America incarcerates prisoners at a higher rate than any other country, and they are disproportionately black men. There's no better place to see the trend than Milwaukee, where mass imprisonment has devastated communities.
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"These four walls are your life. Being in that environment for 23 hours a day will slowly kill you. Mentally, you have to find some way to live as if you were not there. If you cannot do that, you will die a slow mental death and may actually wish for your physical death."
Researchers have long known that solitary confinement has severe psychological impacts in just a matter of days. A neuroscientist says there is strong reason to believe those impacts are physical, too.
A lawsuit that initially exposed chronic under-staffing by Corrections Corporation of America depicted violence -- unchecked by an adequate presence of guards and other staff -- as so rampant at Idaho Correctional Center that it was known by its inmates as "gladiator school."