This generally involves solitary confinement of the most rigorous nature, and, as little is done to occupy the mind, the criminal not infrequently becomes insane.
Notwithstanding the construction of new prisons and the transformation of old ones, the number of cells for solitary confinement is still insufficient for a complete application of the penal system established by the code of 1890, and the moral effect of the association of the prisoners is not good, though the system of solitary confinement as practised in Italy is little better.
By this time, twenty years of solitary confinement had disturbed Ivan's mental equilibrium, though he does not seem to have been actually insane.
Capital punishment is retained on the statute, but is never enforced, the prisoner on whom sentence of death is passed in due form in open court being relegated to imprisonment for life in solitary confinement and perpetual silence.
In Belgium, where penal administration has received the closest attention for a number of years, the regime of cellular imprisonment has been long carried to its farthest limits, and solitary confinement ranging over ten years and in some cases much more has been strictly enforced.