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.
• The Chronicles of Social Change published an article, called Holding on to Humanity, about “a social worker’s visit with youth offenders at Pelican Bay State Prison.”
• Fresno County has settled a lawsuit that alleged mistreatment of those incarcerated at the County Jail. Under the agreement, individuals with chronic illness will have better access to medications, and people with mental illness will be given “breaks from solitary confinement.”
• Florida’s Department of Corrections has reached an agreement with Disability Rights of Florida in a lawsuit that alleged the inhumane treatment of prisoners with mental illness – like the use of scalding showers to punish those placed on the psychiatric ward, many of whom are held in solitary.
• Nebraska passed legislation limiting the use of solitary confinement. The bill, LB598, requires the Department of Correctional Services to “to use the least restrictive manner consistent with maintaining institutional order when separating inmates from the general prison population” and prohibits solitary confinement that “deprives an inmate of all visual and auditory contact with other inmates.”
• The LA Times published an article about the placement of children in solitary confinement prison and jails across the country, including Los Angeles County.
• A lawyer with the Nonhuman Rights Project asked Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe to free two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, who are currently being held for research purposes at Stony Brook University on Long Island. “They’re essentially in solitary confinement,” he said, “this is what we do to the worst human criminal.”