AOC condemns solitary confinement for Paul Manafort

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/05/anti-schadenfreude.html

4 Likes

Damn right too.

He’s a dreadful, awful, appalling human being though and there is a huge amount that he should be charged with and publicly held accountable for.

But he shouldn’t be tortured.

50 Likes

This is a bit of a two edged sword. Manafort is being held in “protective” solitary to protect him from the horrific violence that rampant in Rikers and the American prison system in general, trading one human rights abuse for another. As horific as solitary in a US prison system can be, AOC should ask Manafort if he wants to be in gen pop at Rikers. Previously he’s been held in various versions of deluxe solitary in the pre-trial Federal detention, including a two-room suite with access to a computer. Not all solitary is the same.

Ultimately, the entire American prison system needs radical reformation, of which limiting punitive solitary is just one aspect.

60 Likes

With Manafort at Riker’s Island maybe (and I know it’s a long shot) he will become a champion for prison reform.

2 Likes

I have to assume she means “released” to general population, and not “released” from prison.

20 Likes

There’s a middle ground between “cutting a prisoner off from virtually all human contact” and “letting a prisoner fend for themselves among the general population.”

If he’s at risk from other prisoners, give him his own cell and keep him under observation whenever he leaves it.

15 Likes

I agree. There is no need or justification for protective isolation to be punitive and without any human contact. But protective isolation is not compatible with being mainstreamed into gen pop under observation. He could easily be beaten, stabed, killed before an “observer” could do anything about it.

12 Likes

Is he in “solitary confinement”, or is he in “isolation”?

Seems she was reacting (understandably) to the original NYT headline, which was later clarified.

16 Likes

So why is Manafort someone who shouldn’t be in general population? Is it because his trial was in the news? I just don’t understand why he needs to be separated.

Doesn’t have to be gen pop. They could just put him in an isolation wing where he had limited, supervised contact with a small number of similarly at-risk prisoners.

11 Likes

When I was locked up in “protective isolation” custody, I started losing my mind after about an hour. After 2 hours, I started having physical symptoms. After 4, I was spelling out, “HELP” in toilet paper on the floor of the cell. I’m sure it was better than the potential threat against my life from other prisoners, but it sure felt like torture at the time.

23 Likes

Extended solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment. Humans just can’t handle it, it makes the sane crazy and the crazy even worse. While convenient from a jailers perspective, it is wildly inhumane. I would suggest a maximum of say a week per month even for the worst of our prisoners and even that may be too long.

1 Like

So give him special treatment is what you’re saying?

Because what you’re saying SHOULD happen, isn’t what DOES happen. You DO realize Rikers has over 11,000 inmates, right?

It’s general population or protective custody.

1 Like

I’m saying that “protective custody,” when necessary, need not entail total isolation from human contact. Our nation’s prison system is unusually punitive in this regard.

As to whether Manafort’s situation in particular warrants protective custody I have no idea.

6 Likes

Consistency of opinions and principles in the face of having to apply them to people you don’t like is so rare that it’s practically a goddam superpower.

11 Likes

We, however, will be forever tortured by his actions…

5 Likes

Since “all people being held in solitary” largely means people of color, I’d love for her to call this out directly. Her concern for Manafort seems misplaced.

2 Likes

More please.

5 Likes

I gotta tell you, if I was in Rikers, I’d want to be in solitary.I’d pay extra.

4 Likes

Well now she’s done it. The RW news media are going to support solitary confinement. Except for ‘our guys’. but Solitary confinement is still cool for THOSE PEOPLE. Now ours…Those People. And you know who.