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At least in the USA, prison rape statistics were not pleasant last time I checked. Nor is the rate of encountering or being around violence and/or intimidation. Not all prisons are as bad as others but non-violent offenders do always get options on where to go.

Most individuals put around constant violence or threat of such are permanently changed, an unpleasant/undesired change. So for may non-violent crimes many would consider prison a cruel punishment. At least with how US prisons are set up.

My understanding is that historically the "unusual" in "cruel and unusual" indicates unusual from everyday reasonable life. Constantly being around violence to an extent it changes the average individual permanently is unusual for every day reasonable life in the USA at least.

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