About Sharon Shalev

The author

Dr Sharon Shalev is a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. She founded SolitaryConfinement.org in 2007.

She works as an international independent consultant on human rights and the criminal justice system, and is based in the UK. 

Her particular area of expertise is the use of solitary confinement and other forms of restraint in places where people are deprived of their liberty. Her research and policy work are grounded in a deep understanding of the practical issues of custody, and have influenced the development of international standards in this field.

Her work as an independent researcher and consultant on human rights and prisons includes some of the following areas:​

  • Providing expert opinions on prison conditions, design, regimes, and compatibility with human rights directives;
  • Acting as an independent adviser to government departments, inter-governmental organisations and professional bodies on the regulation, use, and effects of solitary confinement and other restrictive practices
  • Monitoring places of detention.
  • Report writing

X (Twitter): @solitary_org

Interviews, blogs and publications


Guest blog post for the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)
Solitary confinement is even harder for women: should it stop? | Association for the Prevention of Torture (apt.ch). Sharon Shalev

Guest blog post for Penal Reform International (PRI)
Shining a light on the prison’s darkest corner: a human rights-centred approach to monitoring solitary confinement units. Sharon Shalev

Guest blog for Pro Bono Australia
Solitary confinement is no place for children. Sharon Shalev

Article for the New Humanist
Solitary. Sharon Shalev

Academic publications

Dr Sharon Shalev's publications on ResearchGate:

Interviews & Public events

Launch webinar for First, Do No Harm report (4 Nov, 2021)

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Webinar
Solitary confinement: unlocking Victorian Justice 11 August, 2021 (Link to video)

ICPR & Prison Insider 'expert insights' comment pieces The meaning of solitary confinement and its psychological impacts. With Dr Sharon Shalev, a world expert on solitary confinement, and prisons expert and activist Nuno Pontes (European Prison Observatory) 5 Jun 2021 (Video)

Solitary Confinement: How to Preserve Humanity in High Security Settings, ICRC Humanitarium event, 27 June 2016

With Vincent Bernard, Catherine Deman, Terry Waite, Tom Engar and Sharon Shalev (Link to Video)

Interview with Sharon Shalev, LSE Connect
Voices From the Dark: The Growth of Solitary Confinement

Sharon Shalev speaks to Laurie Taylor on BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed'


'Too frequent, too high, too long' TVNZ , 28 April 2017

'Report highlights major concerns about the use of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand' Maori TV, 28 April 2017

'New Zealand Use of Seclusion in Prison Lambasted' Radio NZ, 28 April 2017

'Report scathing over NZ use of solitary confinement on kids' Newstalk ZB, 27 April 2017

'Mentally ill people don't belong in solitary confinement' Newstalk ZB, 27 April 2017

'New Report Slams New Zealand's Degrading Treatment of Prisoners and the Mentally Ill' Vice, 26 April 2017

'United Nations Report Slams New Zealand's Use of Solitary Confinement', New Zealand Herald, 27 April 2017

'Sharon Shalev: degrading restraints and seclusion still used too much in New Zealand', New Zealand Herald Editorial, 27 April 2017

'Ashley Peacock's parents welcome report into 'concerning' levels of seclusion and restraint', Stuff NZ, 27 April 2017

'Editorial: seclusion report shows New Zealand has a long way to go' New Zealand Herald, 28 April 2017

'UN Report Slams NZ's use of Solitary Confinement' Otago Daily Times, 28 April 2017

'Independent report highlights urgent need for action on seclusion and restraint practices', NZ Doctor, 27 April 2017

'Maori mental health patients more often 'secluded' - and what that means', NZ Doctor

'International report slams NZ's 'medieval' approach to seclusion and restraint', Newsroom NZ