By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director The September 12th headline from the Huffington Post states “Muslim Inmate Claims Kansas Prison Officers Harassed Her Over Headscarf.”1 The national legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates has notified the Leavenworth Detention Center (LDC), the Department of Justice and the US Marshals Service the “actions that have taken place in…
A participant in a corrections law training session once asked me in frustration why prisoners should be entitled to recreation. He pointed out he had to pay $75 a month to belong to an exercise club,while his county had just consented to build a fully-equipped exercise room for the inmates in the jail.
Is recreation or exercise a right,or a privilege?
An important discretionary tool in maintaining safety and security is solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a highly effective tool needed and utilized by jail and prison administrators. This allows for the separation of inmates who have demonstrated,through their actions,that they pose a threat to the safety of inmates,staff and the public. Administrators have no option but to isolate inmates who continue to engage in criminal activities while being incarcerated.
Corrections professionals are encountering an increasing trend challenging the use of solitary confinement. The conflict is mostly being stirred up by the media,legislatures,inmate advocate groups and the public. Some have tried to link isolated incidences where solitary confinement was in use with an in-custody death and or other situations regarding an inmate’s behavior,often tied to mental health issues.
Editor’s Note: Because the language in the Brady-Giglio policy references law enforcement agencies and police officers specifically,those terms have been used throughout this article for consistency. However,it is important to note that the Brady-Giglio policy encompasses those who work in all areas of law enforcement,and as such,is applicable to all corrections staff/officials working in jails and prisons as well.