Seven Days in Solitary [3/8/2015]

by | March 8, 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.

• Fusion published a five-minute video by Molly Crabapple entitled, “Why solitary confinement is a form of modern-day torture.”

• The Guardian published an article about Tony Lester, who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and killed himself in an Arizona jail after being placed in solitary confinement and allegedly receiving sub-standard care.  

• Defense attorneys for Albert Woodfox – the Angola 3 member currently awaiting a third trial in the 1972 stabbing death of a prison guard – argued that he should be released on bail. Woodfox has spent several decades in solitary confinement and all his previous convictions in the murder have been overturned.

• A New Mexico bill to limit the use of solitary confinement was tabled by the state’s House Judiciary Committee in a 6-5 vote.

• Solitary Watch co-founder James Ridgeway was interviewed on Ralph Nader’s radio hour.

• Vox’s German Lopez published an investigative feature entitled, “Solitary confinement is terrible for youth – and some places are trying to get rid of it.”

• Nikko Jenkins, who killed four Omaha residents in August 2013 shortly after his release directly from solitary confinement, has been declared competent to stand trial. According to the article, “Jenkins told a judge Monday that he wanted to be declared competent so he could face a death-penalty panel and be transferred from solitary confinement to death row, where he would at least have the company of his fellow killers.”

• Writing for Truth-Out, Hannah Gold examines “A Call for Community Review of Rikers Island Jail,” including community mobilization against the newly established 250-bed Enhanced Segregated Housing (ESH) Unit.

• A group of individuals are on hunger strike at Reeves County Detention Center, according to a local outlet. The individuals allege they stopped eating after they were put in solitary confinement, in retaliation for “seeking legal help in light of a recent lawsuit.”

• Lawmakers in Illinois are pushing for the re-opening of Tamms prison, the notorious Supermax facility shuttered years ago. Representative Teri Bryant filed a resolution for the governor to reopen the facility.


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