Heat assistant Caron Butler trying to end prison solitary confinement in Connecticut

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Former NBA player and current Miami Heat assistant Caron Butler knows all about solitary confinement.

He was forced into it for two weeks while he was in prison as a teenager.

That’s exactly why Butler is working to all but eliminate it from prisons completely.

“Being in those four walls and those four corners, it does something to you,” Butler told The Associated Press. “Mentally and spiritually, it takes away a lot. It dehumanizes you.”

Butler, a former UConn star, visited the Connecticut state Capitol Monday to ask Gov. Ned Lamont to pass legislation that would essentially eliminate solitary confinement and other isolation forms in prisons in the state, per the report. The bill would require almost all inmates to have at least 6.5 hours out of their cells each day, and bans the use of certain restraints.

Caron Butler spent two weeks in solitary confinement at 15

Butler was arrested more than a dozen times as a teenager in Racine, Wisconsin, and was sentenced to more than a year in prison on drug and firearms charges, per the report.

He told The Associated Press that when he was in prison at 15, he got into a fight and was put in solitary confinement for two weeks.

During that time, except for just one hour each day, Butler was completely alone — an awful experience he said that he will never forget.

Butler, though, got his life together after his time in prison. He spent two seasons at UConn, where he averaged 18 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and was then drafted No. 10 overall in 2002 by the Miami Heat.

Butler spent 14 seasons in the league for nine different teams, and averaged 14.1 points and five rebounds over the course of his career. The 41-year-old was hired as an assistant with the Heat last year after spending time as an NBA analyst.

“Now I look back in hindsight and I want to tell my younger self to stay hopeful,” he said, via The Associated Press. “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.”

Former UConn and NBA star Caron Butler
Caron Butler spent two weeks in solitary confinement when he was 15, something he said "dehumanizes you." (AP/Jessica Hill)

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