Solitary confinement is immoral, ineffective

Jail and prison bars

Solitary confinement is torture. It is inhumane. That it is also essentially unavoidable in our current incarceration system is an indictment of that system and the places we build to support it.

One law enforcement official admitted to us recently that no inmate confined to a cell in solitary does not have whatever condition contributed to their being sent there in the first place worsened. Solitary is used for inmates with special health care needs, sometimes for their own protection, but it virtually never helps. And it usually makes things worse.

Solitary confinement is immoral and ineffective. It is also considerably more expensive than housing an inmate in the general population. But one of the reasons for its existence is a lack of public outcry. That outcry is growing. We hope to grow it further.

This week, a replica of an actual solitary confinement cell will be set up on the Edgewood College campus. People can sign up to spend an hour in the cell. You may not want to do that. But you can at least go see it. We think you will be moved. We think there will be an outcry.