Alone in a cell for years or even decades, more than 80,000 Americans are estimated to be in solitary confinement. Cut off from human contact in an 8 x 10 cell, some say solitary is the only way for correctional officers to safely handle the worst prisoners, but others claim it amounts to psychological torture. In an age where we are all hyper-connected, where rapid fire inter-personal communications are routine, what’s it like to be suddenly cut off from social contact and experience the claustrophobic isolation of solitary confinement?
Now, three volunteers provide a live window into the solitary experience. They are inhabiting 80 square foot “cells” with a sink, toilet, bed, des, and chair. Meals are served through a slot in the door and participants are only allowed daily one hour of solitary exercise and a brief shower. Their experiences are shared in real time via outgoing Tweets (they will receive no incoming communications) while a camera in each cell will stream 24/7.
Explorer: Solitary Confinement premieres this Sunday April 11 at 9P et/pt.
Watch a preview of the show:
MORE ABOUT SOLITARY CONFINEMENT:
Watch More Videos from inmates, guards, and experts who offer insights.
Read an article about the history of this form of punishment.
What are the psychiatric effects of solitary confinement on prisoners?
Facts about complete isolation in prison.