Dr. Terry Kupers, Institute Professor at the Wright Institute in San Francisco and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, is among the foremost national experts on the mental health effects of solitary confinement. Dr. Kupers delivered the keynote address at the Strategic Convening on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, sponsored by the Midwest Coalition on Human Rights, on November 9, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois.

In his address, which is presented in the four videos below, Dr. Kupers provides a comprehensive overview of the psychological damage inflicted on people subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, detailing how use of the practice qualifies as an intentional human rights abuse. He also addresses the use of confinement in supermax prisons and the lacking quality of and inaccessibility to mental health care to those held in isolation (people who clearly urgently require adequate counseling to cope with the extreme distress of their isolation). Finally, Dr. Kupers touches on the detrimental impact of sexual abuse that takes place in detention facilities.




  • http://www.anatomievaneenexecutie.nl Petra de Jong

    Is there a written transcript of this talk available somewhere?

  • http://www.facebook.com/russ.carmichael.7 Fr. Russ Carmichael

    My question becomes, Doc given what you say, do you believe in the Death Penalty for murder? “A life for a life or a life for two or three?” (It is just a question?)…

  • Lisa Dawson

    In response to Petra de Jong, I did a brief search for a transcript of Dr. Kuper’s address but found nothing.

  • http://www.abolitionmovement.org Petra de Jong

    Maybe I’ll try to contact him directly. There’s someone I’d like to send this to, but since he is IN solitary confinement, a YouTube video won’t do.

  • suzanne ortiz

    As a mother of a pelican bay SHU inmate who went in at 20 and is now 29 I want to say ‘thank you’ for bringing awareness and much needed attention to what is really happening inside our prisons.This torture must stop.Thank you for all you do.

  • http://www.uplcchicago.org Alan MIlls

    I was honored to be there in person. It was even more powerful to hear Dr. Kupers in person. Keep up the good work (Solitary Watch AND Dr. Kupers!).