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.

 

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Floor

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.

 

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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