The “Vicious Cycles” Created by Solitary Confinement

Intensive Management Unit in Washington State Correctional Center

In 1993, Dr. Stuart Grassian, following extensive interviews with men in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU), reported that extensive periods in solitary confinement lead to what he referred to as a “syndrome” particular to prison isolation units. Anxiety, ruminations, panic attacks, aggression, paranoia, and psychotic symptoms were observed as a consequence of […]

Utah Supermax Prisoners Report Being “Treated Like an Animal”

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Prisoners at Utah State Prison, Draper’s supermax Uinta One facility have reported numerous abuses to Solitary Watch. The Uinta One facility has a design capacity of 96, and is divided into eight sections with twelve cells each, with approximately 90 prisoners currently held in solitary confinement for reasons varying from short-term disciplinary action to protective […]

Brandon Green, Chronicler of Solitary Confinement

Since first appearing in an October 16th, 2010 Voices from Solitary post, Utah State Prison, Draper, prisoner Brandon Green has been a consistent and prolific chronicler of “the vortex” that is the supermax Uinta One facility. Over 90 inmates are held in solitary confinement in the facility, where inmates are held in 8×6 cells for up to […]

Voices from Solitary: “No Wonder There Are So Many Suicides”

The following comes from a prisoner currently housed in maximum security housing at Utah State Prison, Draper. He has spent, by his estimate, seven years in either supermaximum or maximum security housing. He recently had a heart attack in maximum security and reportedly has received minimal health care treatment while incarcerated. He describes here the […]

Mentally Ill Utah Prisoner Sentenced to 20 Days in Solitary for Not Moving Cup Fast Enough

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Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah currently holds over 91 prisoners in solitary confinement in the Uinta One facility. Prisoners have described the facility as “a place of pain and terror” and a place where inmates “expect tragedy.” While Utah Department of Corrections admits that the facility on occasion houses prisoners diagnosed as “mentally ill”, they […]

“I Write, Read, Cry, Sleep and Beg for Death”: Life In Utah’s Supermax

“I write, read, cry, sleep and beg for death.” That is how fifty-six-year-old inmate J.,  in Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta 1 facility describes life in Utah’s isolation units, which houses the state’s death row prisoners in addition to inmates placed there for disciplinary issues. J. has spent six years in Uinta 1, a place […]

“Waiting For The World To Give Us A Reason To Live”: Solitary Confinement in Utah

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Utah State Prison’s Uinta 1 facility serves as the prison’s super-maximum security unit, where inmates are held in solitary confinement. Inmates in Uinta 1 may be there for disciplinary infractions, notoriety reasons, protective custody, or because they are security/escape risks. The unit is divided into eight sections with twelve inmates in each section, for a total […]

Voices from Solitary: “A Sort of Solitary Psychosis”

Utah State Correctional Facility

The following comes from an inmate at Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta 1 facility. Uinta 1 serves as Utah’s death row, long-term supermax, as well as the Draper institution’s disciplinary segregation unit. The writer wrote over a period of days detailing a particularly violent few days in his unit requiring multiple cell extractions following several […]

A Day in the Life of Three Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

Below are glimpses into the daily lives of three inmates held in isolation. Each has been in isolation for at least five years. Their reasons for being held in solitary vary–one was validated for gang membership, another for an escape attempt, and another for assaults on correctional officers. Their reasons for incarceration vary, from attempted […]

Voices from Solitary: From the Vortex of Uinta One

The following comes to Solitary Watch from inmate Brandon Green at Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta One facility. The facility currently holds 91 inmates in solitary confinement, including the state’s death row. Green has been in isolation for five years, after a brief period released from prison before being rearrested.  He has been corresponding with Solitary […]