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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Washington Post: Solitary Confinement Can Shatter the Disabled — but They Languish There Anyway

Source: Washington Post

About half of all suicides in prisons across the country take place among the 5 or 6 percent of prisoners held in solitary confinement, a measure of the devastating toll exacted by isolating inmates, often for 22 hours a day, from social interactions — and often from basic health and other services. For prisoners who are deaf, blind or otherwise disabled, the damage inflicted by solitary confinement can be, and often is, shattering.

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union paints a stark picture of the ghastly harm done by isolating prisoners with physical disabilities, a practice that occurs across the country not only in serious disciplinary cases, but often when inmates disobey routine orders or keep a messy cell. In some cases, disabled prisoners are locked away in solitary, in cells no bigger than a parking space, simply because regular cells are unavailable, or to protect them from other inmates. Read full editorial at the Washington Post website.

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