The abomination of solitary confinement

Adam tells us that this form of punishment that is now routinely practiced in US prisons for even minor infractions constitutes psychological abuse of the worst kind that can quickly drive people insane.


  1. says

    Police regularly use intimidation tactics on prisoners who haven’t even been tried or convicted of anything. When they pick protesters up, they do stuff like put 20 people in a cell for 3, with no fresh water or air conditioning or beds or chairs. So much for “innocent until proven guilty” -- there are also indications that guards in prisons will put inmates in solitary for looking at them funny, or not giving them sex, or any of a huge number of minor infractions; they call it “gang related activity” It’s disgusting and disgraceful and it’s another way America shows its true colors as an oppressive regime.

  2. Timothy says

    What Marcus Ranum said.

    Police have also been know to remove an uncooperative (read: “choosing to remain silent”), remove their clothes and place them in solitary. And then turn the AC down to intolerable levels.

    Adam is not quite correct about the “few decades ago” part. This man was in solitary for 40 years:

    He is my personal hero. (I doubt that I would survive 40 minutes …)

  3. Callinectes says

    Am I missing something here? I went without human contact for ten days in a row earlier this month and it was like shaking a stone out of my shoe that had been stuck in there for twenty-nine years.

  4. Timothy says


    Choosing to go on a solitary retreat (which it sounds like you did) is psychologically very different than solitary confinement when incarcerated.

    The impact is completely different.

  5. Callinectes says

    Actually what happened was that everyone I know went on vacation without me, but I see your point.

  6. Mano Singham says

    I too enjoy solitude and not meeting people for days on end. But I have access to the outside world. I would not be able to deal with being forced into a tiny room against my will with no definite end in sight.

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