Texas Tech University

Albert Woodfox spent more than 40 years in solitude: What's the physical and mental impact?

The Times-Picayune

June 23, 2015

The Times Picayune - Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox might soon be released from custody after spending more than four decades in solitary confinement. Outside the walls of a 6-by-9-foot cell, it's possible that even if he's freed, Woodfox might remain internally isolated.

Robert Morgan, a psychology professor at Texas Tech University and the school's director of forensic services, said the effects of solitary confinement on mentally stable people is "minor-to-moderate."

Sleep and appetite disturbance, anxiety, hypersensitivity, social isolation and mood disturbances can occur. "I'm not saying it's a healthy environment," Morgan said, but research doesn't suggest the effects typically enter a "severe clinical range."

"(Humans) are pretty resilient can typically cope with most things thrown their way."

Read the story here.