This is a fascinating article which draws attention to the extreme affects that solitary confinement can have on an individual. It includes accounts from numerous people who served varying lengths of sentences all over America. This article focuses on the following states: Florida, California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Kentucky, Connecticut; and the opinions and views those incarcerated reflect on throughout an ‘average’ day.

Some powerful extracts below:

It is brutal. It is torture by definition. It destroys the mind, body, and soul, making rehabilitation next to impossible. It is also outrageously expensive, and it doesn’t work. Yet at the end of the Obama era, and the dawn of Trump’s, isolation is as widely used as ever in the American penal system. And this is what it feels like.


My biggest fear is losing my sanity. I’ve seen countless men lose touch with reality and go crazy. I often think that some actions in here are part of a conspiracy to drive me insane. But that’s the catch: if you lose your mind, then they discredit your account of things. If you maintain your sanity, they say that’s proof that solitary doesn’t drive men crazy.

As stated above, isolation is as widely used as ever in the American penal system. This includes being alone in your cell for between 22 and 24 hours a day.

Solitary irreparably harms the human psyche.

Solitary confinement is still used as punishment in many other countries around the world too, and in many of the prisons where the people we support are serving a sentence. This denial of meaningful human contact can cause extreme isolation as well as anxiety, depression and psychosis.

Prisoners need access to fresh air and food to maintain their physical health. Prisoners Abroad help maintain mental health by providing educational books to keep their mind active. We also provide dictionaries to assist them with communication skills. These resources help prisoners tackle loneliness and isolation, maintain social skills, and prepare them for work; connecting with a life outside prison.

You can read this full article here. Please be advised that some of the accounts are very vivid and may cause distress.


An interesting quote below:

I believe that very few men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this dreadful punishment, prolonged for years, inflicts upon the sufferers…I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body.

 Charles Dickens, on visiting prisoners in solitary confinement at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, 1842