Colorado has reduced the number of inmates in solitary confinement from 1,500 to 577, says the New York Times in a profile of corrections chief Rick Raemisch, who spent a night in solitary himself in January to see firsthand what it was like. Raemisch, 60, spent years as a deputy sheriff, a prosecutor and an elected sheriff before entering corrections. A self-described “meat and potatoes man” who distrusts adventurous cuisine, he is prone to self-deprecation: At parties, people head the other way when they hear what he does for a living. “Nobody wants to talk,” he said.
He has an ambitious agenda for the coming months, including allowing death row prisoners out of their cells for four hours a day and sending inmates to solitary confinement for specific lengths of time instead of indefinite periods. “They should know when they're coming out,” he said. Raemisch succeeded the murdered Tom Clements. His predecessor's violent death continues to shadow him. Having received death threats days after arriving in Colorado, he travels with a security detail and carries a gun on planes.