Seven Days in Solitary [10/26/2014]

by | October 26, 2014

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in SolitaryThe 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.

Dissident Voice published a profile of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Jeremy Hammond, two political prisoners who have faced time in solitary confinement.

•  Undocumented immigrants currently and formerly held at a detention center in Colorado have filed a class-action lawsuit against the private company that runs the facility. The individuals allege that they were threatened with solitary confinement if they refused to assist in cleaning or operating the facility, work for which they were paid less than $1 a day.

• The widow of Colorado’s former prison chief, Tom Clements, urged a candidate in the state’s gubernatorial race to stop using her “family’s loss for [his] personal and political gain.” Her husband was murdered by Evan Ebel in 2013, after he was released directly from solitary confinement.

• Gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have filed a class-action lawsuit against San Bernardino County and its sheriff, claiming that they are kept in isolation on an LGBT-specific unit and denied access to programming that would enable them to secure earlier release dates. One plaintiff said, “I shouldn’t have to choose between my safety and my sexual orientation. That’s pretty much the choice you have to make.”

• Colorado’s Department of Corrections may be considering giving those on death row additional about four hours out of their cells daily, according to one source. In Colorado – and across the country – people on death are held in solitary confinement regardless of their behavior on the inside.

• As part of a settlement agreement reached with Prisoners’ Legal Services, New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will provide much greater protections to children facing solitary confinement following a disciplinary hearing. The settlement also restricts the amount of hours young people can spend in isolation to 18 hours a day during the week and 22 hours a day over the weekend.



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