Doing "Bing Time": Memories of a Mental Health Worker in Rikers Island's Solitary Confinement Unit

The following post is a chapter from an unpublished book by Mary Buser, who worked in various capacities in the mental health system on Rikers Island. In Buser’s own words: “I worked in the Rikers Mental Health Department as a psychiatric social worker for five and a half years, leaving Rikers in 2000. I started off as a student intern […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/23/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • A high-profile hearing on solitary confinement will be held on Tuesday, February 25, by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, chaired by […]

Lawsuit Secures New Limits on Solitary Confinement in New York's Prisons

Under pressure from a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three people held in long-term solitary confinement, New York has agreed to a set of changes to its use of solitary and other forms of extreme isolation in state prisons. The agreement, announced on Wednesday, would bar certain vulnerable populations from isolated confinement, while […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/16/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Robert King of the Angola 3, University of California Santa Cruz Professor Craig Haney and […]

At Hearing on Solitary Confinement in California Prisons, Advocates Challenge "Reforms"

“We’re here to question the existence and effects of the SHU,” stated California Assembly Member Tom Ammiano on Tuesday, “and we don’t think this new proposed policy goes nearly far enough.” Ammiano, who chairs the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, was speaking at the second joint California Assembly-Senate hearing on the use of solitary confinement, including SHUs (Security Housing […]

Seven Months After Historic Prison Hunger Strike, Opponents of Solitary in California Gauge the Pace of Change

Tomorrow, California lawmakers will hold a hearing about the use of solitary confinement inside its state prison system. February marks seven months since people incarcerated throughout California embarked on the mass hunger strike that has drawn legislative attention to prison conditions. Just under two weeks ago, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released new proposed regulations […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/9/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • The ACLU released an online toolkit outlining how LGBTI advocates and directly affected individuals can leverage the Prison Rape Elimination ACT (PREA) to protect one of the most vulnerable populations […]