Cruel and Inhuman

(2009) A 5-minute exposé on the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons today. “Cruel and Inhuman” was produced for the AFSC to promote their campaign against supermax prisons.

Claire Schoen: Producer, Audio design
Jan Stürmann: Visual design
American Friends Service Committee: Executive Producer

Program Summary: There are tens of thousands of inmates living in total isolation in America’s jails and prisons today. And the number is rapidly growing. Often prisoners spend years – even decades – by themselves in cells the size of a small bathroom. They don’t see anyone. They don’t talk to anyone. Sensory deprivation, such as that experienced in solitary confinement, drives people insane. U.N. conventions and treaties define this sort of treatment as torture. If we, as a people, continue to brutalize others in this fashion, what does that do to us all as a society?