Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Solitary confinement

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Sunday night’s new episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver delivered a surprise — a segment about solitary confinement.

Or, to be specific here, the biggest surprise is what the show did not cover all that much: The recent Trump indictment that has generated so much attention in the press. What’s the biggest reason for that? We tend to think that this is, per Oliver’s own comments, rather simple — a lack of actual knowledge. This is a show that likes to dissect facts and other than the sheer number of alleged charges, there isn’t that much out there just yet.

If you are waiting for a long segment about this very subject, you’re going to be waiting for at least a little while longer.

The decision to do a main segment on solitary confinement is surprising from a topical perspective, but let’s face it — this is the sort of thing that the show is known for. Also, remember for a moment here that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has done a number of segments related to various aspects of prison reform in the past. This is just the HBO show continuing long a trajectory that they have followed for many years, and we’re not altogether sure when or even if it will deviate from it.

There was a lot of important information within this piece, whether it be the varying definitions of what solitary is to also some of the long-term effects it can produce — especially for younger people. It was about as thorough and nuanced a look at it as you’re going to see, especially since so many tend to paint with such a broad brush when you are talking about prisons.

Is this going to be enough to satisfy people who wanted more attention on a certain other prison-related topic tonight? Probably not, but this was still a useful segment nonetheless from a comedy and informational standpoint.

What did you think about the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver segment on prisons, and the lack of indictment talk?

Be sure to share in the comments! Once you do just that, come back for some other updates down the road. (Photo: HBO.)

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