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The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding$
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Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.001.0001

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Human Rights Fact-Finding in the Shadows of America’s Solitary Confinement Prisons

Human Rights Fact-Finding in the Shadows of America’s Solitary Confinement Prisons

Chapter:
(p.303) 15. Human Rights Fact-Finding in the Shadows of America’s Solitary Confinement Prisons
Source:
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding
Author(s):

Taylor Pendergrass

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.003.0015

This chapter provides the historical background and legal context regarding the use of solitary confinement in New York prisons and presents the role of the New York Civil Liberties Union in relation to that issue. It then describes the NYCLU’s fact-finding investigation and the results they accomplished. It concludes that the NYCLU’s utilization of a human rights framework was of key importance for placing New York’s solitary confinement practices in an international context, and contrasting well-established human rights protections with still-developing domestic law. That human rights framework was reinforced by adherence to the principles of human rights fact-finding, many of which do not commonly inform investigations in the United States.

Keywords:   solitary confinement, prisons, human rights standards, United States, NYCLU fact-finding investigation

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