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Amnesty objects to shocking California prison cells

September 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES: Rights group Amnesty International on Thursday called on California to end the “shocking” conditions inside its prison isolation cells, which house some 3,000 inmates.

Prisoners in the cells are confined for at least 22 and a half hours a day in windowless rooms, with no access to work, rehabilitation programmes or any group activities, Amnesty said.

It added that 78 inmates have spent more than two decades inside the cells.

“The conditions and length of imprisonment in California’s isolation units are simply shocking,” Angela Wright, an Amnesty researcher who visited a number of prisons in the state, said in a statement accompanying the report.

“To deprive prisoners in a segregated environment of natural light, adequate exercise or meaningful human contact is unnecessarily punitive and unjustifiable in all circumstances.”—AFP