A 2015 Case Was Supposed to Overhaul California’s Solitary Confinement. The Reality Is Much More Complicated.

February 13, 2019
Mother Jones

The September 2015 day that Ashker v. Brown was settled, Dolores Canales’ son had been held in solitary confinement for 15 years. “It was such an emotional morning,” Canales, a founder of the advocacy group California Families Against Solitary Confinement, recalls of the time spent sitting in an Oakland hotel room surrounded by other families like hers as they prepared for the announcement. The landmark settlement capped a yearslong protest movement spearheaded by incarcerated men to reform a system that unfairly kept thousands of people in isolation. The decision was supposed to completely overhaul the state’s use of solitary confinement. “Families were dealing with the reality that something that they were always afraid to hope for for decades was really going to happen,” Canales adds, “and that was as simple as being able to hug their loved one.” ...

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Last modified 

February 22, 2019