Over the past few decades, the United States has seen a massive increase in the use of solitary confinement, most noticeably in the building of entire “supermax” prisons designed to hold prisoners in isolation. This practice, in which prisoners are placed alone in cells for 22-24 hours per day with little or no human interaction or outside stimulus, can cause negative psychological reactions in all prisoners subjected to it, and is known to be especially devastating for mentally ill prisoners who are disproportionately represented in solitary confinement. The practice can and does negatively affect rehabilitation of such prisoners subject to the sentence condition. Solitary confinement is also extremely costly, and studies have shown that it neither deters violent behavior in prisons nor prevents recidivism.
Under Delaware law, one of the sentence conditions that a Court can impose as part of the convicted defendant’s sentence is solitary confinement. Senate Bill 98 eliminates that option from a court’s sentencing powers and options.
|Senate Bill 98 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Pinkney, Sokola, Sturgeon|
|Minor-Brown, Baumbach, Kowalko, Lambert, Morrison|
|Current Status —||Out of Committee (Corrections & Public Safety) on 03/31/2021|