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Not only does the U.S. have one of the highest incarceration rates worldwide—causing the U.S. to have the largest prison population in the world—but the U.S. also uses solitary confinement (prolonged social and physical isolation) as a punishment in its prison system much more often than other countries. The U.S. criminal legal system uses solitary confinement despite it being a form of torture that has severe mental health effects on the individuals that are isolated, leading many of these individuals to a general decline in mental health and sometimes to suicide.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review website on February 2, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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