Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation

GUEST: Terry Allen Kupers, Professor Emeritus at the Wright Institute, award winning psychiatrist and author of Prison Madness. His new book is Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It

BACKGROUND: Across the United States an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 prison inmates are kept in solitary confinement, locked up for at least 22 hours a day in tiny cells. The practice is considered barbaric and a tantamount to torture, yet prisons in the US continue to isolate inmates sometimes for years or even decades.

The impact of solitary confinement on the human brain has been found to be severely detrimental. Humans are not meant to be isolated from one another. Solitary confinement costs more than keeping prisoners in the general population, and has been found to not reduce overall violence. So why do we keep doing it?

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