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Colorado prison director seeks isolation reform

By Associated Press
Published On: Feb 21 2014 12:38:29 PM CST

Colorado Department of Corrections

DOC Exective Director Rick Raemisch

DENVER -

Colorado's new Corrections Department director is promising to reform 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 says he suffered mental anguish after spending only 20 hours in solitary confinement. The average time spent in solitary in Colorado is 23 months, and some prisoners spend 20 years with limited contact with prison officers or other prisoners.
    
A parolee suspected of murdering Raemisch's predecessor, Tom Clements, was released onto parole directly from solitary confinement in March, which Raemisch says is unacceptable.
    
Evan Ebel served much of his eight years in prison in solitary confinement. Ebel was later killed in a shootout with Texas authorities in 2013.

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