Solitary Watch Fact Sheet: Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement

Now available is the first of a series of fact sheets on various aspects of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. The two-page fact sheet is available as a PDF at the following link:

FACT SHEET — Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement

This fact sheet, which references research on how solitary confinement affects the mental health of prisoners with and without underlying mental illness, was written by Sal Rodriguez, who is working with Solitary Watch this summer as a reporter/researcher. Sal is a student at Reed College and has completed internships with the Drug Policy Alliance and the Partnership for Safety and Justice. Watch for more fact sheets from Sal as the summer continues!


Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway (1936-2021) was the founder and co-director of Solitary Watch. An investigative journalist for over 60 years, he served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice and Mother Jones, reporting domestically on subjects ranging from electoral politics to corporate malfeasance to the rise of the racist far-right, and abroad from Central America, Northern Ireland, Eastern Europe, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. Earlier, he wrote for The New Republic and Ramparts, and his work appeared in dozens of other publications. He was the co-director of two films and author of 20 books, including a forthcoming posthumous edition of his groundbreaking 1991 work on the far right, Blood in the Face. Jean Casella is the director of Solitary Watch. She has also published work in The Guardian, The Nation, and Mother Jones, and is co-editor of the book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. She has received a Soros Justice Media Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She tweets @solitarywatch.

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  • Jimmy

    Hear is what i think about solitary confinment its a bunch of bull to what happened to those poor people you feel me dawg!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joshlyn

    holy shit did you hear the black panther that died yesterday the one who fout his way out of solitary and prison he was insent and yeserday he died how sad that we have the loss of such a grate man at least he no longer suffers the scars of solitary but now a nuther man a nuther heroe in the war on solitary is falen may god justly welcome him and give him the reward he so truely deserves for all he has done for those who suffer a heroe who wanted no metel no parade just a end to cruilty of a nashions owen god take care that man he should get nuthing less then a heroes wellcome

  • Joshlyn

    ok all i can say is how meny of the things they stated that solitary dose and how meny i have of them all i can say is thanks a lot oakhill school you suck toput it internet frendly lol not to mesion the 17 mouth in start of life as a orfin in romanya ya them tribunal donet give a dam bout me now or did they then so they suck to lol agan puting it lightly lol point to be lerned at the end of the day solitary confinement is a bich drugs and dringken can be stoped and healed solitary scars can not you what i say like dare did to you when you where yong just say hell no to solitary confinement lol

  • Mary Lou Brncik

    Thank you Solitary Watch. You provide us with some of the best information and statistics available on the conditions and inhumane practices within America’s prisons.

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