Thousands of prisoners will be moved out of solitary confinement in California, thanks to a landmark legal settlement announced this week. Grass-roots organizing can be tough, but when done by prisoners locked up in solitary confinement, some of them for decades, it is astounding. The settlement grew out of a federal class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
I grew up in apartheid South Africa. We were the pariahs of the world. Two of the top human rights abuses that we were accused of (to be exact, the Nationalist party wa accused of ) were detention without trial and solitary confinement. Detention without trial was capped at 180 days.