What It's Like to Be in Solitary Confinement

“I place a stack of 18 postcards in front of me and write on each of them a question that has been on my mind since I left Pelican Bay: ‘Do you think prolonged SHU confinement is torture?’ I send them to prisoners across the state and 14 write back, all with the same answer: ‘yes.’ One tells me he has developed a condition in which he bites down on his back teeth so hard he has loosened them. They write: ‘I am filled with the sensation of drowning each and every day.’ ‘I was housed next door to…guys who have eaten and drank their own body waste and who have thrown their own body waste in the cells that I and others were housed in. I cry.’”

Shane Bauer, for Mother Jones, on solitary confinement in America. Read more on the subject from the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Longreads Archive.

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Photo: DieselDemon, Flickr

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