It has recently been suggested that those confined to these sensory deprivation torture units indefinitely, but who have a cellie, are not in “solitary confinement,” as though another human occupying a space not even large enough for one will somehow mitigate the deleterious effects of this isolation. It doesn’t. The only marked difference is the number of stressors you must contend with in a day.
Having a cellmate under this circumstance forces you to modify your daily life to account for the mood swings, biological activities and other idiosyncrasies of someone who is always – no matter how far in this tiny cell you go – only two steps away from you.
As men who have a collective 60-plus years in these torture units, both with cellies and without, we can state definitively what constitutes “solitary confinement” is the complete and total isolation from sensory stimuli and “normalized” human social interactions which accompany the unique conditions of torture unit confinement (i.e. SHUs, SMUs, supermaxes, ad-segs etc.), not whether another human has been crammed off into this tiny space with you.