Seven Days in Solitary [10/4/2015]
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.
• The Advocate published an interview with Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman recently released from Augusta State Medical Prison in Georgia. “It was torture. I might be free now, but I am still struggling…Straight out of solitary confinement, but into another confinement here on parole.”
• A federal judge has granted prisoners’ requests to certify a class-action lawsuit against East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Mississippi. One expert witness who visited the segregation unit, former Washington State Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail, called the conditions there “barbaric” and “the worst I have ever seen in 35 years as a corrections professional.”
• The Senate reached a bipartisan compromise on criminal justice reform legislation, which would establish new federal limitations on placing children in solitary confinement. A number of outlets covered the development, including Fusion, the Huffington Post, and Mother Jones.
• The Colorado Gazette published an in-depth investigation into the use of isolation in juvenile detention facilities in the state, which the outlet termed a “secretive program that violated state law.” Fabian Quintana, then 14, who spent 22 days in isolation said of the experience, “I was kind of losing my mind.”
• As part of its ongoing series on ‘America Incarcerated,” VICE published an article outlining “Why Solitary Confinement in America Needs to Stop.”
• The Atlantic published an article entitled “Prison: America’s Most Vile Export?”, which explores on how the US’s supermax has spread across the globe, including to Brazil, Rwanda, Jamaica and elsewhere.
• Fusion unveiled a one-hour documentary named “Prison Kids,” which looks at juvenile justice in America. The site also urged its readers to sign a petition, addressed to Obama, which calls for an end of the placement of kids in solitary.
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