• Coverage of Guantanamo was heavy again throughout the past week as the hunger strike reached its 100th day. An estimated 102 of the 166 detainee are refusing food, and some 30 are being subjected to force-feeding in violation of international human rights standards.
• A (somwhat overly sanguine) CBS News piece reported on the federal government’s internal plan to review its use of solitary confinement, and noted reductions that have taken place thus far in a handful of states.
• Mashable reports that hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer has been placed in solitary confinement in his minimum security federal prison to prevent him tweeting and posting phone calls to his soundcloud.
• As a guest column in the Orlando Sun-Sentinal notes, the Youth in Solitary Confinement Reduction Act failed to make progress in the current legislative session. It’s sponsor has vowed to reintroduce it in the next session, as awareness of children held in solitary grows in Florida and around the country.
• An op-ed and letter to the editor in the Albany Times-Union argue that solitary confinement as practiced in New York is both brutal and futile. The pieces respond to an article in the Times Union on the effects of solitary, and a subsequent op-ed by the local corrections officers’ union supporting the practice.
• The New York Times reports that after years of litigation and negotiation, a federal judge has “approved a settlement meant to guarantee alternatives to segregation for mentally ill inmates in Massachusetts prisons.”
Lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of eight people held in solitary confinement at Central Prison against officers and administrators at the facility. As reported by the Associated Press: A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at North Carolina’s Central Prison alleges correctional officers used “blind spots” out of view of security cameras [...]
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 [...]
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. • Media coverage on the urgency of closing Guantanamo was heavy throughout the past week, with an estimated 100 of the 166 detainees hunger striking. Most recently, Al Jazeera [...]
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 email@example.com.
Shawn Fisher, who is serving a life sentence at Massachusetts Correctional Institution–Shirley, has written to Solitary Watch making the argument that the treatment of many elders in prison is in fact a form of solitary confinement. An organization of lifers in Massachusetts has urged the state legislature to adopt some sort of compassionate leave act that would [...]
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 [...]
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. • Media coverage on the urgency of closing Guantanamo was particularly heavy this week, with numerous organizations and groups calling on President Obama to take immediate action. Most recently, The [...]
“The Ten Worst Prisons in America,” our eleven-part article, premiered yesterday over at MotherJones.com with the notorious ADX Florence federal supermax. A new worst prison will be published each weekday (with some dishonorable mentions at the end), so please check in from time to time for new postings. What follows is the introduction to the series. “If you [...]
The following poem was written by Nicholas Zimmerman, who is currently incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility in New York. He has been in prison for twelve years, and in solitary confinement for ten of those years. He writes: “Since being in The SHU [Special Housing Unit], I have had a stroke, I have been diagnosed with [...]
Guest Post by Kanya D’Almeida and Bret Grote “Control unit facilities cannot be allowed to exist,” writes Russell Maroon Shoatz in a piece called “Death by Regulation.” “They serve no purpose other than to dehumanize their occupants. Our collective welfare demands that we do everything within our power to bring about an end to this [...]
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 Queens Chronicle reports on efforts by activists and New York City Council Members to increase transparency and and place stricter limits on the use of solitary confinement in [...]
Andrew Cohen continues his coverage for the Atlantic of two potentially groundbreaking lawsuits directed at the treatment of those incarcerated in the notorious ADX Florence, where about 400 men live in extreme isolation and sensory deprivation for years or decades. Today he reports on a federal judge’s decision to allow the lawsuits to proceed, rejecting the [...]
Dr. Terry Kupers, Institute Professor at the Wright Institute in San Francisco and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, is among the foremost national experts on the mental health effects of solitary confinement. Dr. Kupers delivered the keynote address at the Strategic Convening on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, sponsored by the Midwest [...]
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. • According to a piece by Susan Greene in the Colorado Independent, the “Colorado ACLU reports young people are being forced to spend lengthy stints in cement isolation rooms referred [...]