Sunday, March 16, 2014

Prison Head Decries Solitary After 20 Hours of His Own Confinment

Posted By on Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

It's not unusual for someone to decry the use of solitary confinement in prisons. It's highly irregular that the criticsim is coming from a prison chief. In fact Rick Raemisch, the man who took over as Colorado's chief of corrections in 2013 after his predecessor was shot to death by a former inmate who had spent years in solitary, went as far as to spend 20 hours of his own in solitary confinement. Raemish was led to the cell in handcuffs and leg shackles so that inmates wouldn't notice that something was up.

In February, Raemisch went to Capitol Hill, to tell a U.S. Senate subcommittee that solitary confinement was "overused, misused and abused."

This morning's New York Times reports that the 60-year-old Raemisch is not the first corrections director to criticize solitary confinement. "In the last two years, an increasing number of states, prodded by lawsuits, lower budgets and public opinion, have been rethinking the policy."

Meanwhile, Brent Reinke, director of Idaho's Department of Correction, continues his personal leave to spend time with his family in the wake of his grandson being charged with first degree murder. Bradley James, 23, is accused of the December 2013 shooting and stabbing death of a Filer man. James is expected to appear in a Twin Falls courtroom on Tuesday, March 18, for a status hearing in his case.

Deputy Director Kevin Kempf is acting as temporary director of IDOC in Reinke's absence.

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