One step closer....
One step closer to a #SafeAndFreeDC
The Eliminating Restrictive and Segregated Enclosures (“ERASE”) Solitary Confinement Act of 2022 ends solitary confinement in the District of Columbia. The D.C. Council’s Committee on Recreation, Libraries and Youth Affairs held a hearing for the ERASE bill on October 20, 2022. The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety must hold a second hearing.
- Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating and/or confining a person for 22 hours or more per day.
- Isolation is being kept alone with no meaningful human interaction.
- Confinement is restricting a person’s mobility by holding them in a limited physical space.
- The United Nations (UN) defines solitary confinement as torture- -and has stated that using solitary is against international human rights law.
- The D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) uses solitary confinement for many purposes and under many pseudonyms, including administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, protective custody, medical stay-in-place, and Safe Cells; for children, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services uses Room Confinement.
- D.C. DOC uses solitary confinement at a rate three times the national average.
- People receive food through a slot in the door and have “recreation” alone in an empty cage. Family visitation and essential programs are severely limited or totally denied.
- People in solitary confinement often experience sensory deprivation.
- Solitary confinement decreases access to medical care and mental health care.
- Solitary confinement leads to irreversible psychiatric harm and brain damage and reduces the likelihood of a successful reentry after incarceration.
- Solitary increases a person’s likelihood of committing violence.
- Solitary confinement decreases community safety and the safety within the DOC.
- During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOC held 1,500 people confined in their cells for almost 500 days.
...to a #safeandfree DC
Join the Unlock the Box DC Coalition and the UN in demanding a TORTURE-FREE DC.
TRANSFORMING DC TOGETHER
The DC Council needs to hear your support for the ERASE Bill.
Send a one-click email or tweet to ask D.C. Council members on the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety to schedule a hearing.
Share your commitment to ending the torture of our neighbors and loved ones inside the DOC.
Dear DC Legislators,
Pass the ERASE Bill and end solitary confinement in D.C.
When the D.C. jails use solitary confinement – which they admit to doing at a rate three times the national average – they are torturing almost exclusively Black D.C. residents. Only 41 percent of the D.C. population is Black, but 92.5 percent of D.C.’s jails population is Black, and 98 percent of the children incarcerated in D.C. are Black. To ignore this fact is to ignore Black people’s suffering.
Solitary confinement does not make the jails and community safer. D.C. residents deserve a justice system that centers our values and safety. Over the last two years, the D.C. jails have made national headlines for terrible conditions, including one of the longest lockdowns in the country, people dying from overdoses, and failing a US Marshals Service inspection. DC needs to invest in safety for all instead of investing in the illusion of safety for some.
End torture in Washington, D.C.
End solitary confinement in Washington, D.C.
Pass the ERASE Solitary Confinement Act!
Thank you Councilmember Cheh for introducing ERASE
Ward Three Councilmember Mary Cheh
THANK YOU ERASE CO-SPONSORS
Chairman Pro Tempore Kenyan R. McDuffie
At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds
Ward One Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau
Ward Four Councilmember Janeese Lewis George
Ward Eight Councilmember Trayon White, Sr.
Let your voice be heard! ERASE needs a hearing in the fall of 2022. Email and tweet at the Councilmembers above, letting them know how important it is that ERASE and its supporters are heard. We’ve made it easy to get in touch with these legislators- -just click on the email button and we do the rest.
WE NEED YOUR VOICE
The D.C. Council is holding a hearing on the ERASE Bill on October 20, 2022, and they need to hear from the community to eliminate solitary confinement in D.C.
Sign up to work with DC Justice Lab on testimony! Share your story anonymously or connect with us if you would like to submit your story as a public testimony.
SUPPORT FOR ERASE
UNLOCK THE BOX DC COALITION
The Unlock the Box DC Coalition is a group of transformative justice advocates working to make DC a safer, more free state. The DC Coalition is part of the Unlock the Box national campaign to end solitary confinement in the United States. The national campaign includes partners from 17 states and DC working to transform incarceration and end the use of solitary confinement nationwide.
Check out the coalition member’s websites to learn more about other initiatives working to change the criminal legal system in Washington, DC.