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Former Prison Warden Supports Legislation to Curb Solitary Confinement

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Legislation to curb the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island prisons has found an ally in a former warden who spent 33 years working in the state Department of Corrections.

Roberta Richman has testified before lawmakers that she's seen firsthand how isolating prisoners for long periods of time makes them angrier and more dangerous.

She was speaking in support of a bill that would limit segregating prisoners in small cells to no more than 15 days at a time, instead of months or years.

A street was renamed after Richman when she retired in 2012.

The bill faces strong opposition from the prison guards' union and administrators who say it will tie their hands.

Rep. Aaron Regunberg introduced the bill. The Providence Democrat says he's willing to compromise.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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