Visiting Professor Michael Mushlin wrote about solitary confinement in New York prisons in an op-ed for the New York Law Journal. Despite the fact that the crime rate and the prison population in New York have both decreased in the past decade, he points out that New York’s percentage of inmates in solitary confinement is 37 percent higher than the national average.
With over 30 years of experience working with and studying the prison system, Mushlin considers the practice of confining prisoners to small cells for 23 hours a day with almost no interaction a “human rights violation.” He cites what he believes are the consequences of solitary confinement: insanity, high suicide rates, isolation of underage inmates, and the dangers associated with returning inmates directly from solitary confinement to the streets.
“It is a serious mistake to ignore these severe conditions thinking that they do not directly affect us,” he said. “New York’s prisons can be safe without being inhumane.”
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