The following comes from an email I recently received an email regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s second hearing concerning the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails, “Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences.” (Information regarding the last hearing can be found here and here.) The hearing, to be chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), will be held on February 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm (EST) in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washinton, DC. Those unable to attend can watch the hearing via webcast.
From the email:
In recent years, the United States has witnessed an explosion in the use of solitary confinement – also known as segregation or isolation – for federal, state, and local prisoners and detainees. The United States now holds far more prisoners in solitary than any other democratic nation. In June 2012, Senator Durbin chaired the first-ever Congressional hearing on solitary confinement. The hearing featured expert testimony on promising reform efforts that have reduced the use of solitary confinement, while also lowering prison violence and recidivism rates, and saving millions of dollars. This follow-up hearing will explore developments since the 2012 hearing, and what more should be done to curb the overuse of solitary confinement while controlling costs, protecting human rights, and improving public safety.
This hearing is open to the public. Please encourage advocates and interested members of the community to attend. A large audience filling both the hearing room and overflow room is critical to showing interest in reforming solitary confinement policies and practices. Please RSVP by completing the RSVP form by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014. If it is not feasible to estimate the number of attendees from your organization, please send the link to the form to members so that they may individually RSVP for the hearing.
This hearing is open to the public. Advocates and interested members of the community are encouraged to attend. A large audience filling both the hearing room and overflow room is critical to showing interest in reforming solitary confinement policies and practices. Please RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014.
Statements for the Record
Chairman Durbin invites advocates and stakeholders to offer their perspectives and experiences on these issues by submitting written testimony to be included in the hearing record. These statements help educate Committee members about the issues surrounding solitary confinement and are important to demonstrating community interest.
Statements must be submitted as a PDF or Word Document of 10 pages or less, and should be emailed to Stephanie Trifone at Stephanie_Trifone@Judiciary-dem.Senate.gov as early as possible, but no later than Monday, February 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Please note that the Subcommittee cannot accept previously published information, such as newspaper articles or reports, as a statement for the record.