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Saturday, 25 November 2017 11:12 am

Solitary confinement policy under the spotlight

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Radio News

Corrections is at the centre of a protest tomorrow against solitary confinement in prisons.

Following the death of a prisoner in Mount Eden Prison last year, Labour MP Kelvin Davis claimed deprivation of human contact for extended periods of time amounts to torture.

People Against Prisons Aotearoa, a national anti-incarceration group, is demanding corrections stop the practice which it calls completely inhumane.

Sapeer Mayron reports.

Solitary Confinement is defined by the United Nations as isolation from meaningful human contact for 22 to 24 hours a day in a closed cell.

But under New Zealand law, Corrections may isolate prisoners for up to two weeks before reviewing the arrangement.

Kate McIntyre, Parliamentary Advocacy Coordinator at People Against Prisons Aotearoa says this treatment of prisoners is abusive and ineffective.

In April this year, the United Nations published a report condemning New Zealand’s overuse of solitary confinement.

Kate says ultimately, People Against Prisons Aotearoa believes in the abolition of prisons, and sees ending solitary confinement as a stepping stone towards that goal.

She says solitary confinement is simply a prison inside a prison.

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