Friday, July 24, 2015

UN’s “Mandela Rules” to Set New International Standards for Treatment of Prisoners, Including Limits on Solitary Confinement

The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRs) are being given several long-awaited revisions this year. Among them is a provision that solitary confinement “shall be used only in exceptional cases as a last resort for as short a time as possible and subject to independent review.” The rules also prohibit indefinite solitary confinement and prolonged solitary confinement — defined as more than 15 consecutive days — as well as the solitary confinement of people with mental or physical disabilities where isolation would exacerbate their conditions.

David Fathi, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, called the new rules on solitary confinement “a tremendous step forward, particularly given that the original rules were silent on the issue.” The ACLU participated actively throughout the revisions process, and is a leading force in the fight to end solitary confinement in the United States.


No comments: