Examining the role of healthcare professionals in the use of solitary confinement


Cyrus Ahalt and colleagues explore the conflicting responsibilities of healthcare professionals involved in solitary confinement, a correctional practice that persists in prisons around the world despite a growing body of evidence describing its harmful effects

  • The United Nations defines solitary confinement exceeding 15 days as torture, reflecting mounting evidence of associated psychological and physiological harms

  • Healthcare professionals who work in prisons face unique challenges for which they often lack adequate guidance and support

  • Professional medical organisations, such as the World Medical Association and the World Health Organization, and international bodies, such as the United Nations, should lead reform of prison health systems and support healthcare providers practising in these settings

  • Promoting the translation of standards from community care to prison…