Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Death Row Conditions Through an Environmental Justice Lens

Death Row Conditions Through an Environmental Justice Lens

Armstrong, Andrea C. “Death Row Conditions Through an Environmental Justice Lens.” Arkansas Law Review 70, no. 2 (2017): 203-226.

This article examines living conditions on death row through an environmental justice lens. In many prisons, environmental conditions—including exposure to chemicals, mold, human waste, and dangerously high temperatures—are detrimental to the health of the people housed on death row. People incarcerated on death row are typically held in solitary confinement under heightened security restrictions, and conditions can include little access to natural light, poor ventilation, and social isolation. The author looks at conditions on death row in Louisiana prisons, and makes some recommendations on reducing the negative health impact of the environment.

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Keywords: conditions of confinement, vulnerable populations, segregation, restrictive housing, death row, solitary confinement, segregation and health, health, environmental justice.