As North Carolina works to reform its use of solitary confinement in state prisons, field experts will come together Friday to discuss a 2014 report by the Human Rights Policy Seminar at the University of North Carolina School of Law called “Solitary Confinement as Torture.”
The featured speaker is Robert King, one of the “Angola Three” who spent 29 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. King’s conviction was overturned in 2001, and he has since become outspoken on the effects of solitary confinement.
Other speakers include: Deborah Weissman, professor at UNC School of Law, who served as faculty advisor for the 2014 report; Chris Brook, legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina; Christina Cowger from N.C. Stop Torture Now; Elizabeth Simpson, a staff attorney with N.C. Prisoner Legal Services; Mark Bowers, an attorney with Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, and Moira Artigues, a forensic psychologist.
The state prison system is one of five in the country chosen to participate in a two-year study to reduce the use of prison segregation, including solitary confinement. Critics of solitary confinement say it is overused and harms the mental health of prison inmates.
The event is open to the public and will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday in room 4085 at the UNC School of Law, 160 Ridge Road in Chapel Hill. For more information or to RSVP, go to www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/Static-Content/events.html