• An incarcerated journalist and survivor of solitary, Christopher Zoukis, reflects on his experiences for the Huffington Post.

• According to the New York Daily News, NYC has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the family of a man who died while in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. Jason Echevarria, 25, died in August 2012 after swallowing a toxic soap ball.

• Idaho has become the latest state to move towards solitary reforms. At a recent Board of Corrections hearing, Department of Corrections Director Kevin Kempf said, “We’re behind the times and that’s not a position I want to be in…This is huge.”

• The alleged boss of the Aryan Brotherhood was sentenced to 50 years in solitary after being convicted of continuing his gang activity on the inside. James Byrd, 45, was previously serving his time in a federal prison but was transferred to a Texas facility so that he could be placed in isolation for his gang affiliation.

• A public interest law firm has a filed a class-action lawsuit, in which they allege that the use of solitary confinement at Santa Clara County Jail is inhumane and unconstitutional. Kelly Knapp, a lawyer with the Prison Law Office, said “The county cannot violate their constitutional rights by housing them or locking them in tiny, cramped cells. Or denying them their basic human needs of exercise, sunlight, human interaction.”

• “The cost of solitary confinement doesn’t add up, critics say,” according to an article posted on the Daily Item. “By one calculation, Texans could save an annual $33 million by cutting its solitary confinement rate from 4.4 percent of the prison population to Mississippi’s rate: 1.4 percent.”

• A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting women while they were in solitary confinement has been accepted into pretrial intervention, meaning he will acqurie a criminal record or serve any prison time. John Ledbetter, a former correctional officer at Mercer County jail, had faced charges of rape and multiple counts of second-degree sexual assault.

• Correctional union leaders in Connecticut are calling for changes in policy after a man held in administrative segregation at Cheshire Correctional Institution assaulted four guards. “The department and the Malloy administration have made changes on how Connecticut’s most dangerous and violent inmates are housed and managed,” said union president Rudy Demiraj. “These changes were made to appease outside interest groups and the inmate population, and are undoubtedly leading to more assaults on officers.”

• Brown Political Review published an article entitled “Beyond Solitary Confinement: Lessons from European Prison Reform,” in which they examine European approaches to solitary in the UK and beyond.

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