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Rogers / 1 Senator Chequer

S.W._____

A BILL
To ban the use of solitary confinement for inmates in federal prison.
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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This act may be cited as the Ban of Solitary Confinement Act of 2017.
SECTION 2. FINDINGS

Congress hereby finds and declares that,


1) Prison isolation fits the definition of torture as stated in several international human rights treaties, and
thus constitutes a violation of human rights law.
2) Prolonged solitary confinement causes a persistent and heightened state of anxiety heart palpitations,
fear of impending nervous breakdowns and higher rates of hypertension and early morbidity, obsessive
ruminations, social withdrawal, hallucinations, feelings of overall deterioration, as well as suicidal ideation.
3) Solitary Confinement can cause serious and long term physical and psychological harm.
4) Seventy percent of all prison suicides occur in solitary confinement.
5) A study of facilities in three different U.S states concludes that the effectiveness of supermax prisons as
a use of punishment remains strongly questionable.
6) The mental health effects of even short periods of isolation including depression and risk of suicide
are heightened in youth.
7) When subjected to solitary confinement, adolescents are often denied access to treatment and
programming to meet their psychological, developmental, and rehabilitative needs.
8) Inmates have lost the ability to think clearly about anything for any length of time due to solitary
confinement.
9)Inmates in solitary confinement are left alone in cells at a minimum of 23 hours a day.
10) Contact with family or visitors is often restricted or denied altogether, despite the fact that contact with
family in particular, has been shown to be an important factor in successful rehabilitation.
11)There is unequivocal evidence that solitary confinement has a profound impact on health and wellbeing,
particularly for those with pre-existing mental health disorders, and that it may also actively cause mental
illness.
12)Seventy Percent of all Prison suicides occur in Solitary Confinement.
13)Solitary Confinement can lead to Insomnia among inmates.
SECTION 3. STATUTORY LANGUAGE

A) As amended, this bill restricts the use of isolated confinement in correctional facilities in this State.
Under the bill are federal correctional facilities detaining persons.The bill specifically prohibits inmates
incarcerated or detained in correctional facilities from being placed in isolated confinement
B)The bill requires the Commissioner of Corrections, at least 90 days before the bills effective date, to:
develop policies and implement procedures. The bill provides that the plan to be developed by the
commissioner is to apply to inmates currently in isolated confinement as well as potential candidates.The
bill further requires staffing patterns for correctional and program staff to be at levels necessary to ensure
the safety of staff and inmates in recognition of the increased needs of inmates who have been placed out of
isolated confinement and the increased safety concerns for staff responsible for these inmates. The bill
takes effect on the first day of the 7th month next following enactment, but permits the commissioner to
take anticipatory administrative actions as are necessary for implementation.
C) Any federal prison officer found guilty of placing inmates in any circumstance close to solitary
confinement will be prosecuted according to statutes in the eighth amendment written in the constitution.
This law shall go into effect July 1, 2017.