START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
2,382,818 people care about Human Rights

Is Solitary Confinement Torture? (Video)

Is Solitary Confinement Torture? (Video)


Veteran journalist James Ridgeway talks about the growing use — and abuse — of solitary confinement in American prisons.

Is Solitary Confinement a Form of Torture?

US News Video by NewsLook


Related Stories:

California Prison Inmates Sue: “Solitary Confinement Is Torture”

DEA “Forgot” Drug Suspect in Cell for 5 Days

Minors in Adult Prisons: Sound Punishment or Counter-Productive?


Read more: , ,

Photo Credit: Smath via Flickr.

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
12:07AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Solitary confinement is not cryogenics. Cryogenics is the freezing the body to a hibernating state and thereby lowering the body temperature to a few degrees about freezing point. The body is not active and therefore no conditioning to any parts of the body. Food and water are not required and waste disposal from the body is controlled. However, the body does aged.
In solitary confinement, as the body adapts to a sedentary lifestyle and the restriction of senses, the body conditions into a mild vegetative state. Sensations become magnified and the person becomes abjectly poor in responses. Delusions do set in and the personality is constantly irritated. Because of these set backs, the person constantly relies on some sort of assurances and dependencies. He or she will be survival on the outside tortuous and fearful. As such, the only relieve is via suicide. And I end my two-cents with the following quote from Anthony Burgess, "A Clockwork Orange."

“Where do I come into all of this? Am I just some animal or dog?' And that started them off govoreeting real loud and throwing slovos at me. So I creeched louder still, creeching: 'Am I just to be like a clockwork orange?”

9:40AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

MY opinion TORTURE.I think it should be used to teach and rehabilitate people not the victim of the crime as such isolation is inflicted on survivors of un rehabiliated people who get out of jail and placed in the face of the victim to repeat repeat offender.

11:16PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

When a serial criminal commits a serious crime, society does not necessarily just expects to just put him behind bars. They want more than what is expected and solitary confinement to a certain extent fits the bill. However, the problem here is that solitary confinement is abused and there is no regulation or control on how and why its to be used. Many times it becomes a tool for torture rather than to correct an inmate's waywardness. Doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, etc. need to come up with a formula or gauge to how to properly engage wayward behavior and serial criminals who commit serial crimes. Caging per se with no control and purpose is wrong and has dire consequences.

5:05AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

I dispute the comment made about mid east prisons. They don't keep people in prison for many of the same crimes we do. They just lop off the head of the offender on the Friday following the conviction and the offender doesn't have to worry about being in prison. Perhaps we would have a lot less trouble here if we just executed people for hineous crimes immediately rather than lock them up at all.

10:03AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

How do we keep dangerous people away from others (even other violent people?)? Solitary confinement is awful for long periods, but in smaller doses it's something like time out. I'd prefer solitary to being around crazy, violent or sexually explicit criminals. Just give me books and a padded room

8:00AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

I think solitary is serious punishment, I couldn't imagine being held like that for an extended period of time. I have spent only 5 hours in solitary and I lost my mind, I cannot imagine what years or even months would be like.

With that said, depending on where you are locked up, I'd rather be in solitary than general population.

7:57AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Solitary Confinement embodies sensory deprivation. This constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, albeit torture. Water boarding is also a form of torture. The US government tortures more detainees than all other Nations added together. The USA should be removed from the UN and all members with investments in the nuclear and weapons Industry should be expelled.

4:23PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Marc also says: "Other countries with FAR higher success rates regarding recidivism do not treat their inmates anywhere near this cruelly. "

Name one and site examples. From what I hear, prisons overseas are far worse, you just never hear about it. Try getting caught with drugs in Turkey or the Middle East. You will never see the light of day and will be repeatedly sodomized and abused and will have no recourse to anyone. Tell me which countries in Europe have these "Club Med Prisons". There may be some low security prisons where conditions are better and we have those here too. But when you are dealing with violent criminals and sociopaths, there aren't very many options.

4:16PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Marc says: "Robert P: You obviously know little about prison life."

That is true, but that's because I don't want to find out first hand and have done all within my power to stay out of prison. And thus far I have been successful.

But let me ask you this, Marc: If a prisoner is out of control and attacking other prisoners, or if a prisoner is so hated that the rest of the inmates will kill him, then what do YOU suggest we do with him?????? In the first scenario, how do we keep him from assaulting or killing other inmates or guards without segregating him? And in the second case, how do we keep him from being murdered without segregating him?

How do we restrain this prisoner when all the bleeding hearts are saying: "Prison cells are too small", "prison cells don't provide any privacy","handcuffs are painful", "restraint of any kind is uncomfortable and cruel". What do you suggest that we do with these people other than put them all on an island in some penal colony and LET THEM KILL EACH OTHER? What is your suggestion?????

2:14PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

(Continued.) I could go on and on. You say "Kynthia, I am sorry that you endured what you did, but that was the fault of the stupid Judge. They should never have put you in jail at all for such a petty crime and they should have known that doing so would endanger your life." Kynthia's story is unfortunately far more common than you would think - Though EVEN ONE instance of this abuse is completely unacceptable. - Judges and jailers make mistakes like this far too often. And in many cases the 'mistake' is no mistake at all. The bottom line is that more than 90% of inmates will eventually be released. What kind of a world view do you think they will have after being treated this way? Other countries with FAR higher success rates regarding recidivism do not treat their inmates anywhere near this cruelly. Why? These countries apparently have something that we seem to have lost - ETHICS, MORALS, COMMON DECENCY. It saddens me deeply to see so many people advocating cruelty.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Fear from different has nothing to do with God and God is not excuse for hate, hypocrisy, lack of kindness...…

Please...if someone has a foot amputated due to diabetes how do they dispose of it? Do they need a foot…

Those who took part in this abuse deserve the exact same treatment!

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.