15 Days

End the Torture of Solitary Confinement

In the US today, more than 80,000 people - men, women, and children - live up to 23 hours a day in tiny cells without natural light, air, or human contact. Many remain there for months, years, or even decades.

The UN's expert on torture considers more than 15 days in solitary confinement a human rights violation. The US is the only democratic nation that makes widespread use of long-term solitary confinement in its prisons, even for minor, nonviolent infractions as simple as having too many postage stamps.

Is solitary confinement torture? What effect does it have on the people who endure it? 

Hear one man’s story »



Individuals held in isolation in U.S. prisons (on last count)



Estimated number of individuals held in long-term solitary in 'supermax' prisons



Approximate number of individuals held in long-term isolation in British prisons



Percentage decrease in prison violence through use of solitary



 Average annual cost of keeping someone in prison



 Average annual cost of keeping someone in solitary



Average size of solitary confinement cell



Average size of a parking space.



Percentage of people sentenced to solitary by a judge and jury



Percentage of people placed in solitary by corrections officials



Percentage of prison suicides that take place in isolation



Number of times more likely youth are to commit suicide in isolation


41 Years

Maximum amount of time anyone has spent in solitary in the U.S.