What is extreme isolation?

New York employs an unusual brand of “solitary confinement.” Roughly half of the 4,500 prisoners in “solitary confinement” spend 23 hours a day locked down alone in an isolation cell. The other half are locked down in an isolation cell with another prisoner – a practice known as “double-celling,” which forces two strangers into intimate, constant proximity. The New York Civil Liberties Union uses the term “extreme isolation” to capture New York’s particular practice of subjecting one or two prisoners in a cell to the conditions most commonly understood as “solitary confinement.”