Court Rulings Against Canada's Use of Solitary Confinement Could Set New Standards for Reform

Recent landmark court decisions in cases challenging solitary confinement in Canada’s federal penitentiaries could reverberate beyond Canadian prison walls. In two cases launched by prison justice and civil liberties organizations, federal courts found solitary confinement as it is practiced today to be unconstitutional. The rulings would force significant changes in the Canadian penal system—but incarcerated people and their […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/18]

• The Denver Post reported on the reforms taking place in Colorado’s Division of Youth Services (DYS), which have drastically reduced the use of solitary confinement for youth and resulted in a decrease of violence in most facilities. The reforms aim to move the state juvenile correctional system from a punitive jail environment to a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/18]

• The Washington Post reported that federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled unconstitutional the state of Virginia’s practice of placing death row individuals in solitary confinement. In 2015, Virginia allegedly stopped placing individuals with death sentences in solitary confinement, but the state had refused to maintain this prohibition. However, Brinkema, the first federal judge to determine […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/4/18]

• In a Joint Budget Hearing on Public Protection in Albany, New York, on January 30, New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera asked Acting Corrections Commissioner Anthony Annucci a question regarding the New York’s use of solitary confinement. Rivera referred to Colorado corrections chief Rick Raemisch, who four years ago spent 24 hours in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/28/18]

• In a long article in the Annual Review of Criminology, Dr. Craig Haney provides a comprehensive review of the growing consensus against solitary confinement in the academic, legal, scientific, medical, and even correctional fields. The piece provides theoretical backing and empirical evidence of the detrimental consequences of depriving individuals of meaningful human contact through the use of solitary, as […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/19/17]

• Saifullah Paracha, a 70-year-old man from Pakistan and the oldest individual incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay, says that the treatment of detainees at the facility has gotten worse since the election of Donald Trump. Last month, as reported by Newsweek, guards performed a forced “cell extraction” on Paracha before subjecting him to solitary confinement for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/12/17]

• One of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox, who served the longest stretch in solitary confinement documented in the United States of 43 years and 10 months, discussed on Love + Radio his experience as a Black man in society, in the Louisiana prison system, and in solitary: “The thing about pain is it’s always fresh. No matter […]

Lawsuits Challenge the Cruelty of Decades in Solitary Confinement on Death Row

In a dissenting opinion written earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that “If extended solitary confinement alone raises serious constitutional questions, then 20 years of solitary confinement, all the while under threat of execution, must raise similar questions, and to a rare degree, and with particular intensity.” Yet in a majority of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/12/2017]

•  New Mexico counties have been forced to pay more than $20 million in civil rights about solitary confinement thus far, and may pay out even more in the near future – five solitary confinement-related suits have been filed against the New Mexico counties in the last 18 months. George Abila recently won a $1.9 […]

New Report Shows Devastating Impact of Solitary Confinement on Incarcerated People with Physical Disabilities     

The American Civil Liberties Union today released an extensive report on people with physical disabilities in solitary confinement. Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities provides both statistical and anecdotal evidence that people with physical disabilities, who are dramatically overrepresented in prisons, are subject to abysmal and flagrantly illegal treatment while […]