Why The U.S. Won’t Let the U.N. Look Inside Its Prisons


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In this undated image provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a protective custody cell like the cell where Hulk Hogan's 17-year-old son, Nick Bollea is being held in the county jail in Clearwater, Fla.  A judge on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 denied Bollea's request to change the conditions of his eight-month jail sentence because solitary confinement is causing him "unbearable anxiety." Bollea had pleaded no contest to causing a car crash last year that seriously injured a friend. (AP Photo/Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office/AP

Cruel and Unusual

03.16.15

Why The U.S. Won’t Let the U.N. Look Inside Its Prisons

After a half-decade and a mandate by the U.N. to investigate solitary confinement practices, U.N. torture rapporteur Juan Mendez had to find a backdoor into an American jail. Today, his findings are released in a report.
In 2010, Juan Mendez was appointed Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Degrading and Inhumane Treatment by the United Nations. His mandate is wide in size and scope—to expose and document torture wherever it exists on the planet today.Since the beginning of his mandate Mendez has made criticizing the overuse of solitary confinement a priority. In 2011, he issued a report stating that 22 or 23 hours a day alone in a prison cell for more than 15 days at a time can cause permanent, lasting psychological damage and can constitute torture.

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