California passes bill banning long-term solitary confinement in prisons and jails

California Senate lawmakers passed a bill that bans the use of long-term solitary confinement in prisons, jails, and private detention centers.

Under the California Mandela Act, AB 2632, solitary confinement is limited to no more than 15 consecutive days and no more than 45 days in a six-month period.

The bill also bans solitary confinement entirely for people who are pregnant, disabled, and under the age of 25 or over 65.

Advocates say solitary confinement is inhumane and several other states have already banned or scaled back its use, including New York, New Jersey, and Nebraska, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, who introduced the bill in February, previously called solitary confinement "cruel and a racial justice issue that does nothing for the rehabilitation of a person."

"Not only is it deemed as cruel and unusual punishment by the United Nations, but it deeply damages the psyche of a person," Holden said, according to the Sacramento Bee. 

Some law enforcement leaders said getting rid of that option would cause safety issues in prisons and jails.