“The Gray Box”: An Investigation of Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons


The box. That’s the name for the solitary confinement cell where as many as 80,000 U.S. prisoners live in seclusion.

A new multi-media report by the Dart Society offers an intimate portrait of the men who live in those cells, often confined 23 hours a day to a cell the size of two queen-sized mattresses. Some stay for a few weeks. Others, for decades.

“It’s a wasteland,” says one inmate. “The gray box is a wasteland.”

The investigation by Denver-based journalist Susan Greene includes interviews with inmates, prison officials and advocates for an unusually human look at criminal justice policy. Greene’s report won an award this month from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

Watch the full report, and read additional material from the investigation.

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