NLG Submits Testimony to Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement will be an obsolete and wholly unnecessary practice when our government dedicates itself to eliminating racism from the criminal justice system and places more emphasis on rehabilitation, treatment for addiction, safe and effective reentry, and helping with housing and employment.
Excerpt from NLG testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Yesterday the NLG submitted testimony for the record of the second Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. It will take place today at 2:30pm ET.
Our testimony outlines the psychiatric, social and economic damage wrought by the use of solitary confinement framed within the larger issue of mass incarceration. In addition to demanding an end to solitary confinement, which we state is a violation of domestic and international law, our testimony calls for a reevaluation of the discriminatory U.S. criminal justice system as a whole, offering suggested alternatives and reforms.
For more, here’s a press release from the offices of Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin, who will chair the hearing:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Max Gleischman
February 11, 2014
Hearing to Examine Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences of Prison Segregation
Washington, D.C. – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will chair a second hearing on the use of solitary confinement in American prisons, jails and detention centers on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. The hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will begin at 2:30pm ET in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
The hearing, entitled “Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences,” will examine the widespread use of solitaryconfinement – also known as segregation or isolation – for federal, state, and local prisoners and detainees.. The United States now holds far more prisoners in solitary than any other democratic nation.
In June 2012, Senator Durbin chaired the first-ever Congressional hearing on solitary confinement. The hearing featured expert testimony on promising reform efforts that have reduced the use of solitary confinement, while also lowering prison violence and recidivism rates, and saving millions of dollars.
This follow-up hearing will explore developments since the 2012 hearing, and what more should be done to curb the overuse of solitary confinement while controlling costs, protecting human rights, and improving public safety.
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