Prison Guard Union Calls on Texas to Curtail Solitary Confinement on Death Row

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Prison Guard Union Calls on Texas to Curtail Solitary Confinement on Death Row

 
Daniel Lopez, 23, waits in Polunsky Unit's visiting room for guards to escort him back to his cell on death row.
Jen Reel
Daniel Lopez, 23, waits in Polunsky Unit’s visiting room for guards to escort him back to his cell on death row.

Texas’ largest prison guard union is calling for a partial end to the controversial use of solitary confinement on death row.

In a letter to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) obtained by the Observer, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3807 advocates for TDCJ to house death-row prisoners who pose the lowest security risk in cells with other inmates. The union also calls for the prison system to introduce privileges such as work assignments, streaming television and technology such as computer tablets—all in an effort to reduce the psychological trauma of inmates and the potential confrontations with guards.

It’s a particularly powerful statement given the…

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