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Solitary Confinement

Top 10 Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 12.22.2014 | 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 12.18.2014 | 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 | Home
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 | Home
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 | Home
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 | Home
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?

WATCH: He Was Shot 3 Times And He Killed Someone At 19. Who He Is Today Will Amaze You

TEDTalks | Posted 09.24.2014 | Home
TEDTalks

Is it possible to forgive a murderer? What if that murderer is you? This former drug dealer and convicted murderer was in solitary confinement when he had the awakening that would change his life forever.

I Was Confined To Solitary At Age 16 And It Still Haunts Me

Dwayne Betts | Posted 09.15.2014 | Politics
Dwayne Betts

Seventeen years later, I find that I'm again constantly thinking about solitary confinement. The horror stories that drive the public conversation about solitary are not stories to me, but memories.

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike One Year Later: The Movement Against Solitary Confinement Grows

The Center for Constitutional Rights | Posted 09.10.2014 | Politics
The Center for Constitutional Rights

The problem of long-term solitary confinement is far from fixed -- the cells that have been emptied as men are returned to general population have been filled by others newly transferred into the SHU. The prisoners need our support to finish the job.

Torture in US Prisons: What 'OITNB' Hasn't Told You

Rev. Ron Stief | Posted 08.26.2014 | Impact
Rev. Ron Stief

We Americans like to think of our nation as the "shining city on a hill," as a protector of human rights, a beacon for the rest of the world. The reality, however, is that widespread torture is happening today in our own country, especially in state and federal prisons and detention facilities.

OITNB Season 2: Those Days Piper Spent in Solitary? For Some Prisoners in the U.S., It's Decades on End

Jessica Lee | Posted 08.23.2014 | Crime
Jessica Lee

Right now, there are at least 80,000 people in the United States facing that horrifying existence, including people with mental and physical disabilities, pregnant women, the elderly, and children as young as 13.

Top Prison Official Secretly Spent 48 Hours In Solitary Confinement

ABC News | Posted 06.20.2014 | Politics

When Prisoner 106 arrived at the maximum security facility of Level Six in the New Mexico State Penitentiary in Santa Fe, he was on the books as a dan...

David Lohr

Lawsuit Alleges County Jail Inmates Were Stripped, Tortured, Humiliated

HuffingtonPost.com | David Lohr | Posted 06.13.2014 | Crime

Inmates at Floyd County Jail in Indiana were stripped, tortured, humiliated and abused, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Thursday by a local ...

David Lohr

Indiana Woman Allegedly Pepper-Sprayed, Stripped, Left Naked By Jailers

HuffingtonPost.com | David Lohr | Posted 06.12.2014 | Crime

A misdemeanor arrest resulted in an Indiana woman being stripped naked, pepper-sprayed and left for hours on the floor of an unsanitary holding cell, ...

Colorado Places Limits On Solitary Confinement For People With Mental Illness

AP | Posted 08.06.2014 | Politics

DENVER (AP) — Inmates with serious mental illnesses won't be placed in solitary confinement in Colorado under a new law. The bill Gov...

New Court Case Could Shape The Future Of Solitary

The New York Times | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics

More than 200 inmates at Pelican Bay, California’s toughest prison, have spent over a decade locked in windowless 8-foot-by-12-foot cells for 22 hou...

CeCe McDonald Shares The Struggles Of Being A Trans Woman In A Male Prison Facility

HuffPost Live | Kira Brekke | Posted 05.21.2014 | Gay Voices

Transgender activist CeCe McDonald was sentenced to 41 months in prison for manslaughter after a racist and transphobic attack against her turned dead...

Ryan J. Reilly

Holder Calls For Rollback Of 'Excessive' Use Of Juvenile Solitary Confinement

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 05.14.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder called for an end to "excessive" use of solitary confinement in juvenile facilities on Wednesday, saying th...