Humans are social animals, and solitary confinement deprives the prisoner of a basic human need—and is clearly torture, leading often to mental breakdown. Mother Jones has an excellent report on the practice in the US, which imprisons more of its citizens than any country on earth: the Prison Nation. The table at the link tells the story, but to take a few examples (with the number representing the number imprisoned per 100,000 population):
716 US – We’re Number One!!
170 China (may be 121)
Take a look at this collection of articles and information that Mother Jones has assembled. The lead article is by Shane Bauer, entitled “Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America’s Prisons.” and it begins:
IT’S BEEN SEVEN MONTHS since I’ve been inside a prison cell. Now I’m back…
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