The Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

MON, JAN 9, 2017 (50:52)

Today it's common for a prisoner in the U.S. prison system to spend time in solitary confinement: twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact. Sometimes this lasts for years on end, and prisoners are held at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners.

The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.

+ BIO: Keramet Reiter

Keramet Reiter studies prisons, prisoners’ rights, and the impact of prison and punishment policy on individuals, communities, and legal systems. She uses a variety of methods in her work — including interviewing, archival and legal analysis, and quantitative data analysis — in order to understand both the history and impact of criminal justice policies, from medical experimentation on prisoners and record clearing programs to the use of long-term solitary confinement in the United States.

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