Steve Champion, a prize-winning writer in the PEN Prison Writing contest, went on a hunger strike in the Adjustment Center of San Quentin’s death row from October 4 through October 19 in protest of the harsh conditions and long-term solitary confinement practices of the center. Solitary confinement is considered by human rights groups, such as PHR, to be a form of torture.
Although torture remains deeply embedded in the law enforcement and state security systems of the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, a new PHR briefing paper documents recent efforts to end impunity for torture, both by promoting policy changes and by improving the country’s local capacity to investigate, document, and prosecute such abuses.
In the latest personal testimony on the cruelty of solitary confinement, one of the American hikers who was held hostage in Iran details how the conditions at California's Pelican Bay State Prison are at least as bad, and arguably even worse, than those he experienced in Iran. Inmates at Pelican Bay have been isolated for as long as 42 years, even as Physicians for Human Rights and other human rights organizations all call the practice torture.
For victims fleeing torture or persecution, gaining the sanctuary of asylum in the US often requires rigorous science-based assessment, experts said at a two-day training workshop at AAAS.
NIJC and PHR surveyed conditions in more than a dozen detention centers and county jails that contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Our report is the first comprehensive examination of the effects of solitary confinement on immigration detainees.