Journal Articles

This collection of journal articles relevant to solitary confinement was compiled in part through collaboration with Solitary Watch Research Associates Daniel H. Goldman and Ryan Brimmer, students at the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, Washington & Lee University School of Law. Articles marked [$] require a subscription or fee to download.

Fatos Kaba, et, al. (2014). Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates. American Journal of Public Health 104(3), 442-7:

Bonnie Kerness and Jamie Bissonette Lewey (2014). Race and the Politics of Isolation in U.S. Prisons. Atlantic Journal of Communication 22(1), 21-41: [$]

Jeffrey L. Metzner and Jamie Fellner (2010). Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons: A Challenge for Medical Ethics. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 38(1), 104–8:

Aaron Ceresnie (2009). The Cost of Long-Term Isolation: A Need for Accountability and Policy Safeguards in Supermax Prisons Across the United States. Adler School of Professional Psychology: cost-of-long-term-isolation1.pdf. [Argues that psychologists must help educate prison officials and the public to alter the means through which correctional institutions use and conceptualize long-term isolation.]

Terry Kupers, et. al. (2009) Beyond Supermax Administrative Segregation:  Mississippi’s Experience Rethinking Prison Classification and Creating Alternative Mental Health Programs. Criminal Justice and Behavior 36, 1037-1050:

Lorna A. Rhodes (2009). Supermax Prisons and the Trajectory of Exception. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 47, 193-218: [$]

Peter Scharff Smith (2009). Solitary confinement: History, practice, and human rights standards. Prison Service Journal 181, 3-11:

Craig Haney (2008). A Culture of Harm: Taming the Dynamics of Cruelty in Supermax Prisons. Criminal Justice and Behavior 35, 956-984: [$]

Kenneth E. Hartman (2008). Supermax Prisons in the Consciousness of Prisoners. Prison Journal 88(1), 169-176: [$]

Terry A. Kupers (2008). What to Do With the Survivors? Coping With the Long-term Effects of Isolated Confinement. Criminal Justice and Behavior 35: 1005-1016:

David Lovell (2008). Patterns of Disturbed Behavior in a Supermax Population. Criminal Justice and Behavior 35(8), 985-1004: [$]

Daniel P. Mears (2008). An Assessment of Supermax Prisons Using an Evaluation Research Framework. Prison Journal 88(1), 43-68: [$]

Peter Scharff Smith (2008). Solitary Confinement: An Introduction to the Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement. Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture 18, 56:

Lorna A. Rhodes (2007). Supermax As a Technology of Punishment. Social Research (June):

Terry Kupers (2006). How to Create Madness in Prison. In Humane Prisons (ed. David Jones). Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing:

Daniel P. Mears and Jamie Watson (2006). Towards a Fair and Balanced Assessment of Supermax Prisons. Justice Quarterly 23(2), 232-270:

Daniel P. Mears and Michael D. Reisig (2006). The Theory and Practice of Supermax Prisons. Punishment & Society 8(1), 33-57: [$]

Peter Scharff Smith (2006). The Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prison Inmates: A Brief History and Review of the Literature. Crime & Justice 34, 441: . [$]

Richard H. Lamb and Linda E. Weinberger (2005). The Shift of Psychiatric Inpatient Care From Hospitals to Jails and Prisons. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 33(4),

Jesenia Pizarro and Vanja M.K. Stenius (2004). Supermax Prisons: Their Rise, Current Practices, and Effect on Inmates. Prison Journal 84(2), 248-264:

Jeremy Coid et al. (2003). Psychiatric Morbidity in Prisoners and Solitary Cellular Confinement, I: Disciplinary Segregation and Psychiatric Morbidity in Prisoners and Solitary Cellular Confinement, II: Special (‘Strip’) Cells. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 298, 320: and [$] [British context.]

H.S. Anderson, D. Sestoft, et al. (2000). A Longitudinal Study of Prisoners on Remand: Psychiatric Prevalence, Incidence and Psychopathology in Solitary vs. Non-Solitary Confinement, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 102, 19.

Eddie Griffin (1993). Breaking Men’s Minds: Behavior Control and Human Experimentation at the Federal Prison in Marion. Journal of Prisoners on Prisons 4:2:

  • Walter H. Willey

    Wow, great news article today 3/16/2011 on Solitary. My grandson was incarcerated In colorado at age 20 he is intelligent and was trying to succeed by doing college courses, etc. He was put in Colorado’s famouse “solitary” for two years. It is bad enough to have to be shut up for 23 1/2 hours a day but they are DENIED any chance to do college courses and better themself by our infamous warden. He believs that any problem prisoner (whether guilty or not)be sent to SOL. Wow, he has now happy with a new building with about 600 more of these cells built so that he can have a nice prison yard with no problems to reflect upon his management! One cannot complain of any wrong doings to any prisoner, for the backlash would doom that prisoner. My grandson is now out on parole and has a good job in society. This is NOT rehabilation. Lock ’em away and forget them.

    You are the first I have ever written to you or anyone that could check into this new building philosophy.

    Thanks, Walt Willey (retired Navy and Airforce . . . age 84) Denver

  • Pat Reilly

    I agree with Mr. Willey…if the first reaction to anyone doing wrong, be it real or perceived, is to toss them into solitary-you have a reaction that is wrong! Also, should there any complaint of mistreatment of prisoners and have retaliation against said prisoner-that too is wrong. It would appear that Mr. Willey’s grandson rehabilitated himself DESPITE the prison’s attitude. Good for him!