Walz signs bill reforming solitary confinement rules

June 14, 2019 06:39 PM

Governor Tim Walz surrounded himself with lawmakers, corrections officials and mental health advocates to sign into law a bill that will reform how prison inmates are treated in solitary confinement.

The bill calls for prisoners in solitary or "segregation" to get psychological screening if they show signs of mental illness. They will also get daily wellness checks while in solitary confinement, and no one will be allowed to be released from prison directly from solitary.

Below are statistics on the number of inmates in Minnesota who have spent time in solitary confinement over the past decade.

"We want to provide our corrections officers all the tools necessary they need, both to maintain order and to move people toward a healthier place when they're on release from incarceration," Walz said just before the ceremonial signing of the bill.

In addition to the solitary confinement reforms, the legislature also approved $10 million in new money to hire 78 new corrections officers.

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Tom Hauser

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