Seven Days in Solitary [08/06/2017]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | August 6, 2017

• Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to drop the charges against him on the basis that he is being in held conditions of isolation on the 10 South unit of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center that amount to torture. “The Mexican Government’s Consent did not contemplate that Mr. Guzman would be subject to long-term solitary confinement tantamount to torture,” Guzman’s lawyers said. “Had Mexico been informed of this harsh confinement, it almost certainly would not have agreed to Mr. Guzman’s detention and prosecution on the current charges in this District.”

• The Juvenile Law Center published a new report entitled “Unlocking youth: Legal strategies to end solitary confinement in juvenile facilities. The report highlights the tools, tactics, case law and policy developments that can be used to reduce use youth isolation. The New York Times published an editorial about the report calling for an end to the punitive use of solitary confinement for children.

• The New York Times wrote about two upstate county jails in New York state that are being sued for sending youth to solitary confinement. Amongst the allegations listed in the suits against Onondaga County and Broome County are that children were placed in solitary confinement for long stretches of time, that the cells smelled of feces and urine, and that the youngsters were strip-searched and denied sufficient recreation time.

• A lawsuit was filed on behalf of two teen girls from Iowa, which alleged that the young women were kept in isolation for 22 hours a day and physically abused by staff at Wisconsin’s Copper Lake facility. According to one outlet that reported on the lawsuit, “The isolation rooms, which measure about 7 feet by 10 feet, have concrete floors and often lack toilets, the suits say. Girls allegedly were kept in them for 22 hours a day for weeks at a time. If they threatened to harm themselves, they were punished by having their blankets and regular clothing taken away, and were left ‘in a cold concrete room with no heat and nothing in it.’”


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