WWLP22: State lawmakers introduce bill to limit solitary confinement

Some state lawmakers argue that solitary confinement is inhumane. A prisoner can be sentenced for up to 10 years in solitary confinement in Massachusetts.

The only other state that allows a sentence for that long is Arkansas. State lawmakers are introducing a bill that limits solitary confinement to 15 days. Inmates who must be separated from others because they pose a safety threat must also be provided a cell with light, ventilation, meals, and toilets.

Attorney Bob Fleischner of the Center for Public Representation in Northampton said, “It’s important that they get out…that they’re not worse than they were when they went in…and solitary confinement tends to make people, their psychological condition, worse than it was when they went into it.”

State lawmakers say solitary confinement is costly, it worsens mental illness, and does not reduce prison violence.

Since a majority of prisoners are eventually released, they believe more effort should be made to reintegrate them back into society.

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