HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Amy Goodman: Solitary Con...

Thu May 8, 2014, 06:15 AM

Amy Goodman: Solitary Confinement Is Not the Answer [View all]


from truthdig:


Solitary Confinement Is Not the Answer

Posted on May 7, 2014
By Amy Goodman


There has been much attention, and rightly so, on the CIA’s extensive use of torture, which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is said to have documented in its still-classified 6,000-page report. The use of torture is not limited to the CIA, however. It is all too common across the United States. Solitary confinement is torture, and it is used routinely in jails, prisons and immigration detention facilities here at home. Grass-roots movements that have been pressuring for change are beginning to yield significant results. The coalitions include prisoners, their families, a broad swath of legal and social-justice groups and, increasingly, prison guards and officials themselves.

One official who worked to reduce the use of solitary confinement was Tom Clements. The executive director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections, Clements was at home on March 19, 2013, when his doorbell rang. As he opened the door, he was gunned down, murdered by Evan Ebel, who had been released from solitary confinement directly to the street less than two months earlier. The small, nonprofit Colorado Independent was the only outlet to link the murder to the psychological damage that Ebel suffered in solitary confinement. Another ex-prisoner who corresponded with Ebel disclosed text messages with him, shortly before Ebel killed Clements. One text read, “im just feeling peculiar & the only way i know i know to remedy that is via use of ‘violence.’”

Ironically, Clements was trying, successfully, to reform Colorado’s solitary-confinement policies, referred to there as “administrative segregation.” A year before his murder, Clements told The Colorado Independent’s Susan Greene, “There’s a lot of research around solitary and isolation in recent years, some tied to POWs and some to corrections ... long periods of isolation can be counter-productive to stable behavior and long-term rehabilitation goals.” He was concerned with the direct release of prisoners from solitary back into the community, a practice that likely contributed to his murder. His successor, Rick Raemisch, continues to pursue the reforms started by Tom Clements. Raemisch subjected himself to over 20 hours in solitary, and emerged even more committed to changing the system.

Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, issued a special report on solitary confinement in 2011, concluding “Segregation, isolation, separation, cellular, lockdown, Supermax, the hole, Secure Housing Unit (SHU) ... whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by states as a punishment or extortion technique.” His latest full report on global torture includes several noted alleged excesses by the United States, including abusive solitary confinement practiced from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay to New York state, Louisiana and California. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/solitary_confinement_is_not_the_answer_20140507



9 replies, 2765 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Amy Goodman: Solitary Confinement Is Not the Answer [View all]
marmar May 2014 OP
xchrom May 2014 #1
seveneyes May 2014 #2
morningfog May 2014 #3
seveneyes May 2014 #4
pipoman May 2014 #5
TorchTheWitch May 2014 #7
NobodyHere May 2014 #8
morningfog May 2014 #9
ColesCountyDem May 2014 #6