Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."
Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.
The use of solitary confinement is also extremely expensive and counterproductive, according to a news release from the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights,which Durbin leads.
NPR Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson, who attended [the February 25th] hearing, says that Durbin's calls for change, which is aimed only at the rules governing juveniles, pregnant women and the mentally ill, come as some states have already begun to cut the use of solitary confinement.
Read more/Listen to audio: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/25/282672593/solitary-confinement-costs-78k-per-inmate-and-should-be-curbed-critics-say