Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives
Drawing on the testimony of prisoners and the work of philosophers and social activists from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to Frantz Fanon and Angela Davis, the author defines solitary confinement as a kind of social death. It argues that isolation exposes the relational structure of being by showing what happens when that structure is abused--when prisoners are deprived of the concrete relations with others on which our existence as sense-making creatures depends. Solitary confinement is beyond a form of racial or political violence; it is an assault on being.
A searing and unforgettable indictment, Solitary Confinement reveals what the devastation wrought by the torture of solitary confinement tells us about what it means to be human--and why humanity is so often destroyed when we separate prisoners from all other people.