The BBC’s latest Storyville documentary looks at the attempt of one US prison to scale back its use of solitary confinement.
The Americans use solitary confinement more than any other country, with over 80,000 prison inmates forced to live in isolation for 23 hours a day. It is still considered key to the US criminal justice system, even though it is expensive, can cause mental illness, and some even consider it to be a form of torture.
In this programme we follow Warden Rodney Bouffard of Maine State Prison’s attempt to launch a new programme in 2011 designed to scale back the use of solitary. Filmed over three years, it follows the risks of a prison adopting a new strategy.
Last Days of Solitary is on BBC Four at 22.00.