The issue of solitary confinement in California prisons came into sharp focus recently during a series of inmate hunger strikes. Just last month Amnesty International called the state's confinement of 3,000 prisoners in isolation units, "cruel, degrading and inhumane"
Shane Bauer agrees with that assessment. He's one of three American hikers imprisoned by Iranian security forces in 2009 after being accused of spying for the United States.
Bauer spent more than two years in prison and was released last fall. He's back in the United States and is working as a freelance journalist. His first piece appears in Mother Jones magazine and it compares the conditions in California's prisons to those in Iran.