Delaware Vote Tracker

Solitary Confinement Bill Passes Senate

The Senate last week passed Senate Bill 98, a bill that prohibit judges from sentencing convicted felons to solitary confinement. The bill passed 15-6, with Republican Senator Ernie Lopez joining all Democrats in voting yes.

Solitary Confinement is a internal prison punishment that is designed to hold prisoners in isolation from the general population of a prison, such that they are held alone in their cells for twenty four hours a day.

This practice 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 VotesNo Votes
Pinkney, Sokola, SturgeonPassed Senate 15-6. Brown, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Lopez, Mantzavinos, Paradee, Pinkney, Poore, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturegon, Townsend, WalshBonini, Hocker, Lawson, Pettyjohn RIchardson, Wilson
Minor-Brown, Baumbach, Kowalko, Lambert, Morrison
Current Status — House Corrections 5/12/21

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