Federal Bureau of Prisons Details Plans for Limited "Audit" of Solitary Confinement Practices

Last week, representatives of six nonprofit organizations critical of solitary confinement met in a closed-door meeting in Washington, D.C., with the team hired to conduct an internal audit of the federal Bureau of Prisons’ controversial “segregation” policies. The idea for an audit came out of Senator Dick Durbin’s June 2012 Senate hearing on solitary confinement, […]

In States That "Reduce" Their Use of Solitary Confinement, Suffering Continues for Those Left Behind

Under pressure from activists, lawsuits, and even a few reformers within the corrections system, several states have significantly reduced the number of people they hold in solitary confinement in their prison systems. These reductions, achieved largely through “reclassifying” prisoners and returning the least troublesome ones to the general population, have rightly been celebrated by opponents […]

Under Fire, Federal Bureau of Prisons Audits Use of Solitary Confinement—and Buys a New Supermax Prison

Amidst growing criticism of its abundant use solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons has quietly set in motion an “internal audit” to review its “restricted housing operations.” The audit, which has been contracted out to a Washington think tank and will be conducted largely by former corrections officials, seems unlikely to bring any dramatic change […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/13/13]

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. • Following the death of Herman Wallace, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez called on the United States to immediately end the indefinite solitary confinement of Albert […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/8/13]

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. • According to the tally kept by the Miami Herald, 22 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are engaged in a hunger strike, with 20 being force-fed. This week marks […]

As 30,000 Join California Prison Hunger Strike, Corrections Officials Issue Guidelines on Starvation

On Monday, July 8th, California prisoners launched their third hunger strike in two years, protesting conditions in the Security Housing Units (SHUs), where thousands of prisoners are held in segregation units designed to limit communication. While the largest one-day participation of the prior two strikes rose to over 11,000, Monday’s strike began with a historic […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/7/13]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past two weeks that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. •  In response to a federal lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in solitary, the state of North Carolina filed a motion claiming that “prison guards used ‘minimal forc’ […]

Opposing the Architecture of Isolation: Architects Against Solitary Confinement

Guest Post by Raphael Sperry Raphael Sperry is an architect, green building consultant, teacher, and outspoken advocate on the role of architecture in social justice issues. He founded and directs the “Alternatives to Incarceration / Prison Design Boycott Campaign” of the non-profit Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and has presented his research at numerous professional […]

Lawsuit Filed Against Solitary Confinement of 800 "Seriously Mentally Ill" in Pennsylvania

The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania  (DRNP) has filed a lawsuit against John Wetzel, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, charging that the confinement of prisoners in Restricted Housing Units (RHUs) amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” of those diagnosed as “seriously mentally ill.” The suit seeks an end to long-term segregation of such individuals […]