Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill, The California Mandela Act on Solitary Confinement, AB 280 passed the Assembly Floor and is headed to the Senate.
“Torture is torture no matter what facility it takes place in,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The community support for this bill has only grown because people are still suffering. From solitary survivors to loved ones of impacted individuals, many have reached out saying this legislation would have helped them personally.”
AB 280 would allow California to join other states including New York and Colorado in ending solitary confinement for specific populations, and join the international community in recognizing that solitary confinement constitutes torture and put a limit on how long any individual can be held in isolation.
The misuse of solitary confinement in California prisons led to a legal action filed in 2012, when California prisons held nearly 10,000 incarcerated individuals in solitary confinement, including 1,557 who had been there for 10 years or more. The bill would also protect the designated populations from ever being placed in solitary confinement including pregnant people, the elderly and those with serious disabilities.
“The California Mandela Act originated from the harmful and damaging experiences of people who have been held in prolonged solitary confinement, especially vulnerable populations. This bill creates a window of hope and builds on the decades of work done by detained individuals, activists and organizers and allows for constructive alternatives,” said Holden.