Screams so loud that sleep became impossible. Old food rotting in cells. Little to no human interaction for months or years on end.
Those are some of the experiences described Thursday by former New Jersey inmates who said they were held in solitary confinement, as state lawmakers considered legislation to clamp down on the practice critics say can have long-term, negative repercussions.
“I’m not angry with the Department of Corrections. I’m not here because of anger at being incarcerated,” said Nafeesah Goldsmith, a former inmate who said she spent part of her prison term in solitary confinement.
“I’m here because it is the systems that are in place that allow people who are vulnerable to be further abused,” she said.