At any given time, there are more than 80,000 people in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. Even more are held in isolation in immigration detention centers and juvenile facilities.
Long-term isolation has no rehabilitative benefit, but its destructive psychological effects are well-documented—amounting to torture under international law. Solitary confinement violates the U.N. Convention Against Torture, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the U.N. International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
AFSC works to end the practice of solitary confinement in prisons, jails, and detention centers across the country.
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What is solitary confinement?-
Effects of solitary confinement-
Politics of solitary confinement-
Incarceration negatively impacts people on both sides of prison, jail, and detention center walls. AFSC works to ameliorate these conditions and to lift up the stories of resilience, perseverance, and resistance from people living behind bars.
The U.S. deports over 300,000 people annually and holds approximately 400,000 people in immigrant detention facilities across the country at an annual cost of over $2 billion.
As the U.S. continues to imprison more people than any country in the world, momentum is growing for change in the criminal justice system. Learn more about the problem of mass incarceration and join our work to end it.