Seven Days in Solitary [7/16/2017]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | July 16, 2017

• Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham penned a piece about solitary confinement. “We like to think of ourselves as enlightened here in Massachusetts,” she writes. “But when it comes to how we treat inmates in our jails and prisons, a bunch of other states have us beat.”

• Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren introduced The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, which would prohibit prisons from placing pregnant women in solitary confinement, in addition to establishing a range of other protections. The Huffington Post reported, “Men make up the bulk of America’s imprisoned population, but the number of women behind bars has soared over the past few decades to more than 200,000 as of 2014, and women are now the fastest growing segment.”

• According to a study released by the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s Office, existing Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policies do not go far enough to safeguard people with mental illness when it comes to people ending up in the box. “While the BOP has taken a number of steps to address mental health concerns for inmates in restrictive housing, there are still significant issues regarding the adequacy and implementation of BOP policies in this critical area,” said Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

• The Nashville Scene reported on continuing problems at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, which opened in January 2016. The AP had previously reported on the facility in May 2016, after the outlet obtained records demonstrating that guard were “putting inmates in solitary confinement for no documented reason.”

• The Marshall Project published an account from a man locked up at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama, who was on a solitary confinement tier when a friend of his committed suicide. “We are supposed to have some reprieve from being in solitary, at least 45 minutes a day, five days a week. We don’t get that here. We probably go on a walk 10 times a year. Out of 30 days, we are in our cells for 28 days, sometimes consecutively, without even going out to exercise or just to feel the sun on our backs. Some guys have been back here for years. This is what was going on when we had a record number of suicides at this prison.”


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  • Fred

    Don’t commit a crime in the first place. That’s a good way to stay out of prison.

  • Solitary confine is one of the worse form of inhuman treatment. Despite the United Nations prohibition on the use of solitary confinement, thousands of inmates in American prisons suffer in solitary confinement – many, for years. Inmates in American prisons deserve better treatment.

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