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Oregon Prison Tackles Solitary Confinement With Blue Room Experiment
"Oregon's most incorrigible prisoners spend 23 hours, 20 minutes a day alone in cells deep inside a sprawling prison complex near Ontario....

Prison officials across the United States have spent the last few years debating how to help tens of thousands of prisoners cope in solitary confinement, the housing of last resort for violent, combative, or escape-prone inmates. Many human rights groups condemn the highly restrictive cells as an incubator for mental illness.

About 19 months ago, Snake River officials turned for help from an offbeat source, a globetrotting forest ecologist more familiar with the canopies of Costa Rica's rainforests than the internal struggles of prisoners kept month after month in isolated quarters.

What emerged was a one-of-a-kind sanctuary known as the Blue Room."

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