THE PATH FOWARD
Ending solitary confinement in Arkansas will not happen overnight.
Winning this fight will most likely require legislation, meaningful reform,
and quite possibly litigation. Here are ways other states are re-thinking
the role of solitary confinement in their prisons,
and moving toward alternative models.
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION GUIDELINES
In 2010, after five-years of input from judges, prosecutors,
defense attorneys, corrections officials, civil liberties groups, and law professors, the American Bar Association approved the Standards for Criminal Justice on the Treatment of Prisoners which provides comprehensive guidelines
for reforming the use of solitary confinement:
1. Provide a meaningful evaluation process prior to placing prisoners in segregation.
2. Limit the duration of disciplinary segregation.
3. Allow in-cell programming and supervised out-of-cell exercise time.
4. Decrease sensory deprivation by allowing radio, television, phone calls, etc.
5. Limit deprivation of light.
6. Provide adequately nutritious meals.
7. Allow prisoners to gradually gain privileges and lessen restrictions.
8. Refrain from placing prisoners with serious mental illness in what is an anti-therapeutic environment. Instead, maintain appropriate, secure mental-health housing for such prisoners.
9. Carefully monitor prisoners in solitary confinement for symptoms of mental health deterioration.