Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) houses thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement. These conditions are so harsh they violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Some of these prisoners in solitary spend all but six hours a week alone in their cells. These cells were deliberately built to have no windows, so that prisoners do not even know if it is day or night.
Solitary Confinement is very damaging to a prisoners mental health, often inducing mental illness in once healthy prisoners. But it's particularly damaging to prisoners with pre-existing mental illness. For these type of prisoners, solitary poses risk of psychiatric injury, self-harm, and even suicide. Deprived of social interaction which keeps them grounded in reality, many prisoners with mental illness experience sometimes irreversible psychiatric deterioration.
In March of 2012 ACLU, Prison Law Office, the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and the law firms Jones Day and Perkins Coie filed a lawsuit against Arizona Department of Corrections stating that Arizona is exceptionally harsh with solitary confinement that it was a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
We need to fight to get these conditions changed! Right, wrong or indifferent these people are still human beings and deserve to be treated as such.