Seven Days in Solitary [11/29/2015]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | November 29, 2015

• A San Francisco federal jury awarded $25,000 to a Pelican Bay prisoner, Jesse Perez, whose cell was trashed in retaliation for his activism against solitary confinement. Before his cell was searched in October 2012 Perez had filed a lawsuit and published articles criticizing California’s use of isolation; jurors determined that guards had violated his free-speech rights and awarded compensation him for intimidation, emotional distress and punitive damages.

• The Daily News covered a Brooklyn rally to protest the use of solitary confinement. It was the fifth such event organized by the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), which is mobilizing for the passage of legislation that would restrict the of isolation in the state.

• The Dallas Morning News investigated a rise in suicide and attempts in Texas ativan and generic prisons, what amounts to a 40% increase from 2008 to 2014. “Nearly one-third of the 134 suicides from January 2011 to September 2015 happened in administrative segregation…Yet solitary confinement accounts for less than 4 percent of the total prison population.”

• A man who was awarded a $450,000 payout after being brutally beaten while in solitary confinement at Rikers Island has died, just weeks before receiving the money. Robert Hinton, 28, was fatally shot in Brooklyn.

• City Limits published an article entitled, “Can NYC reform Rikers Island Without Replacing it?” The article cites proposed changes to solitary at Rikers as well concerns shared by advocates that the recently created enhancement supervision housing (ESHU) units are actually “a repackaging of solitary confinement, constituting a rollback of that reform goal.”


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