What Is It Like To Be In Solitary Confinement?

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Solitary confinement was initially conceived as a punishment for inmates that would only last about a day. However, inmates today have spent days, weeks, years, and even decades alone in these tiny cells. Being in solitary confinement means being locked alone in a small cell (1.8 x 3 m (6 x 10 ft)) that only contains a small bed, sink, and toilet. These cells are believed by some to force insomnia, seeing as the fluorescent lighting never shuts off. Some believe that solitary confinement makes prisons safer, but it also may make inmates more at risk for mental health problems.


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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 1990, the UN called for the abolition of solitary confinement. 00:00

  2. A typical solitary confinement cell measures 1.8 x 3 meters. 00:51

  3. A study found that 70% of inmates in solitary confinement feared impending breakdown. 02:46