By Claudia Peschiutta

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Some call it “the hole”, while others refer to it as “lockdown”, but for one group of protesters, the solitary confinement of Los Angeles County inmates is simply “inhumane”.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports activists are calling for an end to the prolonged isolation of prison inmates at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

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Members of the American Civil Liberties Union and other demonstrators gathered outside the jail on Bauchet Street on Monday evening to protest against what they say is an ineffective and dangerous practice.

“Solitary confinement causes and exacerbates mental illness,” said James Gilliam with the ACLU of Southern California.

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Gilliam and other opponents argue that the extensive isolation of inmates may prevent them from being able to “properly reintegrate into society” and make them more likely to commit crimes once they are released.

One protester pointed to the treatment her husband receives as an inmate at Pelican Bay state prison in Crescent City.

“He’s in his cell for 23 hours, one hour he gets to go on a little dog run, which is no light, no sun,” said Virginia.

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Last month, the ACLU sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over allegations that it routinely ignores incidents of deputy violence in the jails.