Saturday, 27 April 2013
Some of the data we have collected on Solitary confinement and the mental effects its use has on prisoners to be used as part of the Data Representations and Visualizations for Solitude.
Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement
20,000 inmates are in soli- tary confinement in America‘s supermax
those in solitary developed psychopa- thologies at higher rates than those in the general popula- tion (28% vs. 15%).
401 jail suicides in 1986 found that two out of three were among those held in a control unit.
Inmates deemed a threat to the security of any of California's 33 prisons are shipped to one of the state's five SHUs (pronounced "shoes"), which hold nearly 4,000 people in long-term isolation
Prisoners spend an average of 7.5 years in the Pelican Bay SHU, the only one for which the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has statistics. More than half of the 1,126 prisoners here have been in isolation for at least five years. Eighty-nine have been there for at least 20 years. One has been in solitary for 42 years.
42 Years of Solitude
By Ryan Jacobs
81,622 - the Number of prisoners in solitary confinement across the United States in 2005, the last year for which the federal government released data
11,730 - Number of inmates held in isolation in California prisons today
7% - Percentage of California inmates who are in isolation
39% - Percentage of inmate suicides that happen in isolation units
78% - Percentage of Security Housing Unit (SHU) inmates not classified as gang “leaders” or “members”
$12,317 - Extra annual cost to taxpayers for each prisoner in the Pelican Bay Shu
11'7" x 7'7" - Dimensions of a SHU cell at Pelican Bay
6' x 8' - Dimensions of the average American home’s walk-in closet
51% - Percentage of Pelican Bay SHU inmates who have spent at least five years in isolation
89 - the Number who have been in solitary for at least 20 years
1 - Number who have been there for 42 years
A 2003 study of inmates at the Pelican Bay SHU by University of California-Santa Cruz psychology professor Craig Haney found that 88 percent of the SHU population experiences irrational anger, nearly 30 times more than the US population at large
41 percent of SHU inmates reported hallucinations.
Twenty-seven percent have suicidal thoughts.
Inmates in isolation killed themselves at eight times the rate of the general prison population.
In California, prisoners were hunger striking to protest isolation.
Up to 12,000 inmates participated in protests against long-term SHU confinement across the state of California.