Hell Is a Very Small Place:
Voices from Solitary Confinement
Edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd
Hell Is a Very Small Place is the first-ever trade book on solitary confinement, and the only book to feature firsthand accounts of life in solitary. President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Pope Francis have all criticized the widespread use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails. UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez has denounced the use of solitary beyond fifteen days as a form of cruel and degrading treatment that often rises to the level of torture. Yet the United States holds more than eighty thousand people in isolation on any given day. Now, sixteen authors vividly describe the realities of life in solitary.