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Solitary Confinement, Torture and Abuse in New York State Prison System.

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Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

Challenging New York's prisons generally, particularly solitary confinement, as destructive, abusive, cruel, Mary Beth Pfeiffer, Jack Beck and James Benjamin, moderated by Linda Rousseau, speak out at Riverside Church June 21, 2011, . . . With close to 8 percent of its prison population in some form of segregation, New York far exceeds the national average for solitary confinement of prisoners. Because New York has no supermax prison, it isolates prisoners in Special Housing Units (SHUs) inside many of its 67 prisons. . . Mary Beth Pfeiffer, author of Crazy In America, is a reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal whose work has documented the misuse of prisons to house mentally ill, the fate of prisoners with mental illness in solitary confinement, and the high rate of suicides within New York's SHUs. . . . Jack Beck directs the Visiting Project for the Correctional Association of New York, which has statutory authority to inspect prisons in New York State and to report its findings to the legislature and public; the CA's report Lockdown New York is the best single source of information on solitary confinement in the state's prisons. . . . James Benjamin served 30 years, developing into a moral leader and educator within prison. . . . .Linda Rousseau is active in The Unitarian Church of All Souls Peace and Justice Task Force. . . Event sponsored by Riverside Church's Prison Ministry, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, and The Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture, a chapter of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture which recently initiated a campaign "to address the use of torture in U.S. prisons, with particular emphasis on the widespread use of long-term isolation." Camera, Joe Friendly

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