Seven Days in Solitary [7/22/18]

• The Midland Reporter-Telegraph covered a hearing with lawmakers in Santa Fe this week regarding allegations of abuse and solitary confinement at Otero County Processing Center and Cibola County facility, both privately operated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in New Mexico. Joselin Mendez, who was held at Cibola County facility after fleeing gender discrimination […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/18]

• The Associated Press reported on a lawsuit filed by immigrant youth held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia. The suit claims that the children faced physical restraints, solitary confinement, and abuse from the detention center staff. A child development specialist recalled, “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/20/18]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that 39-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bigham committed suicide only days after being placed in solitary confinement at Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina, where no visitors, phone calls, or books are allowed, with the exception of religious material. A spokesperson for the NC ACLU said, “This tragedy is a terrible reminder […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/18]

• The Guardian published an article on Anthony Ray Hinton’s recently released book The Sun Does Shine, in which he discusses his 30 years of wrongful imprisonment as a Black man in the Alabama prison system for three murders he did not commit. Hinton describes his years spent in solitary confinement, “barely able to breath in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/22/18]

• A press release from the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced the re-introduction of a bill called the Solitary Confinement Reform Act, which would mandate a reduction in the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) use of solitary confinement, improve mental health services in BOP facilities, provide resources to facilities to aid in enforcing these changes, and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/15/18]

• Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) published a report following up on a previous report that they released in May 2015, which revealed the Oregon State Penitentiary has been holding about 40 severely mentally ill individuals in solitary confinement at the Behavioral Health Unit, isolated in their cells for at least 23 hours a day. After […]

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 […]