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This Man Spent 22 Years in Solitary Confinement For Stealing a Hat


Anthony Gay, man who was in solitary confinement for 22 years


Meet Anthony Gay, who in 1994 was arrested for stealing a hat and a dollar that was related to a street fight and robbery.

He was released, but after violating probation, Gay was returned to a prison in Illinois, where he was placed in solitary confinement after a fight with another inmate.

Sadly, he remained there for 22 years.

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Gay says that he was held in isolation for close to 24 hours a day in a small cell where he was “tortured for decades”.

In 2018, he was finally relaesed and is now an advocate against solitary confinement because of the mental harm and suicide attempts that it can lead to.

He calls it a "psychologically traumatic practice," and is now campaigning for a bill in his name called the Anthony Gay Isolated Confinement Restriction Act for solitary confinement reform. That bill is currently making its way through the Illinois legislature and may one day prohibit the practice.

He told ABC News, “I know what it’s like to be tortured and I know that many people are still being tortured and I feel guilty because I got out and they didn’t. But if we can inform more people, and more people become aware that strength is in numbers, [we can] compel them to do something about it. It’s wrong...despicable and horrible, and it needs to stop.”

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