Seven Days in Solitary [3/6/2016]
Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement
• Yes! Magazine published an article about the 24 states that still put children in solitary, and the advocates that are working to change that.
• Legislation to curb the use of solitary moved forward in Rhode Island, where legislators have proposed limiting the use of isolation to 15 days. “It’s used for punishment and it’s used to break you down,” said State Senator Harold Metts.
• In Pacific Standard, Jessica Pishko considers how California will enact the Ashker v. Brown settlement, which effectively ended indefinite solitary confinement in the state. “How will these men adjust to a bustling prison yard when they haven’t even touched another human in decades?”
• Dateline investigated the case of Kalief Browder, who committed suicide after he was released from Rikers, where he spent several years in isolation as a child.
• The White House published a follow up memo to its previous announcement with regards to solitary confinement: “Limiting the Use of Restrictive Housing by the Federal Government.”
• On Pix11, Former NYC Department of Corrections Commissioner Bernie Kerik criticized efforts to reduce the use of isolation on Rikers Island. “There is a purpose for solitary confinement and a need for it. If you are a threat to an institution or an additional security risk, there is a need for solitary.”
• Alaska paid $625,000 to the family of an Anchorage man “whose 2014 videotaped death in solitary confinement has been widely publicized and highlighted the need for reform within Alaska prisons.” Over the past decade, the state has paid nearly $3 million to settle claims of wrongful death, inadequate healthcare or medical negligence.
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