A Rock Island man’s decades-long stay in isolation in an Illinois prison has prompted proposed legislation that would limit how long a prisoner can stay in solitary confinement.
Called the Anthony Gay Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, the legislation would bar the Illinois Department of Corrections from placing an inmate in isolation for more than 10 days in a six-month period.
Corrections would also be required to give isolated inmates access to therapy.
Anthony Gay went to prison in 1994 for stealing a dollar bill and a hat.
Behavior problems, including self-mutilation, added to his sentence. By the time he was released in August 2018, he had served 22 years in solitary.
“Everything in solitary confinement is extreme,” Gay said to News 8 in 2018.
Gay said serving two decades alone behind bars made him mentally unstable and violent to himself and others.