Solitary Not Yet Over at Rikers, But Advocates Keep Fighting

Members of the Jails Action Coalition after the New York City Board of Correction hearing on January 13. (Photo: WNV/Nick Malinowski)

This story originally appeared on Waging Nonviolence.  A group of prisoners’ rights activists didn’t stop a new isolation unit from being approved on January 13, but they did manage to push through some changes to the proposal, as well as long-overdue limitations to solitary confinement at Rikers Island, New York City’s massive island jail complex. […]

Civil and Human Rights Groups to Eric Holder: No New Federal Supermax Prison at Thomson

thomson-correctional-center-2009-12-14-23-40-43

Last week, Solitary Watch published an investigation into the new federal prison in Thomson, Illinois, which is in the process of being renovated with an eye toward activation in the next year. Sources show that Thomson is intended to be in effect a supermax prison, with 400 “Administrative Maximum” cells for extreme solitary confinement, and 1500 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/18/2015]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

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. • New York City’s Board of Corrections voted to implement strict restrictions on the placement of young people in solitary confinement at Rikers Island – but they also moved to […]

New Federal Supermax Prison Will Double Capacity for Extreme Solitary Confinement

thomsonpic

Amid growing controversy around the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails, and in advance of an audit of its own prison “segregation” practices, the federal government is quietly moving ahead with a plan that would significantly increase its capacity to house individuals in long-term isolation. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/11/2015]

Cell Light

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. • South Carolina has paid $1.2 million to the estate of an individual who contracted hypothermia after spending 11 days in solitary confinement without any clothing. Jerome Laudman, who had mental […]

For Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons, A Year of Incremental Reform

solitarymap

As the year ended, The Marshall Project provided a comprehensive roundup of reforms to solitary confinement practices across the country. Eli Hager and Gerald Rich write: “In 2014 one of the most controversial practices in criminal justice, solitary confinement, faced unprecedented challenges. As a result of legislation or lawsuits, ten states adopted 14 measures aimed at […]

Voices from Solitary: Cycle of Despair

green haven

The following essay was written by Anthony Lamar Davis, who has spent approximately six of his past eleven years in prison in solitary confinement in New York’s “Special Housing Units,” or SHUs. In 2008, New York passed a law restricting the use of solitary on people with serious mental illness. The “SHU Exclusion Law” has removed several hundred […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/4/2015]

Cell Light

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 Massachusetts judge has tentatively approved a settlement for a class-action lawsuit that alleged abuses at Bridgewater State Hospital, including the excessive use of solitary confinement. A lead attorney […]

Dear Solitary Watchers…

Holiday Card - Lifelines to Solitary 2015 - Art by Five Mualimm-ak, survivor of 5 years in solitary confinement.

Dear Solitary Watchers: We reach out directly to our readers with an appeal for support once a year, and only for a very special part of our work. Throughout the year, while we carry out research and reporting on the human rights crisis hiding in plain sight, Solitary Watch also reaches out directly to over […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/28/2014]

Cell Light

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 Marshall Project published an article outlining the significant shifts in the legal landscape of solitary confinement over the course of recent years.  In 2014, “as a result of legislation or […]