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Bill Seeks to Prohibit Solitary Confinement for Some | WDIY Local News

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State Representatives Tina Davis of Bucks County and Mike Schlossberg of Lehigh County plan to introduce a bill that prohibits Pennsylvania jails and prisons from keeping inmates from vulnerable populations in solitary confinement.

A press conference was held at the state Capitol this week by the Solidarity Not Solitary Coalition to enforce the need for this legislation.

Representative Davis elaborated that the change would end up saving taxpayers money, as solitary confinement has been shown to cause greater psychological issues for incarcerated individuals. This makes it more difficult to rehabilitate them and reintroduce them into society following release, adding pressures onto the social services system and increasing their risk of being reincarcerated.

Among the concerns about solitary confinement are the deprivation of human interaction, lack of access to rehabilitative programs, and its contribution to negative physiological and psychological reactions.

This bill would offer individuals in segregated confinement sources of socialization. It would also provide alternatives to solitary confinement for those with serious mental health issues.

Representative Schlossberg emphasized that this bill is not only in a moral interest, but also in the interest of public safety.

Davis is currently seeking co-sponsors for the bill. It’s supported by the Abolitionist Law Center, Human Rights Coalition, ACLU, and Juntos.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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