“Obama says we don’t torture, but a lot of this is straight-up torture,” says journalism legend James Ridgeway. “We call Guantanamo and Afghanistan torture and we never look at our own stuff.”
Ridgeway is talking about the growing use – and abuse – of solitary confinement in American prisons. He estimates there are 80,000 prisoners currently in solitary, many whom are mentally ill and suicidal. One prisoner Ridgeway is following has been in solitary for 40 years and he notes that some lawmakers are proposing life sentences in solitary as a “humane” alternative to the death penalty. Ridgeway and associates report their findings at SolitaryWatch.com.