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Northwestern Law to host symposium ‘Rethinking Solitary Confinement’

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will give the keynote address

  • Created: November 07, 2019

“Fighting Solitary Confinement in Illinois” and “Strategies for Change” are two of the panels featured at the Northwestern University Law Review’s (NULR) symposium,“Rethinking Solitary Confinement.” 

The event will bring together leading experts on the topic from a wide range of fields -- legal scholarship, mental and physical health, correctional administration and litigation. 

The daylong symposium will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8 on Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Chicago campus, 375 E. Chicago Ave., in Thorne Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, however, registration is requested through Eventbrite.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will give the keynote address at 9:15 a.m.

“The Law Review is honored to shine a light on the experiences of solitary survivors and those currently in isolation, whose voices are too often discounted,” said NULR Editor-in-Chief Annie Prossnitz.

Additional panels include “Perspectives on Solitary Confinement,” “Solitary Confinement’s (L)aw-ful(l)-ness: Confusing Typicality with Constitutionality,” and “Cruelty, Harm and the Eighth Amendment.” 

“Solitary confinement is an issue that demands the attention and action of the public at large,” said NULR Symposium Editor Emily McCormick. “We sincerely hope this event can be a springboard for change.”

Visit the symposium site for the schedule, a complete list of speakers and registration information. 

“Prolonged solitary confinement, which Justice Sotomayor has likened to a ‘penal tomb,’ has become a focus of public discourse, legislative reform, policy change, prison hunger strikes, papal condemnation, scholarship, art and judicial attention,” said David Shapiro, clinical associate professor of law and director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Program of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Law. “This event will bring together leading national experts for an interdisciplinary discussion of the practice.”