Solitary confinement news roundupThe following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts.

• In early January, a South Carolina judge ruled that the treatment of individuals with mental illness in state prisons was unconstitutional – particularly the disproportionate use of solitary confinement. This week, the Columbia Free Times explored the stories of prisoners involved in the lawsuit.  In The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen critiques the recent decision by the state to challenge the court’s findings.

• Writer, activist, and Solitary Watch contributor Vikki Law is featured on TRGGR radio discussing “the prison crisis, solitary confinement and solidarity.”

• The Juvenile Law Center announced it negotiated a $400,000 settlement with the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, in a civil rights lawsuit that challenged the placement of two teenage boys in solitary confinement.

• Ralph Nader writes about solitary confinement in Counterpunch, calling it “America’s invisible and costly human rights crisis.”

According to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Justice, about 35 percent of incarcerated people who report experiencing inmate-on-inmate sexual violence are subsequently placed in administrative segregation or protective custody (while about 73 percent of perpetrators are placed in segregation as punishment).

• Human Rights Watch released its 2014 World Report. Its chapter on the United States focuses primarily on the criminal justice system, including the use of solitary confinement against individuals in prison, jail, and immigration detention.

• In The Guardian, psychologist Jeffrey Kaye asserts that the U.S. military is still using “techniques that are abusive and can event amount to torture” against War on Terror detainees, including extended solitary confinement. This news comes almost five years to the day that President Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

The Tampa Bay Times profiles “Florida’s longest-serving inmate in solitary,” 33-year-old Ian Manuel; he has spent nearly all his time in isolation since his conviction on robbery charges at age 13.  An upcoming ruling the Supreme Court may result in Manuel’s sentence being thrown out.

• BBC Newshour explores why children in the United States are placed in adult prisons. They interview Alisha Carrington, who spent 2.5 years in solitary confinement as an adolescent “for her own protection.” (Carrington was featured last month in a Solitary Watch article on DC children in solitary in District jails and federal prisons.)

• Youth Advocate Programs Policy & Advocacy Center Advisory Board member Paul DeMuro published a paper offering some “initial ideas for how and why the practice of using isolation as a disciplinary measures for youth in juvenile justice facilities may be abolished.”

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