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California, finally coming out of solitary

California, finally coming out of solitary

New limits on solitary confinement in California prisons are a long-delayed but welcome step in the evolution of a system that only recently subjected inmates to a degree of abuse that approached torture. The new rules, which will probably mean the transfer of thousands of prisoners from isolation to the general prison population, were the result — as have been most improvements in the state's prisons over the last several years — of lawsuits. A class action, filed in 2012, challenged the use of isolation in Pelican Bay State Prison's secure housing unit, where some inmates spent more than 22 hours a day without access to visitors, other inmates or prison programs....

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