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Bernie Kerik: Solitary Confinement Cruel and Unusual Punishment

From NewsMax.com

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik says that he considers solitary confinement to be cruel and unusual punishment, and that it’s important to consider the long-term effects of how prisoners are treated, especially those who will return to society.

“There’s a purpose and a use for solitary confinement,” Kerik told J.D. Hayworth on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV on Wednesday, joined by Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

“I ran Rikers Island for six years. I took it from one of the most mismanaged, dangerous and violent jail systems in the country to an international model for efficiency, accountability and safety,” he explained.

“There’s a use for solitary — if you have threats to an institution, if you have threats to staff, threats to national security, escape risks, there may be a use for it,” he said.

“But when you take young men who commit institutional infractions and you stick them in solitary — I went to solitary confinement, I was told, for protective custody — it is mind-altering, cruel and unusual punishment for people to be put in solitary with no real purpose, with no real need that are not a threat to the institution’s staff,” he said.

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