UN Report Compares Solitary Confinement Practices in the U.S. and Around the World
"Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Méndez,
presented a report to the General Assembly detailing and comparing
solitary confinement practices around the world....
The report, Seeing into Solitary: A Review of the Laws and Policies of Certain Nations Regarding Solitary Confinement of Detainees... includes within its scope 35 jurisdictions, including eight U.S. states
(California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania,
and Texas) and twenty-six countries, including the U.S. federal prison
system and immigration detention system.
Seeing into Solitary builds on a prior groundbreaking report by
Méndez, presented to the UN in 2011, that for the first time declared
that solitary confinement may amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading
treatment and in some cases torture, and may thus, under certain
conditions, be prohibited under international law. In that 2011 report,
Méndez further called for a categorical ban on subjecting juveniles and
people with mental illness to solitary confinement, and to end the
practice of prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement."