An important report from Unlock the Box was released on January 24, 2023. 

BANNING TORTURE: Legislative Trends and Policy Solutions for Restricting and Ending Solitary Confinement throughout the United States is the first-ever comprehensive, nationwide analysis of legislation related to solitary confinement. This is more than a report–it’s a vital tool for advocates and policy makers. We anticipate this report will advance the important campaign to end solitary confinement. 

In light of the growing awareness that solitary confinement is inhumane, causes severe damage, increases the risk of death, and worsens safety for everyone, jurisdictions across the country have been introducing legislation to ban or restrict the practice. Among the significant trends found in the Banning Torture report include initiatives to: (1) end solitary confinement for young people; (2) end solitary confinement for subgroups including people who are pregnant,  have physical and mental disabilities, and/or medical conditions; (3) prohibit solitary confinement beyond 15 consecutive days in accordance with the United Nations’ Nelson Mandela Rules; (4) create independent oversight mechanisms to promote effective policy implementation; and (5) fully end solitary confinement for all people. Read the full press release here. 

Disability Rights NC has worked for more than a decade on the over-use and abuse of this damaging, dangerous practice, and in the past year created NC-specific materials about its use in our campaign, Stop Torture in NC Prisons. The Stop Torture in NC Prisons campaign is aimed at ending the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons and is a part of the national Unlock the Box campaign against solitary confinement. The campaign is currently pushing for implementation of recommendations made by Governor Cooper’s task force in December 2020, which recommended ending solitary confinement beyond 15 days in accord with the Mandela Rules, restricting the conduct that can result in solitary confinement, and banning solitary entirely for certain groups of people. 

Learn more here.