After 20 Hours in Solitary, Colorado’s Prisons Chief Wins Praise

The cells where inmates are kept in solitary confinement at the state penitentiary here are 7-by-13-foot boxes arranged in semicircular tiers. When the warden, Travis Trani, heard that Rick Raemisch, Colorado’s new chief of corrections, intended to spend a night in one of them, he had two reactions.

“I thought he was crazy,” Mr. Trani recalled. “But I also admired him for wanting to have the experience.”

Mr. Raemisch has been in his job for just over seven months, having stepped in after his predecessor was shot to death a year ago Tuesday by a former inmate who had spent years in solitary. During that time, Mr. Raemisch has gained a reputation as an outspoken reformer and has made clear that he wants to make significant changes in the way the state operates its prisons.

by Erica Goode, The New York Times

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