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.

16 and Solitary: Texas Jails Isolate Children

16 and Solitary: Texas Jails Isolate Children

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project & Matt Simpson, ACLU of Texas at 3:06pm
Imagine locking a teenager in a bathroom for an entire day, a week, a month, six months, a year, or longer. What would happen to that child? She would miss school. She wouldn't be able to exercise or burn off energy in a healthy way. She wouldn't be able to interact with other kids or adults. She would probably have a mental breakdown. She might even hurt herself. If a parent treated a child this way, most of us would agree that such actions would constitute child abuse. In Texas county jails — and the majority of jails across the country — such treatment is simply a matter of routine.
Too young to shave, but old enough for solitary

Too young to shave, but old enough for solitary

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 5:24pm

As any parent knows, teenagers are different than adults. This common-sense observation is backed by hard scientific evidence; we know that an adolescent’s brain continues to grow and develop well into his or her twenties. The fact…

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:38pm

For the past two years, the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center have been investigating and exposing a horrifying pattern of abuse against juveniles and the mentally ill in two Mississippi prisons operated by the GEO Group, one of the biggest…

CT Ends Death Penalty! One Big Step for a Small State; One Giant Step for our Society

CT Ends Death Penalty! One Big Step for a Small State; One Giant Step for our Society

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 2:36pm

Connecticut has finally wiped its hands of that messy and sorrowful task of killing its own citizens. Today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation to repeal the death penalty that was passed by the state legislature earlier this month.

After…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 9:52am

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it's ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard

Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard

By Rev. Richard Killmer

Seeing and hearing prisoners who have experienced prolonged solitary confinement is not easy. The emotional and physical damage done to prisoners held in solitary does not present a pretty picture.

It is not…

ACLU Calls for Tamms Closure

ACLU Calls for Tamms Closure

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:29pm

In a new podcast, former Tamms prisoner Brian Nelson talks about the 23 years he spent in solitary confinement.

This Week in Civil Liberties (3/30/2012)

This Week in Civil Liberties (3/30/2012)

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 7:01pm

In which state did doctors try to force a pregnant woman to have a c-section against her wishes?

What group can no longer be held in solitary confinement in Mississippi?

How many cells compose a person according to Personhood USA's…

"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…

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