Changing the Name of Solitary Confinement Doesn't Make It Less Tortuous
Date:  01-16-2020

Restrictive housing units and restrictive movement units share some of the very same issues
From Solitary Watch and Truthout:

If he took 13 steps in his size 11 shoes, Brandon Serna had walked the length of his cell. If he took more than six steps, he’d walked its width. For more than one year, the 40-year-old spent over 16 hours each day locked in this cell with his 30-year-old cellmate.

This is life in the “restricted movement” unit (RMU) at Indiana’s Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. In Indiana, solitary confinement, defined as being locked in a cell for at least 22 hours each day, is known as Administrative Restrictive Housing Status, or ARSH. The restricted movement unit, which those held inside refer to as G-ARSH, is not considered solitary confinement, though its inhabitants spent at least two-thirds of their time locked in a cell, and face other deprivations similar to those in solitary.

Like state prison systems around the country, Indiana has faced challenges to its use of solitary confinement. Like some of those other states, Indiana appears to have responded, in part, by holding people in conditions that skirt legal definitions of solitary confinement, but remain highly restrictive. These alternative units often lack even the scant protections offered to those in solitary, such as regular reviews and mandatory mental health screenings. Continue reading >>>