Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota joins national partnership to reduce solitary confinement


Minnesota's prison system will partner with a national criminal justice reform group in 2017 to reduce its reliance on the controversial practice of solitary confinement as a punishment for problem inmates.

New York-based Vera Institute for Justice announced Monday it has selected the Minnesota Department of Corrections to take part in its 21-month initiative, with the goal to work with prison administrators to find and help implement alternatives to long-term isolation — a practice that can take a severe mental health toll on prisoners — without sacrificing facility safety.

"Solitary confinement is used widely in U.S. prisons and jails," reads a news release from Vera. "But research has documented for decades its harmful impacts on the mental and physical health of those in isolation — nearly all of whom will eventually return to their communities — as well as emerging concerns about the potentially harmful effects on staff who work in these environments."


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