"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.
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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."
Prison unions have in the past been perceived as one of the primary obstacles to some criminal justice reforms, particularly reform of solitary confinement. But Texas's largest prison union is now calling for the state to curb its use of the practice.