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Isolating the issue with solitary confinement

People gather for a rally to protest the 17th death on Rikers Island at City Hall in New York City.
People gather for a rally to protest the 17th death on Rikers Island at City Hall in New York City.

More than122,000 peoplein the U.S. are estimated to be in solitary confinement, according to a report by Solitary Watch and Unlock the Box. That number is far greater than previous estimates. 

The United Nations says that prolonged solitary confinement can bepsychological torture

One man — Dennis Hope — was held in solitary confinement for 27 years after two prison escapes. A new film, “The Box: 27 Years in Solitary,” details Hope’s experience in solitary confinement until 2022 when he petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his case. A week later he was moved out of solitary.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says solitary confinement, also known as Special Housing Units, is for the“safety, security, and orderly operation of correctional facilities.”

We talk about Hope’s case and the use of solitary confinement across the U.S. in federal and state prisons as well as local jails.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Jorgelina Manna-Rea