Raymond Miles served 16 months in solitary confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Somerset. The time in solitary, which started in 2006, changed his life forever. (Photo by Yeshua David/PublicSource)

Panic, retreat, misery: For Ray, 16 months in solitary confinement has had lasting effects

Editor's note: This story is part of a three-part series about Pennsylvania's use of solitary confinement and the effects it has on inmates who endure it. The focus on this topic is the result of the reporter's participation in the 2018 John Jay/Langeloth Foundation Fellowship on “Reinventing Solitary Confinement.”

Raymond Miles served 16 months in solitary confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Somerset — 16 months of cinder-block walls, constant noise, filth and little contact with other humans. Some days, Ray says he was locked in a full 24 hours. The time in solitary, which started in 2006, changed his life forever. Years later, he says he’s still coping.