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.
• Syracuse.com reports that a New York judge has ordered that the state pay former prisoner Andre Melette $1,170 for the 39 days he spent in solitary confinement in the special housing unit at Marcy Correctional Facility in 2012.
• A blogger for The Guardian reports on the solitary confinement of Carol Lester, who was refused needed cancer medication while held in isolation at a prison in New Mexico for 34 days. Noting that “[w]hat was once supposed to be a last resort punishment for violent and dangerous prisoners now seems to be dished out indiscriminately,” the piece calls for the U.S to review the abuse of solitary as a punishment.
• The Pueblo Chieftain reports that the Colorado Department of Human Services’ has announced it will allow the reopening of two “therapeutic intervention cottages” at El Pueblo, a youth treatment center shut down the last April following a complaint filed by the ACLU of Colorado against the facility for placing kids in solitary confinement.
• The National Radio Project reports on reforms to the prison industrial complex in a show entitled “2013: The Year the Prison System Changed?” The piece features “voices of prisoners, activists, and officials speaking about solitary confinement, prisoner hunger strikes against torturous conditions, and campaign victories to help families stay in touch without phone companies’ price gouging.”