DENVER (AP) — He isn't Brubaker, but Colorado's new Corrections Department chief has promised to change the prisoner solitary confinement policies after spending the night in an isolated cell.
In an opinion letter to the New York Times, published Thursday, Executive Director Rick Raemisch said he suffered mental anguish after spending only 20 hours in solitary confinement. The average solitary sentence in Colorado is 23 months, and some prisoners spend 20 years there -- with limited contact with prison officers or other prisoners.
Evan Ebel, an inmate suspected of murdering Raemisch's predecessor, Tom Clements, was released on parole directly from solitary confinement last March, which Raemisch said is highly dangerous and unacceptable. Ebel was released after serving eight years in prison, and waslater killed in a shootout with Texas authorities.
Raemisch's method can be compared to that of fictional film character Henry Brubaker, a warden who posed as an inmate to experience prison life in the 1980 film Brubaker. Robert Redford starred in the title role.
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