University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel Quoted By NBC News and CNN Regarding Solitary Confinement In Prisons

Publish Date/Time: 
March 6, 2014

 

In recent stories concerning the movement to end solitary confinement in prisons, Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel was quoted by NBC News and CNN on his work and involvement in a class action lawsuit to end solitary confinement in prisons.

In a recent NBC News article, “Movement to End Solitary Confinement Gains Force” reporter Elizabeth Chuck relied on Lobel’s experience concerning solitary confinement matters. “The trend right now is to recognize that solitary is both an economically wasteful and harmful method for prisons to operate,” Lobel said in the article.

A recent CNN article by Elizabeth Landau, “Solitary Confinement: 29 Years In a Box,” referenced Lobel’s representation of more than 1,000 prisoners at Pelican Bay Prison in northern California in a lawsuit alleging that keeping prisoners in solitary confinement violates the Constitution and international law because it is cruel and inhumane. In the article, Lobel said there has been a swath of cataract surgeries at Pelican Bay Prison.

The CNN article referenced Lobel’s argument at the American Association for Advancement of Science annual meeting stating that “social interaction and sensory stimulation from a basic human need,” and that need is supported by science. Research has shown people outside of prison who are socially isolated also have a higher risk of heart attacks, hypertension, concentration and memory problems, Lobel said in the article.

“We’re trying to integrate law and science in this,” Lobel said.

Professor Jules Lobel is the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). On May 31, 2012, the CCR filed a federal lawsuit (Ashker v. Brown) on behalf of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent 10 to 28 years in solitary confinement. 

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