Former NBA star Caron Butler knows a thing or two about solitary confinement — he’s been there. His experiences in isolation is the driving force behind him leading an effort to ban solitary at Connecticut prisons. Butler, now an assistant coach for Miami, wants Gov. Ned Lamont to sign new legislation requiring almost all inmates to be allowed at least 6 ½ hours out of their cells, reports AP News.
“Being in those four walls and those four corners, it does something to you,” Butler said, in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mentally and spiritually, it takes away a lot. It dehumanizes you.”
“Being in those four walls and those four corners, it does something to you,” said Caron Butler.
“Mentally and spiritually, it takes away a lot. It dehumanizes you.”https://t.co/vAdWy8zcy1
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 7, 2021
Butler said he’ll never forget the torture he endured in prison and is hoping that the Connecticut legislation will serve as an example for other states.
“Now I look back in hindsight and I want to tell my younger self to stay hopeful,” he said. “There are people out there that care. There’s going to be elected officials out there in the future that’s going to care about this community in real time. There’s going to be change on the horizon. They are going to come up with ways to rehabilitate that never dehumanize people.”
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The bill, which received final legislative approval Sunday, comes as Northern Correctional Institution, the state’s maximum-security prison designed to specifically keep inmates in isolation, is closing.
If Caron Butler can make a difference in the lives of thousands, that’s far more important than anything he’s ever done on the basketball court.