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In the News

Interested in justice - from an American standpoint?

Mike McCartney

25th March 2021

The issue of solitary confinement - BBC documentary

Saw a short clip of this on BBC news last night, but I have been familiar with the issue for some time, and if we were to go to DC on a US Politics study visit as we normally do (on a biennial basis) my school would attend a talk by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on this topic.

Here we can get into considering all sorts of areas with reference to how the US political system operates, such as the role of pressure (interest) groups and how they seek to influence the judicial branch (look up what amicus curiae briefs are, for example), whether the American judiciary effectively protects rights, or in a comparative sense by considering whether rights are necessarily better protected in the with its codified constitution, than here in the UK.

Check out the work of the ACLU, specifically the ACLU National Prison Project, on this issue here:

Important notice before you watch any of the associated films, including the BBC feature, this is pretty harrowing stuff. But it is very real. If you think about politics and democracy, bear in mind the following quote: ‘The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free
is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.’

Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity.

The link to the BBC film is here:

Reminder: some of the footage is quite distressing

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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