But you rarely if ever hear about it on the mainstream news.
The other day NPR had a story about it, where guests claimed that since the states built so many "super-max" prisons, they filled them up, even with people who were not intended to be in those cells. As a result, there has been a form of blowback where some states are now closing these facilities, feeling they do more harm than good.
Now, Democracy Now takes on the issue of solitary confinement.
Torture in U.S. Prisons? Historic Senate Hearing Takes Up Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Toll
In the first-ever hearing of its kind, a Senate panel heard testimony this week on the psychological and human rights implications of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. While defenders of solitary confinement claim it is needed to control the most violent prisoners, many of the people called to testify at the hearing described how it can cause intense suffering and mental illness. We’re joined by Anthony Graves, a former Texas prisoner who was fully exonerated of a murder conviction after spending 18 years behind bars, the bulk of that time on death row and in solitary confinement, and by James Ridgeway, a veteran journalist and co-editor of Solitary Watch, a website that tracks solitary confinement and torture in American prisons. [includes rush transcript]
Anthony Graves, former Texas death row prisoner who testified Tuesday at the first-ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. Graves was fully exonerated in 2010 after spending 18 years behind bars, the bulk of that time on death row and in solitary confinement. He is now an active member of the movement to abolish the death penalty.
James Ridgeway, veteran journalist and co-editor of Solitary Watch, a website that tracks solitary confinement and torture in American prisons. He writes regularly for Mother Jones and is a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow, along with his reporting partner, Jean Casella.