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 […]

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 [10/13/13]

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. • Following the death of Herman Wallace, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez called on the United States to immediately end the indefinite solitary confinement of Albert […]

New Project: Photo Requests from Solitary

Darrius: "My Auntie's House on the Block." Photo by Chris Murphy, 2012.

Solitary Watch has been on a brief hiatus this week as we worked on our latest collaboration, Photo Requests From Solitary. Please check out our new page on the project to view more photos. If you are in New York, come see the exhibit at Photoville in Brooklyn, and join us this afternoon for a panel […]

We Are One Body: Catholics Raise Voices Against Solitary Confinement

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The title of this piece is the title of a cover story in the latest issue of America: The National Catholic Review, written by Solitary Watch Reporter/Researcher Katie Rose Quandt. An excerpt follows; you can read the full piece on the America website. Brian Nelson spent 12 years of his life staring at four concrete […]

Voices from Solitary: “Extradition”

talha family

Today we arrive in London, where on Thursday we will speak at a forum entitled “Extradited to a Future of Torture: The Reality of Solitary Confinement in America.” Hosted by the International State Crimes Initiative (ISCI) at Kings College London, the event features the premiere of a film made by the Yale Visual Law Project, The […]

New on Solitary Watch: Multimedia Resources

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Thanks to our amazing Social Media Manager, Lisa Dawson, Solitary Watch now features a large and growing archive of multimedia resources on solitary confinement, including audio, video, and infographics. Art and photography are coming soon! Send suggestions for additons to the multimedia pages to solitarywatchnews@gmail.com.

The Art of Activism: Closing Tamms Supermax

tamms mud

A new article from Creative Time Reports highlights the role played by politically engaged art in the campaign to shut down Tamms supermax prison in southern Illinois. Tamms closed its doors for good in January, but only after a protracted battle in which family members of the incarcerated, grassroots activists, and artists–joined to form the group […]

To See or Not to See: Capturing Herman Wallace’s 41 Years in Solitary

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Guest Post by Angad Bhalla Angad Bhalla is the director of Herman’s House, a documentary film that examines the injustice of solitary confinement by exploring the creative journey and friendship between artist Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace. Forty-one years ago today, Wallace was placed in solitary confinement following the murder of a corrections officer at Louisiana’s […]