Controversial Bill Limits Solitary Confinement For Most Violent Criminals
California lawmakers are very close to passing a bill that would significantly change solitary confinement in prisons, jails, and private immigration detention centers.
Under the California Mandela Act, AB 2632, solitary confinement would be limited to no more than 15 consecutive days and no more than 45 days total in a 180-day period.
Solitary confinement would also be eliminated entirely for pregnant women, people with certain disabilities, and inmates under 25 or over 65.
Sources say that the current vote in the Senate for AB2632 is 20-10. It requires 21 to pass.
Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, who introduced the bill in February, previously described solitary confinement as “cruel and a racial justice issue that does nothing for the rehabilitation of a person.”
“Not only is it deemed as cruel and unusual punishment by the United Nations, but it deeply damages the psyche of a person,” Holden said.
Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, who is running for governor to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, is opposed to the bill, arguing that it would allow gang leaders to be free among the general population.
“Basically, we have no tools to keep other prisoners safe from people who are very violent in prison,” Dahle said. “If you’re in prison here in California, and you’re violent against other prisoners, or you’re using your ability to be a gang leader, this is very egregious towards other prisoners.”