I just got done writing this brief update for you and I look up from my laptop to see a beautiful young woman sitting next me in a comfy leather chair, hidden in the corner of this quaint little coffee shop. Her feet are propped up on a chair, crossed in a relaxed sort of way. In one hand she is holding down a page of a book that is nestled in her lap, while her other hand is laying across her growing belly, letting her baby know that no matter what, she is there and she cares deeply.
Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating people in closed cells for 22-24 hours a day, virtually free of human contact, for periods of time ranging from days to decades.
Few prison systems use the term “solitary confinement”, instead referring to prison “segregation” or placement in “restrictive housing”. As this may be done for punitive, disciplinary or purportedly protective reasons, the names vary. Whatever the terminology, the practice entails a deliberate effort to limit social contact for a determinate or indeterminate period of time.
How many people are held in it?
The number of people held in solitary confinement in the US has been notoriously difficult to determine. The lack of reliable information is due to state-by-state variances and shortcomings in data gathering and ideas of what constitutes solitary confinement. That said, currently available estimates suggest 80,000-100,000 incarcerated persons are held in some form of isolated confinement.
In 2015, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale law school and the Association of State Correctional Administrators released a report suggesting 80,000-100,000 people in state prisons were held in restrictive housing in 2014. That estimate is an extrapolation of data obtained from 34 states, housing 73% of all prisoners. It found more than 66,000 people in restrictive housing. This figure does not include local jails, juvenile, military and immigration facilities. Terms in solitary range from days to several decades but precise figures are scarce.
Obama previews new criminal justice reforms on prisoner re-entry
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
To Download the Report click the following link:
More than 5 million U.S. children have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their lives. The incarceration of a parent can have as much impact on a child’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence. But while states spend heavily on corrections, few resources exist to support those left behind. A Shared Sentence offers commonsense proposals to address the increased poverty and stress that children of incarcerated parents experience.