Davis, Schlossberg to introduce legislation to prohibit solitary confinement for vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania



State Rep. Tina Davis
D-Bucks County

State Rep. Mike Schlossberg
D-Lehigh County


Davis, Schlossberg to introduce legislation to prohibit solitary confinement for vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Dec. 12 – State Reps. Tina Davis and Mike Schlossberg plan to introduce a bill that would prohibit solitary confinement for vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania’s jails and prisons. Davis made the announcement at a press conference held at the state Capitol, which was hosted by the Solidarity Not Solitary Coalition.

“This bill will save taxpayers money in the long term,” said Davis, D-Bucks. “Studies have shown that solitary confinement has led to greater psychological issues for incarcerated individuals, making it more difficult for them to be rehabilitated and reintroduced into society. This puts a stress on the social services system and leads to a higher recidivism rate.”

Segregated confinement deprives inmates of normal human interaction, access to rehabilitative programs and processes, and greatly contributes to a variety of negative physiological and psychological reactions, such as hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

The legislation would offer people in segregated confinement with enough socialization to prevent the worst physical and mental effects of isolation and offer those with serious mental health issues alternatives to segregated confinement.

“The need to focus on better mental health as a society does not end when somebody becomes incarcerated,” Schlossberg said. “It’s not just in our moral interests to do so, but it is in the interest of public safety too. Because so many incarcerated people report underlying mental health and substance use disorders, it is critical to ensure adequate treatment and mental health services are more readily available. Failure only sets up incarcerated persons, corrections staff, and taxpayers for failure. We also know the use of solitary confinement undercuts mental wellness and only compounds existing illnesses. We can and must do better.”

Davis is currently circulating a cosponsorship memo for the bill, which is supported by the Abolitionist Law Center, Human Rights Coalition, ACLU and Juntos.

Davis represents the 141st District, comprised of Bristol Twp. and Bristol Borough in Bucks County.

Schlossberg represents the 132nd District comprised of part of Allentown, South Whitehall Township and parts of Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County.