Articles tagged: solitary confinement

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Short Story Finalist: ‘Solitary’

“There is no justice in being morally just. Not here.”

Bryan Washington, guest judge for our 2020 short story contest, is always on the lookout for stories displaying “a keen sense of place and a palpable intimacy...Read More

Horses graze in front of the Polunsky Unit, outside of Livingston in East Texas. by

A Solitary Condition

Texas has banished hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or, in some cases, if—they will ever get out.

The Prison Inside Prison Texas has banished hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement, an extreme form of a controversial punishment l...Read More

Russell Johnson with his family. by

Death in Solitary

Russell Johnson’s sister warned officials that nearly three years in solitary confinement had broken him. His suicide in isolation two months later points to compounded crises inside Texas prisons.

Russell Johnson’s sister warned officials that nearly three years in solitary confinement had broken him. His suicide in isolation two months later points to ...Read More

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Letters from Death Row: The Biology of Trauma

New studies show that trauma biologically alters the brains of young boys in ways that affect their adult behavior.

Texas executes more of its citizens—almost all of them men—than any other state. New studies show that trauma biologically alters the brains of young boys i...Read More

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Letters from Death Row: Faith Behind Bars

An informal Observer survey finds complex religious beliefs among death row inmates.

Solitary confinement forces many inmates to do a lot of soul-seeking, but despite the misconceptions, not all death row inmates turn to religion for solace. In ...Read More

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Letters from Death Row: Alone on the Inside

In an informal Observer survey, death row inmates describe a world of extreme isolation, where mental illness is both cause and symptom.

The Observer found that prisoners often choose a life of permanent isolation, refusing to leave their cages. It’s a catch-22: Mental illness can lead inmates ...Read More

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