End Solitary Confinement

The D.C. Council must immediately ban solitary confinement. The United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for Prisoners defines 15 days in prolonged isolation (23 hours a day) as torture. After 14 days of prolonged isolation, over one-third of people became psychotic or suicidal. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) instituted one of the longest medical lockdowns in the nation. For close to 500 days, the DOC kept people in their cells for 22-23 hours a day. Rather than curb the spread of the virus, in 2020, the conditions of incarceration caused 526.9 additional COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, the highest number of additional cases linked to mass incarceration in the U.S.

The ERASE Act will ban all forms of solitary confinement used by the DOC, including safe cells and transgender confinement.

Status: Not passed in 2022. Reintroduced in 2023.