Seven Days in Solitary [7/09/2017]
Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement
• A federal judge has established guidelines for the amount of time that youth locked up at Wisconsin’s Lincoln Hills and Cooper Lake juvenile facilities can be held in solitary confinement. State officials have previously testified that children at the facilities have been held in solitary for more than 50 consecutive days; under the new guidelines children will not be held in the box for more than five to seven days. “Other guidelines call for a reduction in the use of pepper spray, increase in the opportunity for physical exercise and an end to rule that only one book is allowed to inmate in solitary confinement,” according to a local outlet.
• At the same hearings regarding the youth facilities in Wisconsin, videos were shown of two teens being repeatedly pepper sprayed by guards. In one of the videos, a young person being held in solitary confinement is pepper sprayed after refusing to take his hands out of the food slot and put them back into his cell.
• Two men being held in solitary confinement at San Quentin prison have created a podcast called Ear Hustle, in which they talk about their life on the inside and in the box. “The goal of project is to show a more three-dimensional view of prison,” co-creator Nigel Poor told the Columbia Journalism Review. “Life in prison is tough and frightening, but it’s also funny, tender, and amusing. Everything that happens on the outside happens inside prison, too. It just happens inside a deeply cloistered environment.”
• The Washington Post published an article on the journey of Ismail Royer, who spent years in solitary confinement after being convicted on terrorism charges. It was when he was in the box at Florence ADX that Royer began to disavow the religious and political beliefs that had landed him on the inside. “Royer, released in December 2016, felt he had awakened,” noted the reporter.
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The article of the Washington Post on the “awakened” Ismaël Royer is like a blatant publicity for solitary confinement for all those convicted or suspected in terrorism cases… So why not Guantanamo ?