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Solitary Confinement

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NEWS
May 24, 2000 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia yesterday said it can't fault with Pennsylvania prison officials for keeping convicted cop-killer and escape artist Russell Shoats in solitary confinement for nearly nine straight years. Shoats contended he's been kept in the so-called "hole" since June 1991 because of his past crimes, which include the 1970 murder of Fairmount Park Police Sgt. Frank Von Colln, two prison escapes, kidnapping and assault. His continued solitary confinement while serving life for the Von Colln murder can't be justified, he argued.
NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - A New Jersey lawmaker wants to restrict the use of solitary confinement in the state's jails, warning the practice has "grave consequences" for the safety of inmates and officers. There's just one problem: The Department of Corrections and the unions representing officers say they don't use solitary confinement. A disagreement over semantics dominated an hours-long hearing Thursday held by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, which took testimony on the bill but did not vote on it. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D., Union)
NEWS
July 17, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Seeking to end solitary confinement of children in New Jersey juvenile detention centers, civil rights organizations on Monday filed a petition with the state proposing new limits on what they say is a psychologically damaging - and poorly regulated - form of discipline. Led by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, nine groups are pushing for changes to the rules governing juvenile detention centers, including eliminating the state's authority to hold children for up to five days in solitary confinement as punishment or pending a disciplinary hearing.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania requiring sweeping reforms in the care of inmates with serious mental illness in the state's prison system. Inmates with serious mental illness or intellectual disabilities no longer will be subject to solitary confinement, according to the terms of the settlement, reached late Monday. The agreement, which is effective immediately, resolves a March 2013 lawsuit. "The idea here is to keep people with serious mental illness out of the very harsh conditions of the Restricted Housing Unit," said Robert Meek, an attorney for Disability Rights Network.
NEWS
August 19, 1998 | By George Anastasia, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Murder suspect Thomas J. Capano described himself as a broken man yesterday, and his appearance and demeanor during a brief discussion in Superior Court here fit the image. He has lost 30 to 40 pounds since his arrest and imprisonment back in November. His hair, cropped close, has begun to turn gray. His complexion is chalky white. He walked with the shuffle of a man nearly twice his age. And when he spoke, he appeared to be struggling to sustain his train of thought.
NEWS
October 19, 2000 | By George Anastasia, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Reputed mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino was sprung from solitary confinement yesterday just as his lawyer was about to argue that prison officials were violating his civil rights by holding him in isolation at the Federal Detention Center. Under the terms of an agreement hammered out before a hearing was to begin before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, Merlino, who is awaiting trial on racketeering charges, will be housed in the general population at the prison and will be allowed to meet regularly with six codefendants who are also in custody.
NEWS
August 1, 2001 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For 20 years, Ira Einhorn avoided the prying questions of law enforcement and others by living as a fugitive in Europe. Now almost two weeks into his life sentence for the 1977 murder of girlfriend Holly Maddux, Einhorn appears to have embarked on a self-imposed exile in solitary confinement behind bars in the imposing Graterford Prison. Prison officials said yesterday that Einhorn, 61, had said he preferred being housed in "administrative custody" - prison jargon for solitary confinement in a cell for 22 hours daily with no contact with other inmates.
NEWS
October 7, 2000 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino yesterday filed suit against the U.S. Justice Department and federal prison officials, arguing that his constitutional rights are being violated by keeping him in solitary confinement as he awaits trial on racketeering charges. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia by Merlino's attorney Edwin J. Jacobs Jr. follows several months of letters and informal complaints by Merlino and his family over the circumstances of his confinement in the new Federal Detention Center at Seventh and Arch Streets across from the federal courthouse.
NEWS
May 31, 2009 | BY JEFF GAMMAGE, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Charles Dickens visited the United States, he wanted to see two things: Niagara Falls and Eastern State Penitentiary. The foreboding Gothic fortress opened in October 1829, months after The Inquirer began publication, the steel-and-stone representation of a new idea. No longer would people in prison be whipped, beaten and starved. At Eastern State, they would be given the time and means to become penitent, a Quaker-inspired solitary confinement allowing them to contemplate their sins and mend their ways.
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NEWS
February 14, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - A New Jersey lawmaker wants to restrict the use of solitary confinement in the state's jails, warning the practice has "grave consequences" for the safety of inmates and officers. There's just one problem: The Department of Corrections and the unions representing officers say they don't use solitary confinement. A disagreement over semantics dominated an hours-long hearing Thursday held by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, which took testimony on the bill but did not vote on it. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D., Union)
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania requiring sweeping reforms in the care of inmates with serious mental illness in the state's prison system. Inmates with serious mental illness or intellectual disabilities no longer will be subject to solitary confinement, according to the terms of the settlement, reached late Monday. The agreement, which is effective immediately, resolves a March 2013 lawsuit. "The idea here is to keep people with serious mental illness out of the very harsh conditions of the Restricted Housing Unit," said Robert Meek, an attorney for Disability Rights Network.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
There were many times during Khasiem Carr's tumultuous journey through Pennsylvania's mental health and prison systems when it seemed things couldn't get worse. Then, they generally did. For instance, after two months in solitary confinement at the Bucks County prison, Carr was refusing food and water, and was rushed to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition. After more than a year in solitary, he entered a guilty plea in hope of getting out of the hole and into mental-health care in a state prison.
NEWS
November 10, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AN APPELLATE-COURT panel yesterday denied ex-narcotics cop Thomas Liciardello's request to be released from prison pending his trial on racketeering conspiracy and robbery charges. Liciardello, 38, is the alleged ringleader of a group of ex-narcs accused of robbing suspected drug dealers, at times violently. Defense lawyer Jeffrey Miller said the 3rd Circuit appeal centered on the lack of "clear and compelling evidence that [Liciardello] posed a threat to witnesses or the community.
NEWS
July 17, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Seeking to end solitary confinement of children in New Jersey juvenile detention centers, civil rights organizations on Monday filed a petition with the state proposing new limits on what they say is a psychologically damaging - and poorly regulated - form of discipline. Led by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, nine groups are pushing for changes to the rules governing juvenile detention centers, including eliminating the state's authority to hold children for up to five days in solitary confinement as punishment or pending a disciplinary hearing.
SPORTS
May 4, 2013 | By Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS - He claims to be more mature now, chastened by a stint in jail and eager to be just as much a businessman as a fighter. Indeed, Floyd Mayweather Jr. acted almost statesmanlike earlier this week when Robert Guerrero's father began screaming that he was a woman beater who would finally get beaten himself Saturday night. "The fighters are the ones who fight, not the fathers," Mayweather said calmly. If it's an act, it's a pretty good one. Armed with a new six-fight television deal with Showtime that should keep him the world's highest paid athlete, Mayweather has for the most part taken the high road while promoting his fight against Robert Guerrero as must-see TV for anyone who has an extra $69.95 for the pay-per-view.
NEWS
March 26, 2013 | By P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Gun evidence links a Colorado parolee fatally shot in Texas with the death of Colorado's corrections chief, investigators said Monday. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said that "unique and often microscopic markings" found on shell casings in Texas and Colorado led investigators to conclude that the gun Evan Ebel used to shoot at authorities in Texas on Thursday was the one used to kill Tom Clements at his home last Tuesday. It had been known that the casings at both scenes were of the same caliber and brand, but Monday's announcement was the first time Colorado investigators had made a direct link between Ebel and Clements' death.
NEWS
March 13, 2013 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania prison system is holding hundreds of mentally ill men and women in cruel, isolated, and torturous conditions that worsen their symptoms and can lead to suicide attempts, according to a lawsuit filed this week by a disability rights advocacy group. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania and seeking certification as a class action, says many mentally ill prisoners who are assigned to restrictive housing units spend from 23 to 24 hours a day in small, windowless cells that are lit around the clock, and have little contact with other people.
NEWS
November 30, 2012 | TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU
FORT MEADE, MD. - Pfc. Bradley Manning swiveled in the witness chair, smiling and occasionally talking over his lawyer. In his Army dress-blue uniform, he appeared even younger than his 24 years. It was difficult to reconcile the bespectacled Manning's relaxed, almost chatty demeanor with the vast charges against him - perpetrating one of the biggest leaks of classified material in U.S. history. Manning is accused of providing the anti-secrecy Internet group WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and classified war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq while based in Baghdad as a military intelligence analyst in 2009 and 2010.
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