Cruel Isolation: Amnesty International's Concerns about Conditions in Arizona Maximum Security Prisons

Outdoor Recreation Pen Maximum Security Housing Units, Browning Unit, Arizona State Prison Complex- Eyman © Private
Report
April 2, 2012

Cruel Isolation: Amnesty International's Concerns about Conditions in Arizona Maximum Security Prisons

  • reducing the number of prisoners in isolation;
  • improving conditions in the SMU and similar units;
  • removing prisoners with serious mental illness from SMU or similar units;
  • taking measures to reduce the number of suicides in Arizona’s prisons, and
  • barring children under 18 from being held in solitary confinement.  

 

The organization is also calling on the state legislature and Governor to address these concerns by ensuring that adequate funding is made available to provide the necessary treatment and rehabilitation programs for inmates, most of whom will eventually return to the community.  As described below, some jurisdictions have reduced the high cost of “supermaximum” security confinement by reducing the numbers held in such restricted custody, allowing resources for more effective programs without compromising safety or security. Amnesty International also urges the state government to take action to ensure that children and youthful offenders incarcerated in the adult system receive treatment appropriate to their age and developmental needs.