Seven Days in Solitary [7/6/2014]
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.
• The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) has established a new Administrative Regulation (AR) that eliminates “administrative segregation” in favor of “restrictive housing.” Maximum security housing status will be limited to six to twelve months, and offenders will know their release date. The AR also states, “CDOC will make every attempt to ensure offenders will not release directly to the community from Restrictive Housing Maximum Security Status.”
• The mother of a prisoner killed by his cellmate – an eight-year survivor of solitary confinement who had previously attacked others on the inside – is suing the state of Colorado, claiming that her son’s death should have been foreseen by prison officials. The suit comes as the Colorado legislature and Corrections Department take steps towards reducing the use of solitary confinement across the state.
• A Nebraska judge has ordered the state to release all documents relating to Nikko Jenkins, the man who killed four people just days after being released directly from solitary confinement. Jenkins had spent more than half of his nearly 10 year sentence in isolation.
• The ACLU of NJ has filed a lawsuit against Middlesex County, claiming that it is unconstitutional to subject a pretrial client with mental illness to solitary confinement. Alexander Shalom, ACLU-NJ Senior Staff Attorney said, “Mental health professionals agree that subjecting someone like [our client] to well more than one hundred days in isolation can do serious, long-term damage to his mental health. To do that to anyone is cruel; to do it to a mentally ill and cognitively impaired person who is presumed innocent is inhuman.”
• Folio has published a longform article on Daniel Linsinbinger, a 19-year old with mental illness who died in a restraint chair in a Florida county jail after spending 10 days in solitary confinement.
• Writing for The Atlantic, Laura Dimon explores “How solitary confinement hurts the teenage brain.” “If solitary confinement is enough to fracture a grown man, though,” she pens, “it can shatter a juvenile.”
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Daniel linsinbirger your spirit will soar sweetheart. As usual, we cannot count the people in authority who have blood on their hands. Those who are paid to ‘look after’you teens and instead take pleasure in torture. My (younger) teen compelled me to comment in support of Daniel, other teenagers who are suffering this abhorrent cruelty, and any others who care or have cared for Mr Linsinbirger . With love from us