• The Advocate published an interview with Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman recently released from Augusta State Medical Prison in Georgia. “It was torture. I might be free now, but I am still struggling…Straight out of solitary confinement, but into another confinement here on parole.”
• A federal judge has granted prisoners’ requests to certify a class-action lawsuit against East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Mississippi. One expert witness who visited the segregation unit, former Washington State Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail, called the conditions there “barbaric” and “the worst I have ever seen in 35 years as a corrections professional.”
• The Senate reached a bipartisan compromise on criminal justice reform legislation, which would establish new federal limitations on placing children in solitary confinement. A number of outlets covered the development, including Fusion, the Huffington Post, and Mother Jones.
• The Colorado Gazette published an in-depth investigation into the use of isolation in juvenile detention facilities in the state, which the outlet termed a “secretive program that violated state law.” Fabian Quintana, then 14, who spent 22 days in isolation said of the experience, “I was kind of losing my mind.”
• As part of its ongoing series on ‘America Incarcerated,” VICE published an article outlining “Why Solitary Confinement in America Needs to Stop.”
• The Atlantic published an article entitled “Prison: America’s Most Vile Export?”, which explores on how the US’s supermax has spread across the globe, including to Brazil, Rwanda, Jamaica and elsewhere.
• Fusion unveiled a one-hour documentary named “Prison Kids,” which looks at juvenile justice in America. The site also urged its readers to sign a petition, addressed to Obama, which calls for an end of the placement of kids in solitary.
More than 100 organizations from across the United States sent an open letter to President Obama Friday calling for the elimination of long-term and indefinite solitary confinement. The signatories – including civil and human rights groups, religious organizations, and groups of defense attorneys and mental health professionals – ask the President to take quick and […]
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 Louisiana judge has rejected efforts by the lawyers of Albert Woodfox, the last member of the Angola Three still behind bars, to throw out his indictment or have his trial […]
Men incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola, are suing prison officials and the Louisiana Department of Corrections for failing to provide adequate healthcare to the more than 6,000 people currently held there. In a scathing, 63-page complaint, lawyers representing Angola’s prison population allege that men are routinely denied appropriate medical care, resulting in “unnecessary pain and […]
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 New York Times outlined a possible case the Supreme Court may take to determine the constitutionality of solitary confinement. The legal challenge, brought by Virginia prisoner Alfredo Prieto, […]
Last month, the Community Legal Aid Society Inc. (CLASI), along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a lawsuit against the head of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) over the department’s treatment of incarcerated people suffering from mental illness. CLASI argues that the DOC’s current practices violate the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. […]
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. • Wisconsin’s Badger Herald published an article on the use of solitary confinement in the state. Although the state has reduced its use of isolation, critics and advocates maintain that […]
The following article originally appeared on Counterpunch. A Solitary Watch investigation into the sites of the federal government’s two “supermax” facilities—the first open for two decades, the second slated to open soon—reveals a number of possible serious environmental hazards. The prisons, ADX Florence in Colorado and AUSP Thomson in Illinois, are built to hold men […]
Prison officials across the country dedicated themselves to reducing the use of solitary confinement as they released a ground-breaking survey showing as many as 100,000 people were in solitary as of last fall. “Prolonged isolation of individuals in jails and prisons is a grave problem in the United States,” said a press release by 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. • Coverage continued of the landmark settlement reached in California. The New York Times published an editorial supporting the development, and a Guardian story featured the stories and experiences of […]
How influential were the three hunger strikes held by California prisoners in spurring the sweeping changes to solitary confinement policies that were announced yesterday? The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has repeatedly stated that they were already planning to reform long-term solitary confinement before the hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013. But internal documents obtained […]
California prison officials have agreed to limit the practice of long-term solitary confinement, four years after the first hunger strike began in protest of the practice. Under a historic agreement reached in the Ashker v. Brown suit between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of individuals in […]