Judged Incompetent to Stand Trial, People with Mental Illness Still Languish in Pennsylvania Jails

Some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens—people facing criminal charges who are not competent to stand trial because of mental disabilities—have begun a class action lawsuit over the state’s provision of mental health treatment. Last month, eleven plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, sued the heads of a state agency and of the two state […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/8/2015]

• In Jezebel, Solitary Watch Contributing Writer Aviva Stahl interviews Synthia China Blast, a transgender woman who was isolated in involuntary protective custody for almost 20 years. Blast talks about her children, the abuse she suffered and the defense mechanisms she adopted in jail and after she was released. • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned […]

New Report Documents Brutal Treatment of People with Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons and Jails

“Across the United States, staff working in jails and prisons have used unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force on prisoners with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.” This is the conclusion of Callous and Cruel: Use of Force Against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons a Human Rights Watch report […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/3/15]

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 64-year old man was found dead in his cell at San Quentin Prison. He had spent 14 years on California’s death row where 752 people still remain. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/19/2015]

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 California judge ordered a remediation plan in a lawsuit over conditions at Monterey County jail that included the placement of people with serious mental illness in solitary confinement. […]