Solitary Confinement

Prison Bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has implemented a new disciplinary policy that limits the time an inmate can spend in solitary confinement. 

An image of a solitary confinement cell
Chris Gray / Flcikr Creative Commons

Advocates are requesting the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the way North Carolina uses solitary confinement in prisons.

An image of protestors outside Durham Co. Jail
Adam Pyburn / adampyburn.com

Updated Friday, October 9 at 2:30 p.m.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office has doubled the amount of time inmates at the Durham County Jail are allowed to spend outside their cells. General population detainees, or mainly those awaiting trial, are allowed to spend eight hours a day outside their cells, an increase from four hours a day.

A picture of a prison cell.
Derek Purdy / Creative Commons

Last year Michael Anthony Kerr was found unresponsive after spending 35 days in a solitary confinement cell in North Carolina.  He subsequently died. 

Recent research has shown that the impacts of solitary confinement can have detrimental long term effects.  A new pilot program in North Carolina aims to reduce rates of solitary confinement in the state. 

Jessa Wilcox is with the Vera Institute, a non profit focused on justice and is working with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on the program. 

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Long-term solitary confinement is a cruel, inhumane and degrading form of punishment, according to a new report from The University of North Carolina School of Law.

Central Prison
Dept. of Public Safety

Staff from North Carolina prisons frequently use solitary confinement to discipline inmates, even though it’s costly and ineffective at decreasing violence, according to a new study from the UNC School of Law.

About nine percent of state inmates were being held in long-term solitary confinement on multiple dates between 2012 and 2014. That's higher than the rate of six percent in Texas and the federal prison system and the rate of eight percent in New York before a court ordered the state review its practices, the study found.