Major development in California solitary confinement lawsuit

Sep 1, 2015 11:16 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Attorneys representing inmates held in California's notorious isolation cells say there is a major development in a lawsuit challenging the practice.

They plan an announcement Tuesday, which is the deadline for settling their federal class-action lawsuit.

The Center for Constitutional Rights represents the inmates. It says no other state keeps so many inmates isolated for so long.

The lawsuit contends that keeping inmates in 80-square-foot, soundproofed and windowless cells for all but about 90 minutes each day amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Nearly 3,000 inmates are in such units statewide. About half are in solitary confinement. The rest are with other inmates.

Long-term inmate segregation prompted recent criticism from President Barack Obama and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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