Massachusetts is one of just three states in the entire country that allows the use of long-term solitary confinement, in some cases for up to 10 years.
At a hearing on Beacon Hill Wednesday, state legislators heard testimony from prison reform advocates who are looking to change that. Will this latest effort to reform the state's prisons ultimately be successful?
Donnell Wright, solitary confinement survivor.
- "The proposals before the Legislature would restrict the amount of time that an inmate can be held in segregation; would give inmates an avenue to show they do not need to be held in isolation; and would prohibit the segregation of pregnant inmates or anyone under a certain age."
- "Adults, after all, are fully formed, independent beings, with internal strengths and knowledge to draw upon. We wouldn’t have anything like a child’s dependence on other people, right? Yet it seems that we do. We don’t have a lot of monkey experiments to call upon here. But mankind has produced tens of thousands of human ones, including in our prison system. And the picture that has emerged is profoundly unsettling."
This segment aired on October 15, 2015.