Solitary Confinement in the UK: A Closer Look at an Ineffective System


The practice of solitary confinement, in which prisoners are restricted to individual cells for 22 to 24 hours a day with minimal human contact, is a highly controversial and contentious issue.

Whilst the use of solitary confinement is often justified through appeals to prisoner safety or order, the adverse effects on the health of those who are isolated as well as the potential for its misapplication renders the practice dangerous and potentially inhumane. The UK must take steps to ensure that as few people as possible are placed in solitary confinement in the future, and guarantee that no children or vulnerable adults are subject to this potentially destructive practice.

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