The 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.
• Federal investigators have concluded that Baltimore City illegally placed teens in solitary confinement. One youth spent 143 days in isolation.
• At a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said that “solitary confinement literally drives men mad.” He and Justice Stephen Breyer called for reforms to the criminal justice system.
• Aakash Dalal, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for three years as he awaits trial for allegedly firebombing four synagogues in New Jersey. The state’s Supreme Court is considering a change of venue in the case.
• NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR stations, published an interview with Scott Frakes, Nebraska’s new director of Department of Correctional Services. “Today, roughly 700 inmates are held in some form of segregation, out of a population of 5300. So that is a pretty significant ratio. I would want to see that number – a couple of years from now – I would hope to see that number at least halved, if not less,” he said.
• The Vera Institute of Justice announced that it will work in collaboration with jails and prisons in five states with the aim of reducing the use of solitary confinement. Nebraska, Oregon, and North Carolina, along with jails in New York City and Middlesex County, New Jersey, will engage in the two-year process.