Seven Days in Solitary [1/18/2015]

by | January 18, 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.

• New York City’s Board of Corrections voted to implement strict restrictions on the placement of young people in solitary confinement at Rikers Island – but they also moved to create a new isolation unit, called Enhanced Supervision Housing unit (ESHU).  Victoria Law provided detailed coverage of the vote on Waging Nonviolence (also covered by Slate, NPR and other outlets).

• Vanity Fair published an article entitled, “From Gitmo to an American Supermax, the Horrors of Solitary Confinement.”

• The Children’s Defense Fund-California published a report calling for significant changes to Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system, including the use of solitary confinement.  One of the young people who contributed to the report said, “Solitary confinement has long been one of our society’s more primitive methods of addressing misbehavior.”

• California State Senator Mark Leno introduced a bill that “would establish specific, limited circumstances in which state and county juvenile correctional facilities would be permitted to place someone in solitary confinement.” SB 124 will be read in the state’s policy committees this spring.

• Mother Jones published a longform investigation into the experiences of children held in solitary confinement.  The article opens with the story of 17-year-old boy, Kenny, who spent 82 days in the hole over a period of six months.

• Solitary Watch’s Victoria Law published an in-depth article on Truth-Out about women’s experiences in isolation.” She writes, “…despite the increasing attention being paid to solitary in men’s prisons… far less attention has been paid to the practice in women’s prisons.”


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