WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The decision by authorities in California to limit the use of solitary confinement should serve as a model for other prisons around the United States, a human rights group said in a statement on Wednesday.
"This should not be an isolated victory, however," Amnesty International USA Senior Campaigner Jasmine Heiss stated. "Instead, California’s step forward should be a catalyst for sweeping change in prisons across the country."
On Tuesday, California moved to end the practice of holding prisoners in solitary confinement for indefinite periods of time, sometimes for decades, after a class action lawsuit settlement.
Heiss argued that now is the time to ensure that prisoners in the United States should not be condemned to serve time locked alone in a cage, regardless of whether they are imprisoned in California or other US states.
"This momentous victory comes after years of struggle and organizing by the people most directly impacted by the prolonged nightmare of solitary confinement — isolated prisoners and their families," Heiss said.
Although many US states refuse to disclose solitary confinement figures, some 80,000 prisoners are thought to be held in isolation around the United States, according the independent advocacy group Solitary Watch.