Solitary Confinement

Long-term solitary confinement is cruel, expensive and ineffective. Isolation creates and exacerbates symptoms of mental illness in prisoners, undermining successful re-entry into society and jeopardizing public safety. Meanwhile, states that have reduced their solitary populations have saved millions and seen violence plummet.

"A Picture of Such Horror as Should Be Unrealized Anywhere in the Civilized World"

"A Picture of Such Horror as Should Be Unrealized Anywhere in the Civilized World"

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 1:27pm

A federal court judge has put a stop to the state of Mississippi's practice of putting kids convicted as adults in solitary confinement.

Victory in Colorado: Closing Solitary Confinement Unit Good for Budget and Public Safety

Victory in Colorado: Closing Solitary Confinement Unit Good for Budget and Public Safety

By Denise Maes, ACLU of Colorado

The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) has announced that effective February 2013 it will close a wing of its Centennial Correctional Facility (known as "CSP II") that currently houses 316…

New Briefing Paper: Obama's Unfinished Business on Human Rights

New Briefing Paper: Obama's Unfinished Business on Human Rights

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:46pm

Today, the ACLU laid out concrete steps the Obama administration should take to live up to the human rights promises it made to the U.N. just over one year ago. The release of our new briefing paper coincides with the administration's announcement…

Rethinking Solitary Confinement in Mississippi and Beyond

Rethinking Solitary Confinement in Mississippi and Beyond

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 11:12am

A Sunday New York Times article gives a critical and searching look at solitary confinement and a new model for prison reform in Mississippi.

Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:09pm

A class action lawsuit filed today by the ACLU, along with the Prison Law Office, the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and the law firms Jones Day and Perkins Coie, alleges that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) houses thousands of…

ACLU to United Nations: Solitary Confinement Violates Human Rights

ACLU to United Nations: Solitary Confinement Violates Human Rights

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 2:31pm

The ACLU's Amy Fettig appeared before the U.N. Human Rights Council today to condemn the use of solitary confinement in the United States, following a written statement we submitted last month urging the Council to address this widespread violation…

Groundbreaking Decree in Mississippi Bans Solitary Confinement of Kids Convicted as Adults

Groundbreaking Decree in Mississippi Bans Solitary Confinement of Kids Convicted as Adults

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 12:23pm

The decree will also require the state to move such kids out of a brutally violent private prison and into a facility operated in accordance with juvenile justice standards.

Tightening Belts Means Loosening Restraints:  Illinois to Close Supermax Prison

Tightening Belts Means Loosening Restraints: Illinois to Close Supermax Prison

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 11:00am

One of the more positive things to result from deteriorating state budgets across the nation is that some state lawmakers are looking to smart criminal justice reform as a way to trim budgets. Whether motivated by cost savings or human rights, these…

Overincarceration in America

Overincarceration in America

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:35am

We believe that America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit…

Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 9:51am

Many of singer / songwriter Billy McCarthy's songs were inspired by his brother James, who suffered from mental illness and took his own life after spending five years in solitary confinement in a California prison.

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