Life in the Hole: Inside a Solitary Cell

A guided tour of the seven-by-eleven-foot space where inmates spend 23 hours a day.

Former hostage Shane Bauer visited this cell during his reporting trip to California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. Read his investigation of solitary confinement here. Click the dots on the image below to take a tour of the cell.




SHU cells are 11 feet 7 inches by 7 feet 7 inches. With about eight feet of walking space, pacing—essential to quiet the mind—is difficult. Despite the cold cement floor, socks are forbidden.