The following satire on solitary confinement from The Onion rings all too true (save for the part about “several days,” as many people are held in solitary for years or decades).
NEWS IN BRIEF • Prison • News • ISSUE 51•01 • Jan 5, 2015
OSSINING, NY—Appearing visibly frustrated several hours after being placed into isolation at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, convicted felon Walter Ray Harris reported this afternoon that he could not break with reality quickly enough. “Come on! How long could it possibly take for me to lose all understanding of the world around me and slip into a state of paranoid delusion?” said Harris, pacing impatiently as he waited for the acute awareness that he would spend the next several days locked alone in a dark, 8’-by-10’ cell to fade from his mind and be overtaken by an all-consuming psychosis. “Let’s go already! Jeez, this is taking forever.” At press time, Harris had become momentarily excited at hearing voices in his head that turned out to be chatting guards.