I wanted to point out a couple of recent resources on issues surrounding solitary confinement.
First, Doug Berman recently pointed out "this new report coming from the New York Civil Liberties Union titled "Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons." This NYCLU webpage, from which the report can be downloaded, provide a summary of its scope and contents."
Meanwhile, the national ACLU has produced a new report on solitary confinement in the juvenile system titled "Growing up locked down: Youth in solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the United States." See a good write-up from Human Rights Watch and coverage from ABC News titled, "Rights groups: Ban solitary confinement of youths."
As always, James Ridgeway's Solitary Watch is the go-to blog source on these topics, and since his name came up, I'd also recommend Ridgeway's recent essay in Mother Jones, "The other death penalty: Aging and dying in prison.?" You can read the full article here, and view an accompanying photo essay by Tim Gruber, shot inside a Kentucky prison’s nursing unit, here.