Sep 14, 2015
After years of hunger strikes and lawsuits, prisoners and prisoners’ rights advocates won an agreement from the State of California to reduce the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons. The state has kept nearly 3,000 inmates in “isolation units,” where they are often kept alone for 22 hours, often for years, sometimes for decades. Some cells have no windows.
Even under the agreement, however, the state will continue to keep more than 1,000 prisoners in solitary confinement, and can do so for up to 10 years! And this agreement is only for California. Across the country there are around 80,000 prisoners in solitary.
Humans, like many animals, are social beings. To deprive them of human contact is torture of the worst kind. While giving some comfort and a feeling of victory for some of the prisoners who have employed their last resort in carrying out hunger strikes this agreement is an admission that California intends to continue this type of torture.
Stop this torture! End the use of solitary confinement altogether.