Solitary confinement: abolition needed, not regulation
The federal government has been embarrassed into action by scandalous cases of inmates left in solitary for months or even years. It began reducing its use of solitary in 2014, to find, in a review in 2016, that there was no increase in danger to staff. Yet it continues to believe that solitary is needed. It's not.
The Mandela Rules, which limit solitary to 15 days, are named after Nelson Mandela, who endured 27 years of prison before his release. He called solitary 'the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one’s mind, which can begin to play tricks.' Photograph courtesy of Flickr