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.

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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