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Over a century ago, Dickens said it was cruel, wrong and “tampered with the brain”. So why is solitary confinement still allowed?

From Charles Dickens to the West End stage, the "separate system" has been condemned since 1842. It's high time we got rid of it—and found better ways to help prisoners

By Kirstie Brewer  

Solitary confinement cells at an old psychiatric hospital. Today, prisoners with mental health problems

Abnormal, inhuman, diseasing, demoralising. That’s how prison inmate Susan Willis Fletcher described her experiences of being in solitary confinement.

“Each prisoner is locked in her solitary cell for twenty-three hours out of every twenty-four; which is in itself a very dreadful punishment bad for the health of the body, worse for the health of the mind,” she wrote in a journal…

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