State prisons rethink solitary

For centuries, solitary confinement has been the big stick of prisons, the harshest means to deter rule-breaking


By Jonathan Martin
Seattle Times

CLALLAM BAY CORRECTIONS CENTER, Wash. — Being alone in your own head 23 hours a day in a 48-square-foot poured-concrete cell makes the mad madder and the bad even worse, inmates say.

"One guy told me he had, like, 15 faces on tissue paper, and he had names on them," said inmate Michael Richards, who spent about seven of the last 11 years in solitary confinement at Clallam Bay Corrections Center. "He'd say, 'Hey Bob, good morning.' He'd talk to them through the day, just to keep that contact, because he couldn't talk to anyone else."

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