Thousands of people awaiting immigration hearings in the US detention system are routinely held in solitary confinement. We know that this cruel and unusual practice causes serious and lasting psychological and physiological harm. The sometimes irreversible consequences — including panic attacks, paranoia, hallucinations, weight loss, and self-harm — are exacerbated for people who have endured torture, which is common among immigration detainees who have fled violence or persecution in their home countries.
Placing anyone in solitary confinement for prolonged periods is an outrage — in some cases even torture — but this practice is especially abhorrent in the immigration setting, where detainees are not being held as punishment for a crime and are usually unable to challenge their detention.
Urge Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to end solitary confinement in all immigration detention facilities. By ending this practice, the United States would send a strong signal to the international community that it does not tolerate torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading practices in its detention policy.
Sign the petition at secure3.convio.net
PHR has also published a report on the negative effects of solitary confinement:
Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in the US Detention System (pdf download page)