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Seven Days in Solitary [4.4.13]

solitaryThe following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement  from the past week.

•  First Run Features announces the New York premiere of Herman’s House this week. The film, which explores the “injustice of solitary confinement and the transformative power of art,” will be opening April 19,2013, at Cinema Village in New York City.

• WUSA9 reports that Christoper Harper, who suffers from mental illness, is being held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison in Pennsylvania. Harper’s mother says that Harper, 40, has the mental capacity of an 11-year-old.

• Truthout reports on “The US Criminal (In)Justice System” and the mistreatment of incarcerated people, citing the “widespread, abusive and counterproductive” use solitary confinement as a prime example of this.

• Andrew Cohen calls into question the BOP’s policies in dealing with behavior frequently accompanied by mental illness, including suicide attempts and self-mutilation, pointing out that regulatory body’s “inmate policies” actually call for more severe punishment of behaviors typical of people with mental illness.

• Former prisoner Daniel McGowan writes that court documents prove he was put in Communication Management Units (CMU), a form of segregation, for his political speech.

• The New York Times publishes an editorial about the use of arbitrary and abusive solitary confinement on immigrant detainees in the US, emphasizing that the unbridled use of solitary by ICE ”is not a model of humane incarceration.”

• Ian Urbana discusses the excessive use of solitary confinement on immigrant detainees in the US on the Leonard Lopate show. For those who missed the show, listen to the audio at WNYC .

• The New Yorker reports that a shocking proportion of the detainees at Guantanamo are hunger striking, reaching a total 37, or almost one in four of the 166 people imprisoned there. A story in The Atlantic states  that the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay will likely be ineffective since the people doing the striking are a ” group of foreigners whose prison is synonymous with the War on Terror,” as opposed to “sympathetic, politically popular characters.”

Comments

  1. Alan CYA # 65085 says:

    While reading the Daniel McGowan piece I saw this comment:

    1 hour ago ( 1:41 PM)
    This morning Daniel was taken into custody by federal marshals and is now at the federal detention center in Brooklyn getting processed.

    We are still waiting to hear why this has occurred. Considering his exemplary behavior at the halfway house, approved weekend passes and the full-time job he started as soon as he was released back to the city this is all pretty insane.

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