Federal Inmate Seeks to Ease Solitary Confinement After 28 Years


Thomas Silverstein remains in solitary confinement in the Supermax federal prison in Colorado nearly 28 years after he was placed there after killing a prison guard, says the Denver Post. In a lawsuit, Silverstein, 59, asked a judge to lessen his isolation, citing a spotless conduct record for more than two decades.

The lawsuit chronicles his repeated but futile attempts to learn what, if anything, he could do to persuade prison officials to let him out of solitary so he could interact with other inmates and win back privileges, such as a prison job. Federal prosecutors argue that Silverstein’s confinement, the longest of any federal prisoner, has been appropriate considering the danger he poses to prison officials, fellow inmates, and the public. They say Silverstein is a high-ranking member of the violent prison gang Aryan Brotherhood who has caused a prison riot, has committed other assaults on guards and continues to “call shots” for the gang — a claim Silverstein and his attorneys deny.

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