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Prison chief puts himself in solitary confinement

Prison Chief Puts Himself in Solitary Confinement

Colorado's prison chief decided to put himself through 20 hours of solitary confinement. "Fox & Friends" explains why.

'Rick Raemisch, he is Colorado's new chief of corrections. He spent 20 hours in a seven by 13-foot cell. The reason? He wanted to put himself in the prisoner's shoes.'

Raemisch says he wanted to learn more about Colorado's solitary confinement system, also known as "administrative segregation" there.

In an article for The New York Times, Raemisch writes that even though those who are put in solitary confinement have committed very serious crimes, he doesn't think the use of it is justified.

In an interview with KMGH, Raemisch says there are only eight prisoners left in solitary confinement in Colorado. He's making it his goal to cut that number to zero.

'We've come to the realization that you just can't treat people like that. We have maximum security facilities, we have people that are well trained on how to handle dangerous people, yet we feel they're too dangerous to be in the general population.'

Raemisch also told KMGH he experienced "mental anguish" during his 20 hours in solitary confinement.

On average, a prisoner put in solitary confinement in Colorado stays there for 20 months.

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saultydog42 March 18 2014 at 11:43 AM

Next they need to address the issue of detoxing people on alcohol and drugs, Xanax and Alcohol are 2 of the deadliest things to get off of without proper detoxification, you could die if it isnt done properly. This is one of the main reasons for people dieing in jails all over America.

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wgwatkins March 18 2014 at 9:46 AM

I disagree. Imprisonment is punishment for commiting a crime. Solitary confinement is further punishment for infractions while in prison for those crimes. I always thought prisons were for punishment not for rehabilitation. Was I wrong? Maybe not all prisoners deserve solitary confinement and the stats mentioned in the article show that a very small percentage of prisoners are in solitary at any given time. But I also can't muster up any sympathy for those accused of horrific and henous crimes. I worry about the victims, while this guy worries about the criminals.

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1 reply
kathrynpl wgwatkins March 18 2014 at 10:15 AM

I think it is shortsighted to use prison only to punish. Most people in prison are eventually released. Do we want them better prepared to be productive when they return to society? And, people on here are suggesting that everyone in solitary is a violent offender. Not so.

Most people in prison are there for non-violent drug crimes. If you only make the experience as terrible as possible and not allow them to do anything productive while there (such as get a GED, or learn a skill) they will go back into their communities and return to their old life.

We have a higher percentage of our population incarcerated than other Western nations. That tells me that the strategies used in recent decades have failed.

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Big Daddy March 18 2014 at 9:01 PM

I was incarcerated for 21 months in 78-79 abd did several stints in the hole for being naughty. It's not hat bad. Time to reflect on things and a place to put animals also. The place was full of them. I was doning 3 yrs in Brushy Mtn and the guy with the shortest sentence besides me had 10 yrs. They thought I would get offed in there because I wouldn't cooperate with corrupt couty officials in a drug investigation. I knew they were systematically putting the competition out of business for themselves. But I walked out a man with no guilt on my mind and free as anyone because I flattened my sentence. No parole officer. Haven't been in trouble since.

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impactvqi March 18 2014 at 12:45 PM

his "mental anguish" is not the same as a real prisoners mental attitude and treatment by prison guards that would be under the same situation, some inmates go to solitary confinement just to get a one person room and have their meals brought to them and use the gym equipment by themselves, instead of waiting in line or fighting for position to get them, nice try warden but no cigar

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1 reply
harleybv impactvqi March 18 2014 at 12:56 PM

Oh, and you speak from personal knowledge? Because your post is ridiculous.

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LL March 18 2014 at 8:32 PM

The "HOLE" is not fit for a rabbid dog, and certainly not for any human being, be they a torterous serial killer or not, BECAUSE GoD'S rpescription for those who shed blood, is for their blood to be shed, but NOT via torture in a dungeon !


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staci March 18 2014 at 3:43 PM

What about the mental anguish that the prisoners have caused the families that they have affected? Do they get a reprieve? We live in a time where the people who have committed heinous crimes have more rights and liberties that people who have not. For those saying that we are treating these people "INHUMANELY", why should they get to have have the basic rights that so many in our country are denied? If you are going to say that only god can judge, at least know that in the bible it states an eye for an eye. The people that are being put into solitary are the most cruel prisoners who have done things that will give you nightmares. These are not new practices and they have been around for quite some time. I stand firm in my belief that the people that are able to commit heinous crimes should not be able to go about their life as if they have not done anything wrong. I have worked in assisted living & convalescent facilities for 10 years, and it sickens me that the elderly are treated worse than the scum that is in prison. instead of worrying about the people that have done the crimes that put them where the are, worry about making the life of someone who has done so much for their community and are in need of great care, exceptional. I also believe that when someone is released from prison, they should have to pay back what it cost to have them there. Why should the general public pay for it when they are not the ones that did the crime???????

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2 replies
whydothat staci March 18 2014 at 4:33 PM

Bible? great fiction but you should read more if you are going to reference the book. You must live in a red state if your elderly are treated worse than inmates. Only poor people go to jail. How do you think they are going to pay it back with $7 an hour job? You have no clue.

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Beckey Neal staci March 18 2014 at 4:41 PM

Because, Staci, when these people get out, and some will, we want them as sane and mentally stable as possible. Solitary does something terrible and if they are not already crazy and mean, they will be when they come out. We don't need that!! There has to be another answer a smart answer, to the solutions of control in prison without killing them or driving them more crazy.

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ftrday March 18 2014 at 3:44 PM

It is mental, and with him knowing he is getting out in just 20 hours he wouldn't have the same mental strain as someone else would.

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VMP3080 March 18 2014 at 8:26 PM

Cool. They should put every pedophile, child killer, child abuser in solitary confinement!

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libertysanders March 18 2014 at 10:14 AM

All a prisoner has to do to stay out of solitary is be civilized. Its use should continue.

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Nancy March 18 2014 at 4:02 PM

OK, I am joking here people but.....Ask a lot of mothers with a few kids and she would PAY you for 20 hrs all to herself with no one banging on the door.

Now for the serious side. I have to agree with the poster who said this warden should have put himself in general population with no guards visible to the other inmates. Then he would have seen what life is like for the not so buff and hardened criminals. He might see what the prison system hopes solitary confinement instills some form of determent to the hardened murderers and rapists etc who have no problem bullying the weaker in the prison. As an older and appears to be softer man, he would quickly be a likely target. Until you have feces and urine thrown at you. Until you see an inmate brutally beaten or raped, you may not understand why some inmates need removed from general population. If not solitary, should they build a special, enclosed compound for them? Where these "animals" can just go at it and prove who is the "biggest bad azz of all" and we try to keep them from killing each other without solitary? Or do a "Ken Keesey" and perform lobotomies on those we deem incurable? (OK, just kidding again)

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