Excerpts from the short NY Times (June 20, 2012) editorial piece "The Abuse of Solitary Confinement":
"Today, tens of thousands of local, state and federal prisoners are held in prolonged abusive isolation — in tiny, windowless cells for up to 23 hours a day."
"More than 80,000 of the nation’s 2.3 million prisoners are held in isolation [...] While defenders claim that solitary confinement is needed to control the most violent prisoners, prolonged isolation is known to induce suffering and mental illness. About half of prison suicides take place in isolation units."
"Some of the most moving testimony at the hearing came from Anthony Graves, who was wrongly convicted of murder and served a decade of his 18 years in incarceration in brutal solitary confinement in Texas before his exoneration and release from prison in 2010. He described the agony of living in the “worst conditions imaginable” and the continued psychological toll."