Best 7 of Solitary confinement quotes - MyQuotes
[Solitary confinement] is terrible. That is terrible. You're in a grave. You can't do anything. Everything's brought to you and you're in a room all day, except to come out of the showers. So when I would come out, I would entertain myself by singing, doing little mock concerts. And then when I was in the room, I would develop a routine. Like I have a lot of hair under here, so I would take my hair down and take all day to braid it on purpose. Stretch the hours out. Then I might write. And I would clean the floor. And I would look out the window. And then I'd devote a whole day to just reading. I was Christian then, trying to be. So I would read the whole Bible. I would break it down into sections. You're in a grave and you're trying to live. That's how to best describe it: trying to live in a grave. You're trying to live 'cause you're not dead yet, but nobody hears you when you call out, 'Hey, I'm alive!
In American prisons, which are extraordinarily violent places, the most vicious form of punishment is simply to lock a person in an empty room for years with absolutely nothing to do. This emptying of any possibility of communication or meaning is the real essence of what violence really is or does.
Looking down these dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails, is awful. Occasionally, there is a drowsy sound from some lone weaver’s shuttle, or shoemaker’s last, but it is stifled by the thick walls and heavy dungeon-door, and only serves to make the general stillness more profound. Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house, a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired….He is a man buried alive; to be dug out in the slow round of years…. And though he lives to be in the same cell ten weary years, he has no means of knowing, down to the very last hour, in what part of the building it is situated; what kind of men there are about him; whether in the long winter night there are living people near, or he is in some lonely corner of the great jail, with walls, and passages, and iron doors between him and the nearest sharer in its solitary horrors.
Isolation is devastating to the human psyche.
In fact, the whole place was filled with little conflicts like this: beautiful next to disgusting, free next to confined, compassion next to torture, death next to life.
It’s not the physical things that you’re without that make it so hard to be incarcerated for life. It’s the fact that you’re helpless to take care of your family when they’re sick, to raise your children, to help in their times of struggle, and to give back to your community. Instead you’re a burden, a charity case, someone to pity. It strips you of your self-esteem and your self-respect.
Every writer must acknowledge and be able to handle the unalterable fact that he has, in effect, given himself a life sentence in solitary confinement.