In Australia the early prison authorities knew this
To control and break the really bad prisoners
They developed a solitary confinement gaol at Port Arthur,
Where prisoners could have no contact with anyone else
they were kept in a dark cell
and even the prison guards wore cloth on their feet when they were on duty so they could not be heard
Even in chapel, they were lead into chapel with bags over their heads and led into their cubical where they could see no one else but the pastor/priest.
This lack of interaction with other people, broke most people and even sent a few people crazy