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Topics in Criminal Justice: Solitary Confinement

What is solitary confinement?

Solitary confinement is the method of isolating prisoners for up to 22-23 hours a day for extended periods of time without human contact. Sometimes this is referred to as prison “segregation” or “restrictive housing.” New York State uses the term Special Housing Units for solitary units. This practice is controversial; some feel it is necessary as a means of punishment within prisons and some find it unethical, inhumane, and torture.

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