Seven Days in Solitary [11/06/2016]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | November 8, 2016

• A 36-year-old man is said to have pleaded for his much needed seizure medication while in solitary confinement on Rikers Island, just shortly before he died, according to a video procured by Eyewitness News. The surviving family of Rolando Perez is now suing Rikers and New York City.

• Akeem Browder was interviewed on Democracy Now about the shortcomings of reforms under the De Blasio administration. His brother, Kalief, spent nearly three years in solitary on Rikers Island and committed suicide in June 2015; his mother passed away 18 months later.

• Nebraska holds an “alarming number” of people in solitary confinement, according to a report recently released by the NYC-based Vera Institute of Justice. The state uses solitary at twice more than the national average, and nearly half of all people locked up in Nebraska spend at least one day in isolation.

• Florida is considering changes to its use of solitary confinement. ABC7 reports that the state’s Department of Corrections may try “to shorten the length of time inmates stay in solitary continuously and find alternatives to Close Management.”

• The Star-Ledger Editorial Board published an editorial calling for the New Jersey Governor to sign a bill that would strictly limit the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons. “If [Chris] Christie is serious about law and order, he’ll sign this bill to put reasonable limits on solitary – in the interest of protecting not only human rights, but public safety.”

• Whistleblower Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide a second time last month, as she was beginning a week long disciplinary sentence in solitary confinement. “I worry about the sustainability of her current conditions and her ability to keep fighting under these relentless abuses,” Manning’s lawyer, Chase Strangio, told the New York Times.


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