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Demand Maine Stop State-Sponsored Torture

Solitary confinement is overused and under-regulated. In fact, solitary confinement -- spending nearly every hour of every day locked in a small cell with limited contact and mind-numbing idleness -- amounts to a kind of torture, with prisoners subjected to the treatment often exhibiting precisely those symptoms of those who've been tortured. It's hard to see where solitary confinement leaves off and cruel and unusual punishment begins. In fact, several federal cases have suggested that isolating the mentally ill in confinement produces such "extreme suffering" that doing so violates the Eighth Amendment.

Currently, lawmakers in Maine are considering a law to regulate solitary confinement conditions in the state prison system. If the law passes, it'd be a giant step forward -- one that could pave the way for other states to follow suit. Urge Maine legislators to pass the law now to protect the state's citizens against cruel and unusual punishment. Take action by signing the petition below.

UPDATE: As of 4/6/10 LD1611 is no longer the bill it once was. Maine legislators have passed a watered down version of the bill despite staunch opposition from activists like you. As passed, LD1611 will simply gather more information on the effects of solitary confinement and the due process procedures in place for those people in segregation units.  

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    Elizabeth Renter started this petition with a single signature, and now has 208 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.