From an editorial Friday in the Washington Post:
Indiana, hardly a bastion of bleeding-heart liberalism, became on Wednesday the latest state to curb the use in prisons of solitary confinement, an extreme, hellish and overused punishment. It follows President Obama, who on Monday announced reforms to prisoner isolation practices in federal prisons, and it joins California and New York as one of the latest states to submit to a legal settlement requiring changes.
It took a class-action lawsuit involving mentally ill inmates to prompt Indiana’s decision, and even then the move promises insufficient change for all the inmates in that state’s prisons.
Protecting particularly vulnerable inmates is important, but so is reducing the use of solitary as a general, routine punishment for minor rule- breaking.
Every state may have a few inmates who are too dangerous to house with other people. But that is no excuse to continue the rank, rampant overuse of solitary confinement.