top of page


Spirituality in Dark Places explores the spiritual consequences and ethics of modern solitary confinement. Jeffreys emphasizes how solitary confinement damages our spiritual lives, focusing particularly on how it destroys our relationship to time and undermines our creativity. Solitary inmates experience profound temporal dislocation that erodes their personal identities. They are often isolated from music, art, and books, or find their creativity tightly controlled. Informed by experiences with inmates, chaplains, and employees in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Jeffreys also evaluates the ethics of solitary confinement, considering but ultimately rejecting the argument that punitive isolation justifiably expresses moral outrage at heinous crimes. Finally, Jeffreys proposes changes in solitary confinement in order to mitigate its profound damage to both prisoners and human dignity at large.

A powerful and thought-provoking meditation on the crushing effect of solitary confinement on human spirituality and creativity.

Sharon Shalev, Research Fellow, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, UK, and

Author of Supermax: Controlling Risk Through Solitary Confinemen



bottom of page