Seven Days in Solitary [1/4/2015]

by | January 4, 2015

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.

• A Massachusetts judge has tentatively approved a settlement for a class-action lawsuit that alleged abuses at Bridgewater State Hospital, including the excessive use of solitary confinement. A lead attorney for the patients said, “Today’s agreement will prevent the confinement of severely mentally ill patients to months of solitary confinement for trivial and illegal reasons.”

• HuffPostLive held a discussion entitled, “It’s Time To End Solitary Confinement For Minors.”

• Lawyers for a man with severe disabilities argued in front of a New York court that he should not be sent to the federal supermax, ADX Florence, to serve his sentence. Abu Hamza, 56, was extradited to the US from the UK in 2012 and convicted on terrorism charges last spring.

• The Week posted a Pacific Standard article about Raphael Sperry, the president of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility, which is pressing the American Institute of Architects to “prohibit architects from designing spaces designed for solitary confinement as well as execution chambers.”

• Massachusetts is set to institute strict regulations on how long prisoners with mental illness can spend in isolation. Under the recently passed legislation, H4545, individuals with mental health diagnoses would not be placed in segregated units for longer than 30 days.


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