A Much-Needed Wake Up Call on Solitary Confinement

The Washington Post

July 1, 2015


“VIOLENTLY INSANE,” the Supreme Court wrote in 1890 of prisoners who had experienced solitary confinement. “The edge of madness, perhaps . . . madness itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy echoed 125 years later. Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion last month in Davis v. Ayala all but invited a legal challenge to the age-old practice of holding prisoners in near-total isolation. Such a challenge is overdue: Solitary confinement is incontestably cruel but unfortunately far from unusual.
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