New York Times Covers Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel's Federal Case Against Prolonged Solitary Confinement
A New York Times feature story, "Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life," covers the major federal court case that Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel is leading with the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Pelican Bay prison inmates who have spent years in solitary confinement. The case argues that the prisoners prolonged isolation violated their Eighth Amendment rights.
An estimated 75,000 state and federal prisoners in the U.S. are held in solitary confinement (out of 2.3 million inmates in the U.S. total). According to the article, inmates are often placed in 23-hour a day isolation units for years, sometimes decades, not because of their original crimes whether violent or not, but because they were deemed gang associates. Professor Lobel says in the article that the parties in their case are now in settlement negotiations.