Protect Our Most Vulnerable, Stop Solitary for People with Serious Mental Illness.
One-third of Louisiana state prisoners are mentally ill. No human being is disposable; we must end this torture.
Louisiana is not only the incarceration capital of the world, but we also have one of the highest rates of the use of solitary and some of the longest-term solitary sentences in the country. Solitary is the prison within the prison where it's sometimes hard to know why you are sentenced, for how long, and how to rejoin the regular prison population. Prohibited from making phone calls, reading, letter writing, exercising, or even regular meals (being served "foodloaf" instead), any extensive amount of time in solitary can cause deterioration of mental health.
Solitary, or "restrictive housing" or "segregation," has become the de facto mental health unit for incarcerated people and, can become a revolving door for people with mental health needs. People with mental illness may find it more difficult to constantly comply with stringent prison rules and may be written up for disciplinary infractions that are related to symptoms of their illnesses. This can lead to high rates of disciplinary write-ups and subsequent restrictive housing placements for this population. Solitary, in turn, exacerbates mental illness.
The Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition (www.lastopsolitary.org) seeks to end the use of long-term solitary confinement by 2028. Last year, we won a ban on solitary for pregnant women and this year, we hope to end this practice for people with serious mental illness. There are proven alternatives to solitary that keep everyone in the prison safe and don't cause further harm to Louisiana's most vulnerable citizens. Take action an ask your representative to support HB 68 today!
Stop Solitary for Louisiana's Most Vulnerable People: Support HB 68 Today!
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To learn more about how you can take action, check out our website (www.lastopsolitary.org) and follow us on Twitter (@JacLouisiana - the Justice & Accountability Center of Louisiana facilitates the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition). You may also join the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition by signing up here: LSSC Full Coalition Sign Up Form Thank you!
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