I read in a December issue of Newsweek magazine that approximately 3,000 American inmates currently in solitary confinement have been there for six or more years. There are a significantly higher total number of prisoners living in solitary confinement throughout the country. Now I am disappointed to learn that there are men here in California who have spent nearly 50 years in isolated administrative segregation. Having spent only a few months of my present sentence in ad-seg myself, I actually feel physically ill at the thought of spending any prolonged period of time under those circumstances.
I consider this to be nothing less than cruel and unusual punishment. The lasting effects of long-term isolation are counterproductive and potentially devastating not only to the particular individual subjected to it, but it is also traumatic and highly stressful for their loved ones.
This should be an urgent concern to the American public. Flagrant disregard for “rehabilitation” within a civilized society’s prison system is inherently dangerous, inhumane and morally outrageous. I do, however, enjoy reading the San Quentin News! I find it informative and encouraging. Thank you.
California Institution for Women