Solitary Lives

Stories and commentary about the use of solitary confinement for adults and minors in jails, prisons and juvenile halls. Curated by The Center for Investigative Reporting (@CIRonline)


‘How big is the average cell in solitary?’

Head of U.S. Federal Prisons couldn’t answer basic question about solitary confinement


“He Had Fresh Head Injuries”: What Ohio Has Been Doing to Mentally Ill Boys 

Parents can’t keep children alone in their rooms for 1,964 hours. But Ohio allegedly does…


Thinking outside the box

Why Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall is considered a model facility when it still places youth in 23-hour isolation, sometimes for days on end


Q&A: Solitary confinement and teens shouldn’t mix

A neuroscientist explains the effects of isolation on the developing brain


A Growing Number of States Are Moving Away from Juvenile Solitary Confinement

Behold the landscape of juvenile solitary confinement, and how quickly it can change.


Pennsylvania’s Bleak Prisons

Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections was found to use solitary confinement against mentally ill offenders in a manner that violates…


Is solitary confinement fueling a surge in violence on Rikers Island? 

With a spike in use-of-force incidents by corrections officers over the past decade and a rash…


A Question of Intention and Juvenile Solitary Confinement

We know solitary confinement hurts kids. Is that the fault of the isolation cell? Or does the fault rest in…


Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America’s Prisons

We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the…


Making it right, at Rikers

Why Robin Hood provides support to soon-to-be-released inmates.


Millions of tourists flock to New York City every year, attracted to…


Good Samaritan Backfire

or How I Ended Up in Solitary After Calling 911 for Help


I live in a new gilded age in a golden city. But sometimes the cracks show, even…


Juvenile Solitary Confinement: Modern-Day ‘Torture’ in the US

Thousands of juveniles endure solitary confinement each year in the United States, often in tiny cells…


Sixteen, Alone, 23 Hours a Day, in a Six-by-Eight-Foot Box

A pending settlement to ban juvenile solitary confinement as punishment in New York state prisons bypasses…


Video Animation: “The Box”—Ismael Nazario’s Story

A former teenage inmate tells how he was sent down to Rikers and spent more than 300 days in solitary, before he was ever convicted of a crime


Inside Rikers Island

A former guard’s photos reveal a rare glimpse of “the box,” the notorious New York City jail’s solitary confinement cells

Solitary Lives
Solitary Lives

Stories and commentary about the use of solitary confinement for adults and minors in jails, prisons and juvenile halls. Curated by The Center for Investigative Reporting (@CIRonline)

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