Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Monday that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has agreed to a full review of the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. An independent auditor will carry out the review on the recommendations of a Congressional hearing held last year by a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee chaired by Durbin.
“The United States holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic nation in the world, and the dramatic expansion of solitary confinement is a human rights issue we can’t ignore,” noted Durbin. As Reuters noted, prisoners in isolation often are confined to small cells without windows for up to 23 hours a day. “[M]ore than half of all suicides committed in prisons occur in solitary confinement,” noted Reuters, adding that in Durbin’s state of Illinois, 56 percent of inmates have spent some time in segregated housing.
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