Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating people in closed cells for 22 to 24 hours a day for periods of time that could range from days to years. Sometimes referred to as the Special Housing Unit, SHU, administrative segregation or ad-seg, individuals can be placed in solitary confinement for punitive, disciplinary or protective reasons.
While corrections officers say that the practice allows them to maintain order, research has shown that it can shorten lives and change people’s brains and personalities. According to a Yale Law School study, an estimated 55,000 to 62,500 people had spent the previous 15 days in solitary confinement on any given day in 2019. These are stories about individuals’ personal experiences with solitary confinement.
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