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How solitary confinement is used in Minnesota prisons

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According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Corrections has placed 17,500 prisoners in solitary confinement over the past ten years. More than 1,600 were there for at least six months, with some staying a year or longer.

This month the newspaper published a four-part series, called "Way Down in the Hole," concluding that Minnesota prisons "pile on solitary confinement, often for minor offenses, causing lasting mental problems for inmates."

Criminal justice reporter Andy Mannix joined MPR News host Tom Weber to talk about what he learned, and how Minnesota compares to other states in its use of solitary confinement.

To hear the entire conversation, please use the audio player above.