In­side Soli­tary Con­fine­ment

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Tues­day, 9.35pm, ABC2 Though this pro­gram of­fers a ter­rific in­sight into what it is like for pris­on­ers to be held in soli­tary con­fine­ment, my records show that it was first shown on pay-TV in Jan­uary 2011. Is that what the dig­i­tal chan­nels are re­duced to now? What is the point of free-to-air broad­cast­ers hav­ing ex­tra dig­i­tal chan­nels if they are filled with noth­ing but re­peats and old ca­ble shows? Hav­ing said that, doc­u­men­taries about pris­ons are rarely as pen­e­trat­ing and in­sight­ful as this one. More than 80,000 Amer­i­cans are in soli­tary con­fine­ment at any one time, we are told. Cut off from hu­man con­tact, th­ese peo­ple are sub­ject to what may be the most ex­treme prison en­vi­ron­ment de­signed. Some say it is the only way to hold the most dif­fi­cult and danger­ous pris­on­ers. Oth­ers say it is a form of psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture worse than any phys­i­cal abuse. Gen­er­ally it’s not the sever­ity of a

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