The Scorched Earth Solution: Solitary Confinement in America

By many definitions, solitary confinement is torture—despite being widely embraced in America’s prisons:

“Take Gabriel Reyes, one of the class action plaintiffs, who was originally convicted of housebreaking and sentenced under California’s draconian three strikes law. He was thrown into solitary 17 years ago, based on the mere fact that he was seen exercising with known gang members. Since then, everything from his tattoos to his Mexican-themed artwork has been held against him as evidence of gang association. He has not hugged his daughters in two decades, since they were in preschool, a startling deprivation for a man without a violent record. Some time ago, Reyes described to his lawyers how he and his fellow inmates were ready to ‘explode.'”

Published: Oct 7, 2013
Length: 18 minutes (4,558 words)