Seven Days in Solitary [10/13/13]
The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts.
• Following the death of Herman Wallace, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez called on the United States to immediately end the indefinite solitary confinement of Albert Woodfox, who has been held in isolation in Louisiana prisons since 1972. Amnesty International also called on the state of Louisiana to “end its campaign of vengeance against Albert Woodfox.”
• Angola 3 News reported on the New Orleans memorial service for Herman Wallace. U.S. Congressman John Conyers read a tribute to Wallace into the Congressional record.
• Media representatives were given a rare tour of the Security Housing Unit at California’s Corcoran State Prison, yielding reports and photographs from Southern California Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times, among others.
• In a piece titled “How Does Solitary Confinement Alter Prisoners?”, Discovery.com looked at isolation’s “profound effect on the body and mind.”
• “Solitary Confinement Is Horrible and Inhumane. Why Is It Still Legal?” is the title of a new article on Slate’s crime blog.
• PBS’s “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” covered the issue of solitary with a discussion among survivors, prison officials, and a representative of the Justice Fellowship, which “takes the position… that solitary confinement is an un-Christian practice.”
• According to The Guardian, “The US military secretly used a variety of tactics to break the resolve of the Guantánamo Bay hunger strikers, including placing them in solitary confinement if they continued to refuse food, newly declassified interviews with detainees reveal.”
• As promised during this summer’s prison hunger strike, California state legislators this week held a hearing on solitary confinement. California Healthline rounded up highlights from the joint hearing of the Assembly and state Senate public safety committees (which Solitary Watch will be reporting on in depth this coming week).
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