New Ban on Solitary Confinement for Child Prisoners in Mississippi

The United States, alone among industrialized nations, incarcerates thousands of juveniles in adult prisons, after trying and sentencing them as adults. We also lead the world in the practice of solitary confinement. These two facts have come together to create a horrifying reality: hundreds of children languishing in isolation cells. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty […]

Family of California Prisoner Who Died on Hunger Strike Speaks Out

The family of Christian Gomez, the 27-year-old prisoner who died while on hunger strike at California’s Corcoran State Prison, is speaking out about the loss of their family member in the hope that similar incidents in the future are avoided. In a phone call with Solitary Watch, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Terry Thornton confirmed that Gomez […]

Illinois Governor Proposes Closing Controversial Tamms Supermax Prison

In a budget briefing held this afternoon, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn proposed closing the state’s notorious Tamms supermax prison. The proposal is part of a package of deep spending cuts to nearly all areas of state government, which Quinn called a “rendezvous with reality.” Tamms holds more than 200 prisoners in long-term solitary confinement in conditions that […]

"Occupy" Prison Protests in California Oppose Use of Solitary Confinement

Protestors outside the LA County Jail Solitary confinement was very much on the agenda during yesterday’s “Occupy for Prisoners”protests at more than a dozen sites around the country. This was particularly true in California, where recent prisoner hunger strikes have called attention to conditons in the state’s all-solitary Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation […]

Conflicting Reports on Hunger Strike at California's Corcoran State Prison

A week after Solitary Watch first reported the death of 27-year-old hunger striker Christian Gomez, information about the recent strike in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) at Corcoran State Prison remains hard to come by. Officially, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has given varying accounts about the hunger strike. CDCR Spokesperson Terry Thornton, in an email to […]

Update: Prisoner Dies During Hunger Strike at California's Corcoran State Prison

Update (February 13): Theresa Cisneros, Public Information Officer at Corcoran, confirmed to Solitary Watch that Christian Gomez, 27, was hunger striking at the time of his death in the Administrative Segregation Unit. Official autopsy results still pending. Nancy Kincaid of California Correctional Health Care Services told Solitary Watch that Gomez had been “medically monitored for hunger strike […]

Lawsuit Challenges South Carolina's Use of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Mental Illness

Research by an advocacy group found that inmates with mental illness in South Carolina’s prisons receive inadequate care and “spend an inordinate amount of time in solitary confinement.” The group has sued the state’s Corrections Department in a case that went to court this week. The Associated Press reports: A Columbia-based advocacy group that sued South […]

How Many Prisoners Are in Solitary Confinement in the United States?

The number of inmates held in solitary confinement in the United States has been notoriously difficult to determine. Most states do not publish the relevant data, and many do not even collect it. Attempts to come up with a figure have been denounced as imperfect, based on state-by-state variances and shortcomings in data-gathering and in conceptions of what constitutes […]