Online Program

Solitary Confinement: Towards an Integrated Understanding and Public Health Agenda

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Gabriel B. Eber, JD, MPH, CCHP, National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, Washington, DC, DC
Narratives and qualitative research are vital to our understanding of how individual prisoners experience conditions of substantial isolation. However, individual experiences are not formed in a vacuum; they are the products of living in a complex world comprised of interactions with correctional staff, physical surroundings, the behavior of other prisoners, encounters with health care professionals, opportunities for the exercise of personal autonomy, environmental conditions such as acoustics and ambient temperature, and other factors. This session will use the experiences of prisoners as a springboard to raise questions about the role of these factors, why a larger base of knowledge is critical to reducing or eliminating reliance on solitary confinement, and how the public health community can take action.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe environmental conditions, access to medical and mental health care, and exposure to interpersonal violence in solitary confinement. Discuss how various personal, interpersonal, and environmental factors shape the individual experiences of prisoners in solitary confinement. Identify why additional research, a larger knowledge base, and an increased role for the public health community is critical to reducing or eliminating the use of solitary confinement as a means of managing prisoners.

Keyword(s): Public Health, Prisoners Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an attorney representing prisoners and detainees in class actions seeking to improve conditions of confinement in prisons and jails, focusing on access to adequate medical and mental health care services. I litigate and engage in advocacy regarding issues related to housing prisoners in conditions of substantial isolation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.