California’s prison system uses Security Housing Units, or SHUs, as a way to isolate alleged gang members from the general inmate population. But gangs remain a problem in prisons and the outcry over using solitary confinement for long periods of time is growing. Now some lawmakers are asking whether the SHUs are working.
Steven Czifra spent four years locked up in a Security Housing Unit. Isolated from other inmates, alone in his cell for 22 ½ hours a day, he said there wasn’t much too do.