Lawmakers consider commission to study solitary confinement


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new commission would study the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island prisons under a bill being considered by state lawmakers.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider the legislation on Tuesday.

Rep. Aaron Regunberg, a Providence Democrat, is sponsoring the proposed resolution, which would create a 14-member legislative commission.

An earlier bill by Regunberg proposed limiting the isolation of inmates to no more than 15 days at a time. It was met by heavy opposition from state prison officials and the corrections officer union.

State officials use confinement as punishment or to segregate inmates deemed dangerous. Prison reform groups say it harms mental health and is counterproductive.

The commission would be tasked with reporting its findings back to the House next year.

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