January 11, 2013, marks the 11th anniversary of the day detainees were first brought to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The National Defense Authorization Act 2013 (NDAA) recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama does little to shut down the Guantanamo prison, though the President had promised to close it almost four years ago.
There is a broad consensus that our immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul. Comprised of a hopelessly complicated patchwork of laws enacted in response to events like the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the 9/11 attacks, the immigration system creates narrow pathways for some immigrants to come to or remain in the United States, while making it almost impossibly hard for others, including many fleeing torture and persecution.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that holding an inmate for 10 months in solitary confinement with only periodic informal review of his custody was unlawful. ... While stopping short of prohibiting the use of solitary confinement, the court’s ruling firmly establishes that inmates are entitled to a mechanism for challenging their placement in solitary.
Medicine Meets the Law: When a Psychological Evaluation Means the Difference between Asylum and Deportation
When people make the decision to escape the torture and persecution they’ve suffered in their home countries by fleeing to the US, many have no idea that they have only one year from the time they arrive to apply for asylum.
For all the controversy over whether solitary confinement should ever be used in American prisons and jails, the evidence is clear: Isolation for 23 hours a day causes severe and often irreversible psychological damage.