Feb 06 2013
The Federal Bureau of Prisons will hire an independent auditor to review the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, according to a statement released by the bureau. The move could impact thousands of juveniles in adult facilities who are frequently isolated from adult inmates, sometimes on the pretext of protecting their personal safety.
“The National Institute of Corrections will be awarding a contract in the weeks ahead to retain an independent auditor to examine the BOP’s use of restrictive housing and also share information from the states and others in the corrections profession,” the federal bureau said in a prepared statement. “We are confident that the audit will yield valuable information to improve our operations, and we thank Senator Durbin for his continued interest in this very important topic.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) held a hearing last June to examine the fiscal, human rights and public safety consequences of keeping prisoners in isolation. Durbin responded to the bureau’s announcement by reiterating his hope that the practice would be restricted in federal prisons, and pointed out that the bureau has reduced its segregated population by 25 percent since the hearing last summer.
“The United States holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic nation in the world and the dramatic expansion of solitary confinement is a human rights issue we can’t ignore,” Durbin said in his prepared response. “I am confident the Bureau of Prisons will permit a thorough and independent review and look forward to seeing the results when they are made public.”
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