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.

The Philadelphia Inquirer profiled the case of Khasiem Carr, “one of more than 1,000 Pennsylvania inmates with mental illness kept in isolation for 90 days or more between May 2012 and May 2013.” The article also examines changes that the state has put in place in recent years to provide higher quality care.

• Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian-American community leader who has been held on immigration fraud charges since November 10, is currently in solitary confinement.

• Solitary Watch’s James Ridgeway and Jean Casella published a commentary piece for The Marshall Project entitled, “What Death Penalty Opponents Don’t Get.” In it they quote from the letters of William Blake, who did not face the death penalty for his crimes but may spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement: “Dying couldn’t take but a short time if you or the State were to kill me; in SHU I have died a thousand internal deaths.”

• According to research presented at the American Public Health Association, juveniles held in North Carolina adult facilities “are more than two times as likely to be placed in solitary confinement.” Other studies have revealed similar patterns in New York City; North Carolina and New York are the only two states where 16 and 17 year olds are automatically tried in the adult criminal justice system.

• The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) released a new report featuring first-hand testimony from those held in Arizona’s maximum-security prisons. The report, entitled “Still Buried Alive,” was published just as the state opened a 500-bed maximum-security facility.

• The editorial board of New Jersey’s Star-Ledger called for substantial reform of the state’s solitary confinement practices, endorsing legislation proposed by State Senator Ray Lesniak earlier in the week.

• A New Mexico man who’s spent the past seven years in “protective custody” isolation is suing the state in federal court, alleging he has suffered severe physical and emotional damage. The Sante Fe New Mexican published an op-ed in relation to the suit, which stated, “New Mexico is the second worst in the nation for the use of solitary confinement.”

  • Karen Serene Carr

    My son, Khasiem Carr spent 4 years in prison (most of the time he was in solitary confinement). He has mental health issues. He was released on September 2, 2015, only to be returned to prison because he violated his probation. The system didn’t place him in the proper facility after he was released, and he was arrested while in a treatment facility. Please go to my Website to read his story: http://www.tlclighthouse.com