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.