Solitary Confinement And Mental Health: The Case of Devon Davis

May 31, 2018

Is the North Carolina Department of Public Safety breaking its own rules? A 2016 policy change prohibits inmates with mental health issues from being held in solitary confinement for more than 30 days. So why was Devon Davis, who is developmentally delayed and has mental illness, kept in solitary for more than five months last year?

This is on top of the fact that he had to wait nearly four months to receive his medications. Taylor Knopf of North Carolina Health News has been following Davis’ story for years and notes that this is not the first time his mental health has been disregarded by the prison system.

In 2016, Knopf did a two-part series on Davis after he was held in solitary for over 1,000 days where he experienced hallucinations and heard voices. After Knopf’s exposé, new policies were introduced for suicide prevention and reducing solitary confinement for juvenile offenders. Knopf joins host Frank Stasio with an update on Davis and how things have changed since her series.