The Dangerous Overuse of Solitary Confinement: Pervasive Human Rights Violations in Prisons, Jails & Other Places of Detention

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Church Center for the United Nations

United Nations Plaza

44th Street Entrance – Second Floor Conference Room

New York, New York

 

Keynote Speaker: JUAN E. MENDEZ,
Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

Panelists:
Rev. Richard Killmer,
Executive Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

David Fathi, Director, National Prison Project, American Civil Liberties Union

Jamie Fellner, Senior Advisor, U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch

Dr. Homer Venters, MD MS, Center for Health and Human Rights, NYU Medical School

Each day tens of thousands of prisoners and detainees in the U.S. and abroad are held in solitary confinement.

Usually in isolation for at least 23 hours a day and denied all meaningful human contact, these prisoners and detainees are frequently held for months, years, and sometimes decades in conditions that the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council has found can amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and even torture.

This briefing will examine the detrimentalimpacts of solitary confinement, the science that supports its finding as a human rights violation, and the disproportionate impact of its use on mentally ill persons and youth.

Panelists will also explore the legal framework for protecting prisoners and detainees from solitary confinement and strategies advocates and others are currently using to end its abusive use.

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Program Sponsored by:
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT),
The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church,
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),
Human Rights Watch, Rabbis for Human Rights;
North America, Physicians for Human Rights,
Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture,
The Mennonite Central Committee UN Office,
Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office,
Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations,
Amnesty International USA

One thought on “The Dangerous Overuse of Solitary Confinement: Pervasive Human Rights Violations in Prisons, Jails & Other Places of Detention

  1. Getting solitary confinement recognised as torture is a key struggle for today. I am attempting to contribute to this campaign through a theatrical adaptation of Jack London’s great novel of incarceration The Star Rover. Given it’s setting of death row in San Quentin, California, it’s time of 1915 could be today with the epic hunger strikes taking place and the same battles going on. Good luck with the conference. I wish I could be there. I’d be very grateful if there was any way to gain access to the discussions which take place.

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