UCL IHR: Is Prolonged Solitary Confinement Cruel and Inhumane?
Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM (GMT)
The UCL Institute for Human Rights
Is Prolonged Solitary Confinement Cruel and Inhumane? The Experience of California Prisoners
Professor Jules Lobel
Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair Professor, University of Pittsburgh Law School
Monday 10 March 2014
UCL Faculty of Laws
6 - 7pm
California holds several thousand prisoners in solitary confinement throughout the state. Over 1000 of these prisoners confined in isolation are at Pelican Bay State Penitentiary. They live in 80 square foot windowless cells, locked in their cells for 22 ½ to 24 hours a day. Hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for over a decade, many for over two decades. Last summer, 30,000 California prisoners went on hunger strike in protest over California's use of solitary. This talk will discuss why United States courts have thus far refused to hold that the use of such prolonged solitary confinement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, why that might change now, and the movement in California to end such use.
Biography of the speaker:
Professor Jules Lobel is President of the Centre for Constitutional Rights and the Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School. On behalf of the Centre, Professor Lobel is lead counsel representing the prisoners at Pelican Bay in a Federal Court class action lawsuit challenging California's use of prolonged solitary confinement. He also argued the U.S. Supreme Court due process case against Ohio's use of solitary in its supermax prison.
The UCL Institute for Human Rights (IHR) was established in 2009 to gather UCL’s cross-departmental expertise in human rights and to encourage enhanced collaboration between academics, practising lawyers, government bodies and NGOs. The work of the IHR is resolutely multi-disciplinary with research and activities focusing on producing a positive impact through public engagement and an influence on policy makers. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights/
The UCL Labour Rights Institute (LRI) was established in 2010 with the aim of promoting teaching and research at UCL in labour law subjects, including individual and collective labour law, and anti-discrimination and equality law, at a domestic, European, international and comparative level. Our Faculty members are actively involved in a number of important national and international forums and institutions dedicated to the study of labour law and the development of employment rights. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/lri/
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