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Proposed Bill Could Reform Solitary Confinement | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA

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  • Proposed Bill Could Reform Solitary Confinement

    Posted May 13th, 2014 By in Prisons With | Comments Off on Proposed Bill Could Reform Solitary Confinement

    Solitary confinement has received much criticism recently. Critics argue that the practice is cruel, misused, and not effective and possibly damaging to those inmates suffering from mental illness. A recently introduced bill hopes to study the current usage of prison confinement and then to use those findings to establish proper guidelines for when and if solitary confinement is necessary.

     

    The Solitary Confinement Study and Reform Act, introduced Thursday and sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), is intended to study and reform the widespread use of solitary. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans are held in isolation, but estimates range from 20,000 to 80,000 — and an untold number of those are juveniles, or suffer from mental illness.

    “Solitary confinement has been abused over the years, if not decades,” Richmond told HuffPost. “Long-term solitary confinement, without review and all of those other things, clearly is equal to cruel and unusual punishment.”

    Over the past few years Richmond has become intimately involved in efforts on behalf of the Angola 3, who were initially convicted in the 1972 killing of a prison guard. Juan Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, condemned their decades-long time in isolation as torture. Now only Woodfox remains: Robert King was released in 2001 after spending 29 years in solitary, and Herman Wallace was released in 2013 after 40 years, just days before his death.

    “At the ages they were, in their late 60s, early 70s, the prison was still using the justification that they posed a risk to all these younger inmates,” Richmond said.

    Richmond’s bill would follow a model created by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003: It would first create a commission to study the use of solitary confinement. Then the attorney general would establish federal guidelines on the conditions under which solitary could be used, and states failing to comply with the guidelines would be penalized by losing 15 percent of their federal prison funding.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703