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A sourcebook on solitary confinement

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"As this sourcebook clearly demonstrates, solitary confinement has a well documented negative impact on mental health and wellbeing and may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, particularly when used for a prolonged time. The use of solitary confinement should therefore be strictly limited to exceptional cases or where it is absolutely necessary for criminal investigation purposes. The severe suffering caused by solitary confinement means that in all cases it should only be used as a last resort, and then for the shortest possible period of time. When used for interrogation purposes, either in combination with other methods or on its own, solitary confinement can amount not only to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment but even to torture. This comprehensive sourcebook brings together the accumulated knowledge and standards relating to solitary confinement and its harmful consequences. It identifies how solitary confinement may be misused and the protections that should be put in place. It is a valuable resource for prison staff and policy makers in the effort to promote the respect and protection of the rights and wellbeing of prisoners and detainees. Let us not forget that persons deprived of liberty are among the most vulnerable human beings in every society." - Manfred Nowak, Preface.

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