A new report finds nearly 50,000 prisoners across the United States are being held in prolonged solitary confinement — conditions the United Nations considers tantamount to torture. Researchers at Yale Law School found some 6,000 of the prisoners have been held in isolation for over a year. The U.N. special rapporteur on torture says such practices are prohibited under international law and can lead to severe and irreparable psychological and physical consequences.
In related news, Brown University says it has acquired personal papers of longtime political prisoner and author Mumia Abu-Jamal, including his prison records, correspondence and artwork. The materials will anchor Brown’s new Voices of Mass Incarceration collection at the John Hay Library focused on first-person accounts of incarceration.