New Study: Solitary Confinement Overused in Colorado

A new report on solitary confinement in Colorado’s state prisons concluded that there are far too many inmates in round-the-clock lockdown. A series of relatively modest changes in its classification, review, and mental health treatment practices would “significantly reduce” the number of prisoners in administrative segregation, the report found. The report was funded by the National Institute of Corrections, and […]

New Video: UN Torture Expert Juan Mendez on Solitary Confinement

Juan E. Mendez is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Under a mandate from the General Assembly’s Human Rights Council, Mendez is charged with investigating and reporting on the use of torture throughout the 193 UN member states, as well as issuing recommendations and urgent appeals. In […]

Reducing Solitary Confinement in Maine

In the latest issue of the Portland Phoenix, Lance Tapley interviews Maine’s new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte. Before Ponte’s appointment, a grassroots movement in Maine raised public awareness around use and abuse of solitary confinement in Maine State Prison’s Special Management Unit (SMU), and led to an attempt to pass legislation limiting solitary. Since he was installed last winter, Ponte has […]

Freed from an Iranian Prison, Sarah Shourd Speaks Out for U.S. Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

The New York Times today features an op-ed titled “Tortued by Solitude.” The author is Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans who were imprisoned in Iran beginning in the summer of 2009, when they were arrested and charged with espionage while hiking on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan. Her two male companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, […]