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© Gustaf Brundin

Put away

Solitary confinement

Prisoners at California's Pel­i­can Bay State Prison caught the nation's attention in July with their three-week hunger strike. Their protest originated in the half of the prison that's called the Security Housing Unit, where some 6,600 inmates spend 23 out of 24 hours a day for years on end in small, windowless cells. In its editorial "Cruel Isolation" (August 2), the New York Times spoke out against Pelican Bay and the excessive use of solitary confinement in U.S. state and federal prisons.

 

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