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September 1, 2014, 6:27 pm
970 WMAY News

Durbin Hearing Targets Solitary Confinement


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says it’s time to rethink prison policies on solitary confinement. 

 

Locking inmates up alone in cells for most of the day is a practice often used on the most violent offenders… but in what is described as the first-ever congressional hearing on the subject, Durbin says it is being increasingly used on immigrants, children, and gay, bisexual and transgendered inmates.  Durbin says prison officials justify solitary confinement in those cases by saying it’s for the inmate’s own protection… but he says it often leads to mental illness and even suicide for those inmates. 

 

Durbin says testimony at the hearing shows the need to reform the practice and revise policies that don’t actually make prisons safer.

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