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Seven Days in Solitary [11/17/13]

Solitary confinement cell

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 reports on a landmark ruling by a Virginia federal court in a case brought by death row prisoner Alfredo Prieto. According to the story, District Court Judge […]

In States That “Reduce” Their Use of Solitary Confinement, Suffering Continues for Those Left Behind

A cell in the supermax unit at Maine State Prison. Photo by Lance Tapley.

Under pressure from activists, lawsuits, and even a few reformers within the corrections system, several states have significantly reduced the number of people they hold in solitary confinement in their prison systems. These reductions, achieved largely through “reclassifying” prisoners and returning the least troublesome ones to the general population, have rightly been celebrated by opponents […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/3/13]

Solitary confinement cell

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 comprehensive new report, Inside the Box: The Real Costs of Solitary Confinement in New Mexico’s Prisons and Jails, was published this week by the New Mexico Center […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/27/13]

Solitary confinement cell

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 Associated Press reports on a lawsuit alleging that a man with mental illness was repeatedly pepper sprayed by guards while held in solitary confinement at North Carolina’s Central Prison. Solitary […]

One Month After Historic Hunger Strike, California Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Solitary Confinement

ca rally

Guest Post by Victoria Law The following report on the October 9 hearing held by the California legislature originally appeared on Truthout. The author, Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, and mother. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press 2009), the editor of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings […]

Under Fire, the Federal Bureau of Prisons Audits Its Use of Solitary Confinement——and Buys a New Supermax Prison

Solitary confinement cells at ADX Florence, the federal supermax in Colorado.

Amidst growing criticism of its abundant use solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons has quietly set in motion an “internal audit” to review its “restricted housing operations.” The audit, which has been contracted out to a Washington think tank and will be conducted largely by former corrections officials, seems unlikely to bring any dramatic change […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/6/13]

Solitary confinement cell

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. • This weeks news has been dominated by the passing of Angola 3 member Herman Wallace, after more than 41 years in solitary and less than three days in […]

Videos Show Abuse of Mentally Ill in California Prisons

Solitary confinement at Corcoran SHU

Videos of California prison guards pumping pepper spray into the cells of prisoners – some of whom were naked and screaming, all of whom suffer from mental illness – and then forcibly extracting them from their cells were shown at trial in a federal court room in Sacramento on Tuesday. The trial, part of a federal case […]

After 41 Years in Solitary, a Dying Herman Wallace Has His Conviction Overturned—-and Is Freed

herman

Update, 10/4/15, 10 am: Herman Wallace died early this morning, a free man. He was 71 years old. In a long article we wrote in 2006 on Herman Wallace and his case, we ended with a quote from a letter he wrote to Jackie Sumell: “I’m often asked what did I come to prison for; and now […]

Federal Appeals Court Considers Tommy Silverstein’s 30 Years in Extreme Solitary Confinement

Art by Thomas Silverstein

Thomas Silverstein has been called “the most dangerous prisoner in America,” based on several prison murders that took place 30 years ago. He has also been called “America’s most isolated man,” based on the conditions in which he has lived during those 30 years–conditions which, Silverstein and his lawyers contend, clearly constitute cruel and unusual punishment. […]