The Human Rights of the Inhumane

Almost as soon as the handcuffs came off, Anders Behring Breivik delivered a Nazi salute to the courtroom gathered for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state. He is about as loathsome as it gets—a white supremacist mass murderer, taking every opportunity to spread a message of hate. In 2011, Breivik massacred a summer camp of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/24/2016]

• A coalition working to end solitary for children held a series of kick-off events in Washington DC. Supporters include Venida Brower, whose son Kalief committed suicide after spending time in isolation on Rikers Island as a teenager. • New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the number of people held in solitary has […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/17/2016]

• The US Field Army Manual on interrogation lists a technique called “separation,” or solitary confinement. In recently released talking points obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the Office of the Secretary of Defense noted that solitary does not fit the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, “as it is a technique used extensively […]

14 Days in Solitary [4/10/2016]

• The Portland Press Herald reports that a former Rhode Island prison warden is speaking out against the use of solitary confinement. Roberta Richman, who worked for the state Department of Corrections for 33 years, supports a bill that would prohibit isolation longer than 15 days. “Too many inmates come out of isolation angrier and […]

Pressure Grows in Canada for Strict Limits on the Use of Solitary Confinement in Federal and Provincial Prisons

The use of solitary confinement in Canada could soon undergo major changes as prominent figures and organizations issue ever louder calls to reform the practice – or even abolish it entirely. “Ending segregation is not a revolutionary, unrealistic, or aspirational idea,” says Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. “It is primarily […]

How the New Settlement Will—and Will Not—Change Solitary Confinement in New York’s Prisons (Redux)

Last Thursday, a federal judge gave formal approval to the settlement in a class-action suit brought by thousands of people held in solitary confinement in New York’s prisons, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union. The ruling codifies an agreement reached in December, after extended negotiations, between the plaintiffs and the New York State […]