Solitary confinement - also known as Administrative Segregation and Disciplinary Segregation - is the practice of placing a person in a confined, closed cell for a minimum of 22 hours per day. People locked up in such a cell are virtually free of any human contact and this can sometimes last for decades.
I saw a lot of mentally ill people that should have been in psychiatric care instead of a prison"
Some Statistics about Solitary Confinement:
- A widely accepted 2005 study found that some 25,000 segregated people were being held in supermax prisons around the country.
- For the US prison population as a whole, it has found more than 81,622 people held in “restricted housing” over the past 12 months.
- When prison populations grew by 28% between 1995-2000, estimates of solitary confinement grew by 40%.
- Life in solitary confinement means living 22 to 24 hours a day in a cell.
- People locked up in the federal prisons in disciplinary segregation typically spend 2 days each week entirely in isolation and then 23 hours a day in their cell the remaining five days – with a 1 hour break for exercise.
- Solitary confinement cells generally measure from 6 x 9 to 8 x 10 feet.
Fast and furious
Solitary Confinement Is Used to Break People — I Know Because I Endured It (Article)
Truth Out: "There are many names for solitary confinement. In the Illinois prisons where I was incarcerated, it was called “segregation,” but most of the women called it “seg” or “jail.” No matter the language, it is all solitary — and it is torture."
Does Solitary Confinement Make Inmates More Likely to Reoffend (Article)
Statistics show that people locked up who have spent time in solitary confinement are more likely to reoffend than those who serve their sentence in a prison’s general population.
Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement―in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana―all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world.
Solitary: Escape from Furnace (Book)
BMI Educational Services: "Alex tried to escape. He had a perfect plan. He was almost free. Even felt the cool, clean air on his face. Then the dogs came. Now he's locked in a place so gruesome--so hellish--that escape doesn't even matter. He just wants to survive."
Last Days of Solitary (Video)
Frontline: "Inside one state’s ambitious attempt to decrease its use of solitary — and what happens when prisoners who have spent considerable time in isolation try to integrate back into society."
Solitary Nation (Video)
Frontline: "With extraordinary access this film takes you to the epicenter of the raging debate about prison reform. Solitary Nation brings you an up-close, graphic look at a solitary confinement unit in Maine’s maximum security prison."