London Calling

pentonville1For the next two weeks, Solitary Watch will be on hiatus while my colleague Aviva Stahl and I take a reporting trip to the United Kingdom.

While there, we will be speaking with officials and inspectors of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, as well as prison reform advocates, scholars, and currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. We  also hope to visit several prisons. Our particular aim is to investigate alternatives to the widespread use of long-term solitary confinement, practiced in the United States but virtually nowhere else in the Western industrialized world.

If time allows, we’ll also take a look at some of the icons of the British carceral state, including the Tower of London, where enemies of the crown were once held in extreme isolation, and Pentonville Prison, which has been in operation since 1842 and was built on the model of the U.S.’s notorious prototype of solitary confinement, Eastern State Penitentiary.

Please check back in mid-May, when we’ll begin to post stories based on our experiences and findings.

Cell Light

Seven Days in Solitary [5/3/15]

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 64-year old man was found dead in his cell at San Quentin Prison. He had spent 14 years on California’s death row where 752 people still remain. […]

Activists rally in the New York State Capitol after a day of lobbying for the HALT Solitary Confinement Act.

Legislation Limiting Solitary Confinement in New York Gains Momentum

A bill to significantly limit the use solitary confinement in New York state prison and local jails gained momentum last week, after nine Assembly members and two state senators agreed to support the legislation. The new sponsorships, secured after a day of lobbying that brought more than 120 activists to Albany from around the state, […]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

Seven Days in Solitary [4/26/2015]

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. • Three women held at Kernes County Residential Center have sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the GEO Group, the corporation that runs the detention center. The women […]

CaliforniaPrison

American Outcasts: U.S. Prisons and Modern Day Banishment

  The following article was published on Wednesday on The Intercept. It was written with the support of a fellowship from the Alicia Patterson Foundation. In 1986, Patty Prewitt was sent to prison for the murder of her husband. In addition to maintaining her innocence, she, like many others her age, has also been a […]

COOEY

At Ohio’s Supermax Prison, a Hunger Strike Ends But Extreme Isolation Remains

Last week, men incarcerated at Ohio’s supermax prison, the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, brought a month-long hunger strike to a close. Between 30 and 40 men had refused all meals since March 16 to protest new restrictions placed on already severely limited recreation and programming for those in solitary confinement. On Wednesday, April 15, […]

Cell Light

Seven Days in Solitary [4/19/2015]

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 California judge ordered a remediation plan in a lawsuit over conditions at Monterey County jail that included the placement of people with serious mental illness in solitary confinement. […]

A cell in the Pelican Bay SHU, where the writer lived for two decades.

Voices from Solitary: The Safari from Pelikkkan Bay

Kijana Tashiri Askari has been in solitary confinement since 1994 after he was “validated” as a member of the Black Guerrilla Family. Until recently in California’s prisons, people who were validated as gang members were sentenced to indeterminate stays in the Security Housing Unit (SHU), where they spent nearly 24 hours in windowless cells. In […]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

Seven Days in Solitary [4/12/2015]

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 student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison wrote a piece for the Huffington Post calling for the end of youth solitary in prisons across the country. A bill to end […]

Solitary Watch Newsletter – Spring, 2015

Solitary Watch Spring 2015 Print Edition

For the past four years, Solitary Watch has been sending a quarterly print edition, with selected stories from the website, to individuals in solitary confinement. Our list now numbers more than 1,500. If you know someone inside who would like to receive our mailings, please email their address to info@solitarywatch.com, or send it to Solitary […]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

Seven Days in Solitary [4/05/2015]

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. • Slate published an article about a program instituted in Washington state, which is “premised… on the idea that every prisoner, even the so-called worst of the worst, deserves a […]

adx-cell (1)

Voices from ADX: Living “Inside America’s Toughest Prison”

The New York Times Magazine feature story on the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, or ADX, in Florence, Colorado, appeared under the headline “Inside America’s Toughest Prison.” In fact, no journalist has been inside ADX for at least 15 years, but 400 men live there, some for years or decades. The story has suddenly spurred interest […]

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