Key Facts

  • A person is put in solitary confinement every 43 minutes.[1]

  • Corrections puts people in solitary more than 12,000 times per year.[2]

  • There are more than 300 people in solitary right now.[3]

  • The use of solitary confinement is growing faster than the prison population.[4]

  • The number of people in solitary confinement has grown by 95% since 2009.[5]

  • 62% of people in solitary are Māori and Pacific people.[6]

  • Women are 69% more likely to be put in solitary.[7]

  • Solitary is used 4 times more often in New Zealand than in England and Wales.[8]

  • In the last 10 years, at least 6 people have taken their own lives while in solitary.[9]

  • 8% of solitary confinement stays last longer than the internationally agreed maximum length.[10]


[1] Ti Lamusse, "It's time to end solitary confinement," (Speech, End Solitary Confinement Campaign Launch, Ellen Melville Hall, New Zealand, October 14, 2017). For raw data, please contact

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sharon Shalev, "Thinking outside the Box? A review of seclusion and restraint practices in New Zealand" (Wellington: Human Rights Commission, 2017).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ti Lamusse, "Grieving Prison Death" (Master of Arts Thesis, University of Auckland, 2017).

[10] Shalev, "Thinking outside the Box?".