The Ethics of Solitary Confinement

Come and walk inside a life-size replica of a solitary confinement prison cell at the library! This Tuesday, March 18th, at noon, there will be an opening reception and panel discussion about the ethics of solitary confinement with Mecke Nagel of the Philosophy Department and Ute Ritz-Deutch of the History Department.

The event is free and open to the public. Display will be in the Library until March 21st.

The purpose of having a life-size solitary confinement cell on display is to raise awareness about issues related to solitary confinement, which is widely used in the United States. We want our students and the wider community to get a sense of how small these spaces are and to imagine what it might be like to live in such a cell 23 hours a day. We therefore invite everyone to step inside. Just recently the UN Rapporteur on Torture issued a statement saying that solitary confinement that lasts more than 15 days is considered torture. It is important for us to recognize the legal and ethical implications as well as the social costs of keeping tens of thousands of people imprisoned this way every day.

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department, the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice, the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, the Criminology Club, and the SUNY Cortland Amnesty International Student Group.

More info contact Ute Ritz-Deutch at or call (607) 351-8033.