Prof. Derek Jeffreys’ article on solitary confinement is the cover story in the latest edition of the journal Commonweal, a publication dedicated to issues of religion, politics and culture. In “Cruel but Not Unusual: The Scandal of Solitary Confinement,” Jeffreys traces the history and current practice of solitary confinement, exploring the physical and psychological effects it can have on inmates. “The policy represents a terrible tradeoff,” Jeffreys writes. “Widespread use of solitary confinement may bring short-term order to some penal institutions, but it does serious damage to inmates and exacts a steep moral cost.” Jeffreys has conducted extensive research on solitary confinement; his latest book, “Spirituality in Dark Places: The Ethics of Solitary Confinement” was released in 2013. Read Commonweal article.