Prisons' Use of Solitary Confinement Explodes with the COVID-19 Pandemic, While Advocates Push for Alternatives

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, prisons are having to figure out ways to keep it from spreading across inmate populations. A popular response has been cell lockdowns, drawing criticism from advocacy organizations and judges across the country. Being compared to solitary confinement, which takes extreme physical and mental tolls on individuals, groups like Amend, the Vera Institute, and the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture are offering alternative plans that are less punitive while still protecting those experiencing incarceration.

This is a rapid response story about a coping strategy. Due to the urgent crisis, we are relaxing the ‘evidence of effectiveness’ criterion for solutions coverage on COVID-19 to capture early stage, improvisational, and experimental responses that cope with the pandemic.

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