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USA / Arizona: Amnesty condemns practices of solitary confinement

last updated Apr 05, 2012

On Tuesday 3 April 2012, Amnesty International (AI) released a report condemning the situation of prisoners in isolation in Arizona’s so called two special Management Units, characterizing it “designed to dehumanize prisoners”.

According to Amnesty, inmates spend nearly 24h a day in a small cell which is just equipped with a “metal bed, a desk, a stool and a toilet “ and “designed to reduce visual and environmental stimulation”. They are only allowed to leave their cells three times a week for about two hours to shower and exercise in a little yard.

About 5 percent of Arizona's prison population is held in solitary confinement, Amnesty says. Among them are children below the age of 17 as well as mentally ill. In addition, the situation of medical and mental health care is “grossly inadequate” said the American Civil Liberties Union and the Prison Law Office.

Amnesty: Isolated and dehumanised: inmates in Arizona’s isolation units

Amnesty International (2012) Report: "Cruel Isolation"