A glimmer of change on Arkansas's Death Row? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 4, 2016

A glimmer of change on Arkansas's Death Row?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 7:04 AM

click to enlarge VARNER UNIT: A change reported on Death Row,
  • VARNER UNIT: A change reported on Death Row,
Some news from Arkansas Death Row: A change that could mean a lessening of the solitary confinement-like conditions there.

I got a tip before Christmas that Correction Department Director Wendy Kelley had visited Death Row at the Varner unit and had indicated a change was coming there, specifically a change from solid doors to doors with bars on individual cells. That change would allow some communication between inmates. Was that, I wondered, a change to ease the destructive effects of solitary confinement?

I got a brief response from prison spokeswoman Cathy Frye confirming that the doors are being changed. But I'm still awaiting elaboration.

In the meanwhile, there's evidence of more light entering the cells of 34 men on Death Row.

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