Durbin to Chair Hearing on Solitary Confinement

First-Ever Congressional Hearing on the Issue to Be Held Next Week

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, announced today that he would hold the first-ever congressional hearing on the issue of solitary confinement at 10:00am ET on Tuesday, June 19.


The hearing will focus on the human rights, fiscal and public safety consequences of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. During the last several decades, the United States has witnessed an explosion in the use of solitary confinement for federal, state, and local prisoners and detainees.  The hearing will explore the psychological and psychiatric impact on inmates during and after their imprisonment, fiscal savings associated with reduced use of solitary housing units, the human rights issues surrounding the use of isolation, and successful state reforms in this area. 


Tuesday’s hearing will be open to the public and webcast at www.judiciary.senate.gov. The hearing’s witnesses will be announced later this week.


This is the second hearing Senator Durbin has chaired focusing on human rights issues in US prisons. The first looked at the treatment of mentally ill inmates in US prisons. More information about that hearing can be found here.