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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

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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 […]

Twenty Years After the Lucasville Uprising, Trying to Tell the Story

Art by Jason Robb.

Guest Post by Staughton Lynd Staughton Lynd is a lawyer, historian, educator, author, and lifelong activist for peace and justice. For four decades, he and his wife, Alice Lynd, have worked on prisoners’ rights issues, especially in Ohio where they live. The Lynds were of counsel in a landmark 2001 class action suit, Austin v. Wilkinson, which challenged the constitutionality of […]

Guarding the Fortresses: How Prison Policies Limit Media Access to Solitary Confinement

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Journalists face serious obstacles to reporting on prisons–and even more to uncovering the truth about solitary confinement. (See James Ridgeway’s essay “Fortresses of Solitude.”) Public oversight of governmental institutions, which can help to prevent corruption and abuse by those in power, is seen as a hallmark of an engaged, democratic citizenry. However, when it comes […]

Fortresses of Solitude: Journalists Barred from Prison Isolation Units

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The following essay by Solitary Watch’s James Ridgeway appears in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, which also includes an excellent story on the difficulties involved in reporting on prisons in general. For more on prison media policies, see our accompanying article by Rachel M. Cohen. Supermax prisons and solitary confinement units are our domestic […]

As Washington State Prisons Begin Reforms, 800 Remain in Solitary Confinement

IMU at Stafford Creek Correctional Center, Credit: TONY OVERMAN

On January 7th, the Seattle Times reported that “Washington’s prisons are at the forefront of a new approach to solitary confinement, finding that a new focus on rehabilitation may calm some inmates’ behavior in prison and prevent violence once they are back on the street.” The article reports: [Washingon] began reconsidering solitary after violent clashes […]

Voices from Solitary: Picturing Solitary Confinement

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On his always superb blog Prison Photography, Pete Brooks last week featured a post called “Where Are All The Photographs Of Solitary Confinement?” As solitary confinement increasingly finds its way into the news, he writes, “journalists from across America have contacted me looking for photographs of solitary confinement to accompany their article.” With a few exceptions, Brooks writes, […]

New from Solitary Watch: “Solitary 101” PowerPoint Presentation

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Our “Solitary 101″ PowerPoint, developed for the recent Midwest Coalition for Human Rights conference on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, is now available online. The 60-slide PowerPoint includes sections on the history of solitary confinement, solitary as it is practiced in the United States today, and the growing movement against solitary confinement. We encourage educators and advocates to use, share, and […]