Seven Days in Solitary [5/22/2016]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | May 22, 2016

• Under a bill just signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will be required to report annually on the number of people placed in solitary confinement.

• A federal judge has finalized the terms of the settlement in Rasho V. Baldwin, which charged that Illinois state prisons mistreated people with mental illness. Changes to the use of solitary confinement are included in the settlement terms.

• A string of suicides has hit North Carolina’s prisons, according to an investigation published by Fusion. “Several of the inmates who committed suicide were kept in solitary confinement and were supposed to be checked on hourly by prison officials.”

• Disability Rights California has released a 25-page report alleging the mistreatment of some people held in the mental health unit of the Sonoma County Jail. “The DRC reported a number of violations among the jail’s inmates with mental illness, ranging from improper medication procedures and providing inadequate mental care to relying on excessive isolation and solitary confinement.”

• ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer visited a solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. She also interviewed Commission of Corrections Joseph Ponte.

• The American Constitution Society published a brief entitled, “How the ADA regulates and restricts solitary confinement for people with mental disabilities.”

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