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USA: Solitary confinement in the USA

, N° d'index: AMR 51/076/2013

The USA stands virtually alone in the world in incarcerating thousands of prisoners in long-term or indefinite solitary confinement. More than 40 states are believed to operate “super-maximum security” units or prisons. While prison authorities have always been able to segregate prisoners for their own protection or as a penalty for disciplinary offenses, super-maximum security facilities differ in that they are designed to isolate prisoners long-term as an administrative control measure. It is a management tool that is increasingly under question by human rights experts and others.

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