Fettig, Amy. “How Do We Reach a National Tipping Point in the Campaign to Stop Solitary?” Northwestern University Law Review 115, no. 1 (2020), 311-334.
This journal article published in the Northwestern University Law Review examines the need for solitary confinement reform in the United States as well as the factors necessary for achieving reform. Fettig outlines the debilitating psychological and physical impacts of solitary confinement that persist long after one’s release, including those experienced by her clients as a human rights attorney. The article firmly states that solitary confinement is a human rights crisis that must be immediately addressed. However, Fettig offers hope that a growing momentum for reform (largely supported by an increase in doctors and scientists releasing data on the harmful effects of confinement) has the potential to induce a moment of sweeping solitary reform.
The article concludes by outlining three necessary factors to creating this “tipping point” in the campaign to reform solitary confinement: (1) furthering public mobilization through shifting public opinion, (2) documentation, research, and promotion of alternatives to solitary confinement, and (3) promoting oversight, transparency, and accountability in prisons.
Keywords: solitary confinement, reform movement, administrative segregation, oversight, alternatives to solitary confinement, human rights.