Center on Sentencing and Corrections

How to Create Madness in Prison

How to Create Madness in Prison

David Jones, Ed, “How to Create Madness in Prison,” Humane Prisons, Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing, 2006.


Terry Allen Kupers, M.D., M.S.P., is a psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus at The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology. He is an expert on the mental health effects of solitary confinement, and he has testified in class action lawsuits about jail and prison conditions, the quality of mental health care in prison, and the effects of sexual abuse behind bars. This 2006 article was written by Dr. Kupers and published in the book Humane Prisons. Dr. Kupers describes in detail each of the ingredients in his “recipe for creating madness in our prisons”–which is a recipe for creating an explosion in long-term solitary confinement.


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Keywords: disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, restrictive housing, restricted housing, segregation, segregated housing, isolation, torture, discrimination, segregated housing and mental health