Solitary confinement

From 7½ Lessons
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A note for Lesson no. 5, "Your Brain Secretly Works With Other Brains," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 87 is:

This is one argument for why solitary confinement in jail—enforced loneliness—is like capital punishment in slow motion.

Solitary confinement involves imprisoning someone in a small cell so that they have minimal to no meaningful social contact with other humans. It is associated with mental and physical harm,[1][2][3][4] particularly for adolescents and young adults. The United Nations has determined that solitary confinement consisting of physical and social isolation for 22–24 hours per day for even one day constitutes cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment for individuals under the age of 18.[5][6]


  1. Arrigo, Bruce A.; Bullock, Jennifer Leslie. 2008. "The Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners in Supermax Units." International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology 52 (6): 622–640.
  2. Haney, Craig, Joanna Weill, Shirin Bakhshay, and Tiffany Lockett. 2016. "Examining Jail Isolation: What We Don’t Know Can Be Profoundly Harmful." The Prison Journal 96 (1): 126–152.
  3. Korn, Richard. 1988. "The Effects of Confinement in the High Security Unit at Lexington." Social Justice 15(1 (31)): 8–19.
  4. Shalev, Sharon. 2014. "Solitary Confinement As a Prison Health Issue." In Prisons and Health, edited by Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden Galea. and Caroline Udesen, 27–35. Copenhagen: World Health Organization.
  5. Kysel, Ian M. 2014. "Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons in the United States." Human Rights Watch & American Civil Liberties Union Report, July 19.
  6. UN Human Rights Council. 2011. "Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan Mendez," August 5. United Nations General Assembly Doc A/66/268. New York, NY: United Nations.