Shakeup in Alaska Prisons Targets “Overuse” of Solitary Confinement

Alaska’s prison system is “broken” according to Governor Bill Walker following a damning review of the Department of Corrections, including its overuse of solitary confinement and a recommendation for the practice to be used “sparingly and appropriately.” The review was ordered by Walker in August following highly-publicized outcry about a string of deaths of individuals […]

Voices from Solitary: The Life of an Escape Artist

The following comes from Steven Jay Russell, who is currently serving a 144-year sentence at the all-solitary Allan B. Polunsky Unit in Texas. Notorious for masterminding four successful, non-violent escapes from Texas correctional facilities, his story is recounted in the movie I Love You Phillip Morris. Russell, who has been held in administrative segregation for nearly two decades, is the first person in U.S. history […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/29/13]

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 Denver Post publishes an editorial in support of providing people who are held in administrative segregation at the Colorado State Penitentiary with outdoor exercise. Noting that a lawsuit has […]

How Many People Are In Solitary Confinement in California’s Prisons?

With the considerable attention focused on solitary confinement in California, Solitary Watch has observed inconsistent and widely varied statistics provided on the number of individuals housed in solitary in the state. We have reviewed and compiled statistics reported monthly by each prison through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) COMPSTAT reports (Computer Statistics […]

California Prison Officials Retaliating Against Hunger Strikers

California prison hunger strikers are entering their twelfth day of refusing state-issued meals in protest of long-term solitary confinement, the controversial gang validation process that has put 3,000 in indefinite isolation, and related issues. According to the latest figures from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), 1,457 individuals in 15 prisons across the […]

Thousands of California Prisoners, One Hunger Strike, One Week

California prisoners have been on hunger strike for one full week, today, in protest of long-term solitary confinement. The hunger strike began on July 8th with participation of approximately 30,000 people in two-thirds of California’s prisons, as well as several out-of-state facilities holding California prisoners. In the first days of the hunger strike, approximately 3,200 others […]