More than 130 judicial bodies call on Biden to fulfill its campaign commitment to end solitary confinement

Solitary confinement

A protective detention center in a county prison in Clearwater, Florida. AP Photo / Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

  • During the campaign, Mr Biden vowed to review “inhumane” prison practices such as solitary confinement.

  • Currently, more than 130 social justice groups are calling on the president to fulfill his promises.

  • In a letter sent to the administration this month, activists urged the president to “end the pain.”

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With the Biden administration serving more than four and a half months, a group of social justice and civil rights groups is calling on President Joe Biden to fulfill one of his criminal justice campaign commitments.

A few months before Mr. Biden was elected president Said If he wins at the White House, he will seek a “thorough review of inhumane prison practices”. His first step is “with very limited exceptions” in cell captivity. He said it was to end the practice.

now, letter More than 130 organizations and signatories, sent earlier this month and announced Monday, are calling on the president to keep his promise.

In the letter, the American Civil Liberties Union, Innocence Project, Bail Project, and several other groups urged President and Vice President Kamala Harris to begin implementing the plan immediately, at the federal level. We provide several recommendations to end the practice in.

“Abandoning the practice of solitary confinement will end the pain, torture and trauma of tens of thousands of people suffering from harsh and harmful situations,” the letter said.

The request is Increasing states Take measures End long-term solitary confinement In the years of reform struggle.

Prison reform activists have long worked towards the abolition of solitary confinement, also known as punitive quarantine. Multiple studies It suggests a link between long-term isolation and an increased risk of self-harm and suicide. Studies have shown that confinement in a cell can cause mental illness and increase post-liberation mortality. New York Times.

Activists are also critical of racial inequality prevailing in the use of solitary confinement. In New York, blacks and Latinos make up almost 70% of the state’s prison population, but more than 80% of those in prisons, according to The Times.

According to one group, the COVID-19 pandemic requires immediate action to end this practice, defenders say. Report for June 2020.

Experts say the practice increased during the pandemic, partly due to concerns about the spread of the virus in prisons. In the letter, the organizer asked Biden to plan to contain and treat COVID-19 in prisons and prisons without the use of cells or lockdowns.

Activists recommended that the federal government take some other steps.

  • Provide the state with meaningful financial incentives to reduce solitary confinement.

  • Hold a hearing on solitary confinement and urge parliamentary leaders to pass federal law prohibiting solitary confinement.

  • Appoint an Immigration Director who values ​​humanitarian practices.

  • Create a new senior-level position within the Department of Justice to investigate and supervise the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The White House did not immediately respond to insider requests for comment.

Johnny Perez, director of the US Prison Program for a national religious campaign against torture and a former prisoner who experienced solitary confinement, said: NBC news The federal government’s end of solitary confinement will be a turning point in the battle.

“If we can end isolation at the federal level, we will send a strong message that we are a country that does not torture our people and that the states need to follow the president’s instructions,” he said.

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