2013年3月20日 星期三

【外聞】當獨居成為酷刑

編按:監改聯盟拒絕鎖國!在國際化常被誤解為中國化的時代,監改聯盟推出全新專欄【外聞】,為讀者翻譯引介外文新知。讓我們看看別人,想想自己。

圖片來源

【外聞】當獨居成為酷刑  ◎唐玉盈 譯 / 林政佑 短評 校對

【鍵盤短評】

台灣監獄因為超收的關係,監獄空間有限,獨居監禁的情形相較起來比較少,但仍有獨居監禁的情形,像是特定疾病的收容人就被獨居監禁,被排除於收容人社交圈之外,顯然將這樣類型的收容人加以標示和排除。理想上,為了能夠讓收容人能夠復歸社會,能與一般人一樣進行社會互動,監獄的收容不應該透過獨居監禁造成收容人與社會互動脫節,獨居監禁只是不斷製造收容人身心靈的壓迫


然而,另外一方面,我們也要指出,適當的隱私空間也是有其必要,台灣監獄超收情形嚴重,收容人共處一室,並無妥當的隱私空間,最為羞恥的排泄行為常在眾目睽睽下進行,人不被當人看,沒有獲得一定的尊重,猶如動物一般,這對於收容人內心的道德與規範無疑會產生極大的衝擊,此舉也會使得收容人更加難以復歸社會。因此,應該考量監獄收容人的隱私權以及與他人互動接見的權利等,讓社會的光能夠照進監獄暗室。

【當獨居成為酷刑】原文連結

作者:George F. Will

出處:《華盛頓郵報(The Washington Post)》2013-02-21

數以萬計的美國監獄收容人長期被單獨監禁,可能構成酷刑並違反第八條修正案禁止「殘忍和非常的處罰」。伊州聯邦參議員杜賓(Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.)曾促使一項獨立的聯邦監獄獨居估計,發現有半數的監獄自殺案例發生於被單獨隔離的囚犯身上。關於收容人是否容易遭受「嚴重傷害的實質危險」,州監獄也同樣容易面臨第八條修正案的挑戰。

美國人口佔全世界的5%,其中竟然佔全世界監獄人口的25%。大量監禁意味著受刑人重新進入社會的永久性危機,並且造成在聯邦和州的「超級」監獄 中,估計有25,000名收容人長期處於單獨監禁的情況,另外在普通監獄中大概有80,000名受刑人住在單獨隔離區。顯然地,單獨監禁所涉及的不只是為了保護其他收容人或監所人員而對有暴力習癖者所為之隔離措施。

來自長期獨居的嚴重精神上痛苦使得被監禁者面臨大腦損傷的危險。超級監獄將收容人隔絕於社會接觸之外,囚犯常常一天中有23小時待在牢房內,牢房有時小於8x12英尺,只有洗澡或運動時會放出牢房,在一個小小的、用柵欄圍起的戶外空間。孤立會改變大腦運作的方式,常使個人更衝動、更無法控制自己。單獨監禁的心理傷害會有嚴重後果:大腦研究揭示出持久的損傷和反常性會發生在被拒絕社會互動的個人身上。明確地說,被監禁者常會失去理智、變得瘋狂

第一間超級監獄始於1983年,在伊利諾伊州的馬里昂(Marion)。直到本世紀初,全國已有超過60間超級監獄,而且在大多數的最高防禦監獄(maximum-security prisons)裡均有單獨監禁設施。一位撰寫公共衛生議題的外科醫生Atul Gawande,在2009年3月30日於《紐約客(The New Yorker)》雜誌上發表了一篇文章〈地獄(Hellhole)〉,他指出:「單獨監禁的矛盾之一在於,雖然人們非常渴望友誼交往,但經驗使他們無法適應社會互動。」那些由於單獨監禁而失去能力的人被迫使繼續獨居,因為他們不適合「監獄或自由社會的高度社交世界」。去年,紐約時報報導在加州的皮利肯灣監獄(Pelican Bay prison)因為加入幫派而被送入獨居房的受刑人中,「248名在裡面待了5-10年,218名待了10-20年,還有90名待了超過20年」。

兩世紀以前,獨居被視為一種人性改造,可以促使反省、悔改以及改過向善。教友派的教義影響了費城東州監獄(Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary)的設計,該監獄開設於1829年,具有嚴格的獨居制度。狄更斯(Charles Dickens)於1842 年拜訪了該監獄:

「我認為這緩慢日漸地竄改大腦的神祕,比身體的任何酷刑更惡劣:因為它的病態症候和象徵並非如肉體上的傷疤一樣能被眼睛或觸覺所感知;因為它的傷口不在表面上,而且它幾乎逼不出人耳所能聽到的哭喊;因此我更加譴責它是一個秘密懲罰,而沈睡中的人性尚未被喚醒來制止它。」

1890年,美國最高法院說到單獨監禁:「相當多的囚犯,甚至僅是在短期的監禁之後,陷入半虛幻狀態,幾乎無法喚醒他們;其他囚犯則嚴重地精神錯亂;還有些囚犯自殺。」美國人民應該合宜且審慎地起而反對之。

大量監禁非常昂貴(加州在監獄上的花費將近是大學的兩倍),而單獨監禁下平均每位收容人的花費為一般監獄中的三倍。記住:現在這些被單獨監禁的人們有大部分會在未來的某一天回到美國的街道上,我們所稱的矯正機構使得其中有一些人成為精神病患者

原文連結


When solitude is torture

By George F. Will, Published: February 21

“Zero Dark Thirty,” a nominee for Sunday’s Oscar for Best Picture, reignited debate about whether the waterboarding of terrorism suspects was torture. This practice, which ended in 2003, was used on only three suspects. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of American prison inmates are kept in protracted solitary confinement that arguably constitutes torture and probably violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”

Noting that half of all prison suicides are committed by prisoners held in isolation, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) has prompted an independent assessment of solitary confinement in federal prisons. State prisons are equally vulnerable to Eighth Amendment challenges concerning whether inmates are subjected to “substantial risk of serious harm.”

America, with 5 percent of the world’s population, has 25 percent of its prisoners. Mass incarceration, which means a perpetual crisis of prisoners re-entering society, has generated understanding of solitary confinement’s consequences when used as a long-term condition for an estimated 25,000 inmates in federal and state “supermax” prisons — and perhaps 80,000 others in isolation sections within regular prisons. Clearly, solitary confinement involves much more than the isolation of incorrigibly violent individuals for the protection of other inmates or prison personnel.

Federal law on torture prohibits conduct “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” And “severe” physical pain is not limited to “excruciating or agonizing” pain, or pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily functions, or even death.” The severe mental suffering from prolonged solitary confinement puts the confined at risk of brain impairment.

Supermax prisons isolate inmates from social contact. Often prisoners are in their cells, sometimes smaller than 8 by 12 feet, 23 hours a day, released only for a shower or exercise in a small fenced-in outdoor space. Isolation changes the way the brain works, often making individuals more impulsive, less able to control themselves. The mental pain of solitary confinement is crippling: Brain studies reveal durable impairments and abnormalities in individuals denied social interaction. Plainly put, prisoners often lose their minds.

The first supermax began functioning in Marion, Ill., in 1983. By the beginning of this century there were more than 60 around the nation, and solitary-confinement facilities were in most maximum-security prisons. In an article (“Hellhole”) in the March 30, 2009, issue of the New Yorker, Atul Gawande, a surgeon who writes on public health issues, noted, “One of the paradoxes of solitary confinement is that, as starved as people become for companionship, the experience typically leaves them unfit for social interaction.” And those who are most incapacitated by solitary confinement are forced to remain in it because they have been rendered unfit for “the highly social world of mainline prison or free society.” Last year, the New York Times reported that of the prisoners sent to solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay prison because of gang affiliation, “248 have been there for 5 to 10 years; 218 for 10 to 20 years; and 90 for 20 years or more.”

Two centuries ago, solitary confinement was considered a humane reform, promoting reflection, repentance — penitence; hence penitentiaries — and rehabilitation. Quakerism influenced the design of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, which opened in 1829 with a regime of strict solitude. In 1842, Charles Dickens visited it:

“I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay.”

In 1890, the U.S. Supreme Court said of solitary confinement essentially what Dickens had said: “A considerable number of the prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and others became violently insane; others, still, committed suicide.” Americans should be roused against this by decency — and prudence.

Mass incarceration is expensive (California spends almost twice as much on prisons as on universities) and solitary confinement costs, on average, three times as much per inmate as in normal prisons. And remember: Most persons now in solitary confinement will someday be back on America’s streets, some of them rendered psychotic by what are called correctional institutions.


4 則留言:

  1. 補充:「超級監獄」專門關具有暴力性、高危險性的受刑人,他們被無限期地關在獨居房中(每天23小時),幾乎沒有機會從事活動或接觸他人,也沒有任何教化措施,學者稱這種嚴厲、冷酷的監獄為「超級」監獄(“supermax” prisons)。

    回覆刪除
  2. 原譯"美國人口佔全世界的5%,其中竟然高達25%是囚犯。"譯者不覺得美國的囚犯多的離譜嗎?
    按原文"America, with 5 percent of the world’s population, has 25 percent of its prisoners."應是指"美國人口佔全世界的5%,但卻擁有全世界25%的囚犯。"

    回覆刪除
    回覆
    1. 您好,已修正,非常感謝您的指正。

      刪除
  3. 圈內人對獨居的質疑:
    http://ewamtw.blogspot.com/2014/06/blog-post.html

    回覆刪除