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 [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/24/17]

• Arthur Johnson, a 65-year-old man currently serving a life sentence at State Correctional Institution Greene in Pennsylvania, was awarded $325,000 in a settlement for being subjected to 37 years of solitary confinement. Johnson claimed in the lawsuit that the prolonged solitary confinement constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated his due process rights. It’s […]

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 […]

Solitary Confinement Gets Another Sharp Rebuke from a Supreme Court Justice

Late in the night of Tuesday, March 7, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued one of the Supreme Court’s starkest opinions yet that solitary confinement may violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Depending upon the future makeup of the Supreme Court and the cases it accepts for review, it also presents […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/16/13]

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, 104 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are now on hunger strike, with 44 being force-fed and two hospitalized. The Miami Herald also […]

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Brutality in Solitary Confinement Unit at North Carolina Prison

Lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of eight people held in solitary confinement at Central Prison against officers and administrators at the facility. As reported by the Associated Press: A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at North Carolina’s Central Prison alleges correctional officers used “blind spots” out of view of security cameras […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/12/13]

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. •  Media coverage on the urgency of closing Guantanamo was heavy throughout the past week, with an estimated 100  of the 166 detainees hunger striking. Most recently, Al Jazeera […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4.12.13]

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. • Developments surrounding the systemic failures in California prisons were covered heavily by the media. Most recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on California judges’ threat to find Gov. Jerry Brown […]

Indiana's Treatment of Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary Confinement Violates Constitution

Just before the new year began a Federal District Court Judge in Indianapolis handed down a decision with important implications for prisoners with mental illness in Indiana and across the country. Stating that “prison walls do not form a barrier separating prison inmates from the protections of the Constitution,” Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the treatment […]