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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley, Polis Support LGBT Concerns in Solitary Confinement Hearing

Feb 25, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Jared Polis (D-CO) released the following statement supporting LGBT concerns being addressed in a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing taking place later today on the issue of solitary confinement in our federal prison system.

“Merely replacing the threat of physical and sexual abuse with the isolation and cruelty of solitary confinement should not be the default procedure to protect LGBT inmates from the general prison population. Instead of punishing the victims of abuse, we need to implement protections that will truly address the needs of LGBT inmates and ensure safe alternatives to solitary confinement. We applaud efforts to bring attention to the negative fiscal, public safety and human rights consequences of solitary confinement. We hope that this hearing will address the disparate treatment that LGBT inmates face and seek solutions that protect the safety of all inmates regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) lends his support to the NOH8 Campaign for LGBT equality. (Photo credit: Adam Bouska/NOH8 Campaign)

LGBT inmates are frequently placed in solitary confinement as a means of protecting them from the general prison population. Inmates in solitary confinement suffer isolation, restricted movement and privileges, and are routinely denied access to necessary medical care, according to leading LGBT advocacy groups.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing, entitled “Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences,” occurs today at 2:30 pm in Hart 216.

Reps. Quigley and Polis are members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Previously, they led a bipartisan group of Members of Congress urging the Obama Administration to put strong regulations in place to prevent sexual abuse and assault against immigrants in federal custody. The call was in response to findings from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation they requestedin 2012.

 

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