Solitary confinement declines in Colo.

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DENVER (AP) The number of Colorado inmates in solitary confinement is declining and prison officials say they're looking at changing policies to continue the trend.

The Colorado Department of Corrections told lawmakers Wednesday that there were 662 inmates in solitary confinement in September, compared to 1,505 in September 2011.

DOC Executive Director Rick Raemisch also told lawmakers there are only eight inmates in solitary confinement with a mental illness now, compared to 140 at the same time last year.

Some of the policy changes prison officials are considering include reducing the number of daily hours an inmate is in solitary confinement.

The mental health consequences of solitary confinement have received more attention since the murder of former Colorado DOC Director Tom Clements. The suspect was a former inmate who served time in solitary confinement.

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