Seven Days in Solitary [08/13/2017]
Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement
• Six people locked up at a maximum-security prison in Arkansas stole keys from guards and took control of an area of the facility. The incident was eventually resolved without “major injuries.”
• “Federal appeals judges unanimously reinstated a $2.3 million award to a Baltimore man mistaken for the ‘Charles Village Rapist’ and held in solitary confinement for more than a year beginning in 2008,” reported the Baltimore Sun. Marlow Humbert spent 14 months in jail beginning in 2008 for the alleged assaults, even though the Baltimore Police had DNA results exonerating him within about a month of his arrest.
• The father of a woman who killed herself in a Hawaiian prison is raising questions about why she was in solitary confinement when she had a history of attemting suicide in the past. “I said, ‘Why was she in a single cell by herself?'” Richard Fortson told US News. “What is the policy? If she tried this before, you’d think there’s a suicide policy… Something doesn’t sound right to me.”
• A new law to reform the use of solitary confinement in the state doesn’t go far enough to protect vulnerable prisoners, according to a Connecticut civil rights panel. As the Connecticut Mirror reports, “the Connecticut Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is preparing a final report on its recommendations to the state’s criminal justice system because the 16-member bipartisan panel is concerned blacks and Latinos are overrepresented in solitary confinement in Connecticut.”
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