical services both within correctional institutions and in community-based settings.”

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Keywords: mental illness, mental health effects, ethics, treatment, effects of long-term segregation, social work staff, social work services, Melvin Wilson