Locked Up Alone is the report of Human Rights Watch into Detention Conditions and Mental Health at Guantanamo

This 54-page report documents the conditions in the various “camps” at the detention center, in which:
  • approximately 185 of the 270 detainees are housed in facilities akin to “supermax” prisons even though they have not yet been convicted of a crime.
  • These detainees have extremely limited contact with other human beings, spend 22 hours a day alone in small cells with little or no natural light or fresh air, are not provided any educational opportunities, and are given little more than a single book and the Koran to occupy their time.
  • Even their two hours of “recreation” time – which is sometimes provided in the middle of the night – generally takes place in single-cell cages so that detainees cannot physically interact with one another.
The absence of social and environmental stimulation has been found to lead to a range of mental health problems, ranging from:
  • insomnia and confusion to hallucinations and psychosis.[44]
  • Stuart Grassian, a psychiatrist specializing in conditions of confinement who has evaluated hundreds of inmates in different prisons, warns that even inmates with no prior history of mental illness can become “significantly ill” when subjected to prolonged periods of isolation.[45]


On January 11, 2002, the United States brought the first 20 prisoners to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, marking the beginning of a program of indefinite detention without charge or trial of terrorism suspects that has lasted 10 years. Since then, a total of 779 prisoners have been held at the facility…Human Rights Watch, more at http://www.hrw.org/node/104102