UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition

Professor Ian O’Donnell’s case study ‘Surviving Solitary Confinement’ has been selected as a runner up in the UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition for 2018.

The work upon which the case study is based reframes scholarly debates about prolonged solitary confinement, the abolition of which is an imperative for prison systems around the world. It provides prisoners in isolation with a set of tools to cope with an inherently destructive experience. It was cited in the High Court to block the extradition of a terror suspect to the US on the grounds that if it went ahead he would be held in isolation and this would constitute inhuman and degrading treatment. It led to a change in the law relating to solitary confinement, aligning Ireland more closely with United Nations standards.

Related publications

Prisoners, Solitude, and Time. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199684489.do

‘The survival secrets of solitaries’ https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-29/march-2016/survival-secrets-successful-solitaries

‘Time and isolation as performance art’ http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1741659014528345

‘Psychological survival in isolation: Tussling with time on death row’ http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4316185.aspx


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