Seven Days in Solitary [7/23/2017]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | July 23, 2017

• “North Carolina inmates who break prison rules will spend significantly less time in solitary confinement under a new policy that state leaders hope will help make prisons safer,” reported the Charlotte Observer. “Under the state’s new disciplinary policy, which took effect Monday, inmates who commit offenses generally can’t be sent to solitary for longer than 30 days. The old policy allowed prison officials to hold rule-breakers in solitary for twice that long.”

• The BBC published a piece on Angola 3 member Albert Woodfox, who spent 43 years in solitary confinement. “I have been learning how to live as a citizen and a free individual, because of the length of time [in solitary confinement], everything is pretty much a first time experience,” he said.

• As the Marshall Project reports, “Arizona is set to become the latest state to move away from automatic isolation for death row inmates. Meanwhile, in Florida, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine people held on death row, who have been in solitary for between four and thirty years. The lawsuit “asks a judge to prohibit the department from keeping death row inmates in solitary except for limited periods and for justified reasons,” reported US News.

• A transgender woman locked up in New York state has been released from solitary confinement after a letter she wrote went viral, in which she described the abuse she experience within Franklin Correctional Facility. Eyricka King’s lawyers have demanded that she be transferred to a safer facility and be given a time cut.

• The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is alleging that that the state’s Youth Center [IYC] in Harrisburg is pushing criminal prosecution for “trivial charges” like spitting on, shoving or pouring water on staff. According to one local outlet, “ACLU lawyers believe IYC staff keep pushing the charges because they disagree with state policy to limit kids’ time in solitary confinement.”

• Christopher Zoukis, who reports from the inside as a federal prisoner, has again ended up in solitary confinement for allegedly “running a business” by publishing articles and books with the assistance of people on the inside. According to an article published on the Huffington Post, “this is the third time Zoukis has received sanctions for his writing actions, with five months in the hole being the most severe punishment to date.”


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