Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in SolitaryThe 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.

• Arizona’s Department of Corrections (ADOC) has agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations on behalf of more than 33,000 prisoners. Among other things, the settlement will require the ADOC to put in place new rules for people with mental illness placed in solitary confinement. According to the ACLU, “instead of spending all but six hours a week in their cells, such prisoners will now have a minimum of 19 hours a week outside the cell, and this time must include mental health treatment and other programming.”

• The Washington Post editorial’s team published an Op-ed in response to the Arizona settlement, entitled “Rethinking solitary confinement.”

NPR ran a segment on the conditions experienced by children held on Rikers Island, which includes a brief examination of the recent announcement by jail officials that they would end the use of solitary for young people.

• A special legislative committee in Nebraska is continuing to examine the case of Nikko Jenkins, who killed four people in Omaha last summer after being released directly directly from solitary confinement.

• College campuses around the Northeast participated in 7×9, a performance arts vigil designed to create awareness of and generate opposition to the use of solitary confinement in the United States.

• Tessa Murphy of Amnesty International published A Comment is Free Guardian piece entitled, “Solitary confinement is cruel and all too unusual. Why is it only getting worse?

• Writing for AlterNet, Lynn Stuart Parramore details the story of Michael Anthony Kerr, who died of thirst after spending 35 days in a North Carolina solitary confinement cell.

• A Seattle radio station ran a segment on a special unit in a Washington state prison designed to serve the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities – an alternative to the solitary confinement cells that vulnerable people often face.