“We strongly believe that the reforms outlined in this blueprint will go a long way towards eradicating much of the senseless and counterproductive harm that has been caused,” said the director of ACLU’s Stop Solitary Campaign.
A criminal justice coalition on Monday provided a roadmap detailing specific steps the United States government can take “to end the torture of solitary confinement in federal custody.”
“The debilitating, dehumanizing, and even deadly effects on incarcerated people are an ongoing stain on the American legal system.”
—Tammie Gregg, ACLU
Described by the Federal Anti-Solitary Taskforce (FAST) as the “first-ever” document of its kind, “A Blueprint for Ending Solitary Confinement by the Federal Government” outlines how the White House and Congress can use executive, administrative, and legislative action to fulfill President Joe Biden’s “promise to stop this tortuous practice,” as the American Civil Liberties Union, a member of FAST, put it.
“There are a growing number of states that have taken a stand against the torture of solitary confinement,” said Johnny Perez, a survivor of solitary confinement and director of the U.S. Prisons Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, another member of FAST.
In 2021, 70 pieces of legislation have been filed in 32 states “to end some aspect of solitary confinement in state prisons and jails,” according to FAST.
“It is time for the federal government to lead by ending the practice once and for all and incentivizing states to do so,” said Perez. “We are hopeful the Biden-Harris administration will follow through with their campaign promise to end solitary by any name and in all forms.”
In addition to the release of the FAST blueprint for ending solitary confinement, more than 130 civil rights, public health, and social justice groups signed a letter to the White House’s Office of Public Engagement made public Monday urging Biden to “end the pain, torture, and trauma of tens of thousands of people languishing in harsh and harmful conditions.”