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Solitary Confinement

Criminal Justice Reform Demands Political Leadership, Not Editorials

David Rothenberg | Posted 05.22.2015 | Crime
David Rothenberg

Across the nation, there has been a recent barrage of media reports, in progressive as well as conservative publications, advocating and applauding reforms in the criminal justice system.

Jason Cherkis

Report Provides Even More Evidence Of The Misuse Of Solitary Confinement

HuffingtonPost.com | Jason Cherkis | Posted 05.14.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A report released this week by the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in New York, provides yet more evidence of t...

Escaping from the Dark

Matthew Cooke | Posted 05.07.2015 | Politics
Matthew Cooke

Technology affords us a new hope. With the advent of the iPhone we're in a national state of shock regarding the incredibly destructive "shoot first" culture of many police departments. This shock could lead to major reform that could uplift and save so many lives.

Justice Kennedy: Solitary Confinement 'Literally Drives Men Mad'

The Huffington Post | Lydia O'Connor | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics

The inmates and prison activists fighting solitary confinement have Supreme Court Justice and key swing vote Anthony Kennedy on their side. While s...

D.C. Church Installs Solitary Confinement Cell Replica For Lenten Reflection

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 03.22.2015 | Religion

The United States keeps thousands of its prisoners in solitary confinement or some other type of segregated housing. A group of religious leaders is t...

People With Mental Illness Should Get What They Deserve

Liza Long | Posted 05.19.2015 | Impact
Liza Long

Like many people who become mental health advocates, I arrived in this role entirely by accident.

Treat, Don't Traumatize

Melody Moezzi | Posted 05.06.2015 | Politics
Melody Moezzi

It's not enough to simply stop unjustly and disproportionately imprisoning the mentally ill. We need better care. Mental health providers must acknowledge and work to reduce the risk of traumatization during the treatment process.

The Great Mujica: Portrait of a Person

Ximena Ortiz | Posted 05.03.2015 | Latino Voices
Ximena Ortiz

Mujica projected, from his presidential perch, the wildly innocent virtue of Uruguay itself -- and magnified it. If Uruguay as a country is part exile, part refuge, Mujica made the country more the latter. One thing is certain, the world will remember Mujica -- the president, the person.

Hitting Bottom: Incarcerated Women in the Prison Hierachy

David Chura | Posted 04.25.2015 | Politics
David Chura

A prison can't function without its pecking order. Call it what you will, chain of command, hierarchy, rank, it all comes down to power.

Racism, Crime, and America's Faith in Punishment and Violence

Derek Flood | Posted 04.09.2015 | Religion
Derek Flood

Rather than approaching crime from the perspective of restorative justice and public health, seeking to help people to reform and re-integrate, our country has instead not only continued in a model of punishment that can only be described as "medieval", but has grown it to a scale unprecedented in world history.

NYC To End Solitary Confinement For Inmates 21 And Under

AP | Posted 01.13.2015 | Crime

The New York City agency that oversees jails outlined on Friday its proposed changes to the rules governing the nation's second-largest jail system, i...

10 Ways Colorado Made History in 2014

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley | Posted 03.02.2015 | Denver
Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

The year was marked by historic changes on issues from marriage equality to solitary confinement reform, and it ended with Colorado students taking to the streets, forcing a dialogue about race and police practices.

Top 10 Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 02.21.2015 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

It's that time of year when people are making lists and checking them twice. Here is my action list about ways to fix the criminal justice system, with suggestions for steps we all can take. The time is ripe for change. Here's to making it happen in 2015.

The Curious Case of Legal Mail

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 02.17.2015 | Politics
Christopher Zoukis

Federally, the law is very clear on legal correspondence. In the Federal Bureau of Prisons, outgoing mail can be sealed and mailed via legal mail call every weekday morning. Correctional staff are not permitted to read these outgoing letters.

A Mouse and a Murderer

James Ridgeway and Jean Casella | Posted 12.08.2014 | Crime
James Ridgeway and Jean Casella

he following story came to us by letter from William Blake, who is now in his 27th year of solitary confinement at Elmira Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

Rikers Island To Stop Putting Teens In Solitary Confinement

AP | JAKE PEARSON | Posted 09.29.2014 | Crime

JAKE PEARSON, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — By the end of the year, city corrections officials will end their longstanding practice of sending...

Mentally Ill And Locked Up Alone For Months

AP | ADAM GELLER | Posted 09.21.2014 | Crime

Day or night, the lights inside cell 135C of central New Mexico's Valencia County Detention Center were always on. Locked inside, alone, for months...

If They Lock Me Up, Call My Attorney: The Culture of Retaliation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 10.20.2014 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a long and colorful history of retaliating against inmates for the exercise of their legal rights. Over the years, I have learned to expect the worst when dealing with these officials. This desensitization occurs, in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Shame of the Nation: The Fight to Keep Children Locked Up for Life

Heather Ann Thompson | Posted 10.06.2014 | Crime
Heather Ann Thompson

Ending up here, with thousands of kids imprisoned for life, was by no means inevitable, or even predictable, when we look back in our nation's history. For much of the last two centuries, very few would have accepted the idea that the legal system should treat children exactly like adults, or that a child who breaks the law, even egregiously so, is unredeemable.

The Case of Jane Doe: How Public Systems Fail Our Most Vulnerable Youth

Shannan Wilber | Posted 09.29.2014 | Gay Voices
Shannan Wilber

Sadly, her story is all too familiar. Too many children "rescued" by the government from families unable to care for them are abandoned to caregivers who subject them to abuses more terrible than those prompting the state's intervention in the first place.

Policymakers Must Include Incarcerated People in Jail Reform Process

Brooklyn Defender Services | Posted 09.29.2014 | New York
Brooklyn Defender Services

More than 75 percent of the people on Rikers Island and in other city jails are not in custody due to a conviction. They are in jail on bail, sometimes as low as $250, because they cannot afford to meet this cash obligation.

Overcoming The Worst Moment With Words

Jackson Taylor | Posted 09.27.2014 | TED Weekends
Jackson Taylor

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgWarehousing and silencing any segment of a population is a fear-based practice, and, in order for democracy to function, we believe it is important to hear from every segment of the population, even those disenfranchised by crime.

The Power Of Second Chances

Timothy P. Silard | Posted 09.24.2014 | TED Weekends
Timothy P. Silard

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgOur "incarceration only" approach to public safety has left us with bloated prisons and jails, wasted tax dollars and sky-high recidivism rates (more than half of those behind bars end up back in prison within three years after they are released).

Redemption And The War On Drugs

Heather Ann Thompson | Posted 09.24.2014 | TED Weekends
Heather Ann Thompson

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgIt seems not to matter that, like so many veterans of other ugly wars, the young people who experienced the brutal Drug War had only become soldiers in the first place because of a "poverty draft." It also seems irrelevant to most that the longer these young conscripts to the Drug War lived with its brutality, the more violent they themselves became.

Not The End Of The Story: Building Empathy In Pursuit Of A Culture Of Health

Tara Oakman | Posted 09.24.2014 | TED Weekends
Tara Oakman

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpg"Doctors pulled the bullets out, patched me up and sent me back to the same neighborhood where I was shot. No one hugged me. No one counseled me. No one told me that I would be okay." If that emergency room treating Senghur had been trauma-informed, could he have been provided with the attention he may have needed and not have perpetuated the cycle of violence by eventually killing another man?