editorial | prison suicides
Ending solitary confinement
For decades, the Massachusetts state prison system used solitary confinement extensively to control violent and self-destructive prisoners who suffered from serious mental illness. It was a disastrous policy that contributed to inmate suicide rates four times the national average. Thanks to a 2007 lawsuit by the Disability Law Center, state prisoners are no longer held up to 23 hours a day in conditions akin to an 18th-century lunatic asylum.