Seven Days in Solitary [4/19/2015]
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 California judge ordered a remediation plan in a lawsuit over conditions at Monterey County jail that included the placement of people with serious mental illness in solitary confinement.
• An editorial in the Toronto Globe and Mail faulted the government for Canada moving in the wrong direction with increasing use of solitary confinement. Also, data submitted to the Canadian parliament an article showed that the number of people placed in solitary confinement in Canada climbed over the past five years and this increase was especially steep for aboriginal Canadians who are in prison.
• An op-ed in the New York Post contrasts the NYC corrections officers’ union stubborn embrace of solitary with the condemnations of myriad others, including NYPD’s former commissioner Bernard Kerik.
• Media interest in ADX supermax prison was high amid speculation that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would likely end up there if given a life sentence. A description of life at ADX was provided a man who was once held there in a 12 foot by 7 foot cell.
• April 17 marked 43 years since Albert Woodfox was placed in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s Angola prison. Prosecutors continue to seek a third trial after his conviction was overturned for the second time.
• Calls to end solitary confinement in North Carolina accompany county jail officials’ acknowledgement that people in jail are only allowed out of their cells for a total of 6 hours a week. But officials claim this is not solitary confinement.
• An op-ed in the New York Times discusses the problem of prison rape and the writer’s own sexual assault by a guard while she was in a solitary confinement unit.
• Religious leaders in Texas denounce the use of solitary confinement and urge passage of legislation that would limit its use.
• A replica of a solitary confinement cell, as well as the dream home of Herman Wallace, a man who lived in solitary confinement for more than 40 years, were placed on display at the Brooklyn Public Library.
• A public health radio series explores solitary confinement in New Mexico
• An article in the Johns Hopkins magazine discusses the health consequences of solitary confinement and the role of health professionals in reform.
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