Woman struggles to carry on after years of solitary confinement

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Experts say a New York City woman’s more than three-year jail stint awaiting trial is a case study in solitary confinement and its consequences.

In that time, Candie Hailey spent more than two chaotic years locked alone for 23 hours each day in a 6-by-10-foot cell on Rikers Island.

Hailey was hospitalized at least eight times for suicide attempts in solitary that included trying to swallow hair remover product.

Since being acquitted of attempted murder charges last May, the 32-year-old mother of two has struggled to break free from the trauma of her confinement.

New York has recently begun to reform its use of solitary, reducing the number of inmates placed there.

But nationally, solitary remains the go-to correctional tool used for hard-to-manage inmates despite potentially damaging psychological effects.


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