≡ Menu

If Solitary Confinement Is Cruel and Unusual Punishment … Aren’t, Also, Lockdowns?

I share here, with permission, an e-mail sent to me today by Washington University economist Ian Fillmore:

Hi Don,

John Oliver makes a good case against solitary confinement:


I wonder if it occurred to him that isolating people is damaging and cruel both in prison and out of prison.  He argues that solitary confinement, whatever its uses, is simply too damaging and cruel to be justified.  Prison officials must rule it out and find other, more humane, ways to maintain order and safety inside our prisons.  By the same token, lockdowns and school closures, whatever their uses, are too damaging and cruel to be justified, and government officials must rule them out and find other, more humane, ways to prevent the spread of disease.

Ian Fillmore