More than 4,000 prisoners with serious mental illness are being held in solitary confinement in US prisons, according to new research, despite the knowledge that holding people in isolation exacerbates mental problems and can even trigger them.

survey by Yale law researchers together with the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) has revealed the shocking prevalence of solitary confinement among prisoners struggling with profound mental health issues. They are kept in total isolation for at least 22 hours a day for 15 continuous days or more.

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