national geographic and solitary watch
Tonight's episode of National Geographic's Explorer takes up the "science of solitary confinement." Solitary Watch is skeptical, however, especially about an experiment purporting to offer a live window into the solitary experience.
Holing up for a few days in an 8X10 room might be unpleasant, but it really doesn't approximate solitary confinement when the subjects can get up and leave whenever they want. Solitary Watch also points to a few of the differences between real solitary and faux-solitary, as described by a former prisoner:
1) Being surrounded by other mentally ill inmates howling and banging on doors and walls, resulting in sleep deprivation.
2) Viewing or rather listening to the brutality of prison guards reacting to these outbursts.
3) The uncertainty of when, or if, you will ever be released and the hopelessness that this feeling of loss of control over your own destiny instills.