Voices from Solitary: Everyone Needs a Friend

"The Close Management Cell," by Daniel McKafee, held at Florida State Prison (Source: Concrete Cage)

The following was written by Ricky Silva, 33, who is currently serving a life sentence at Florida State Prison, where he has spent almost four years in solitary confinement held in close management. He writes, “I even agree with my prison sentence… I don’t hold it against anyone who feels I got what I should get… […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/16/13]

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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 […]

Records Show Excessive Use of Force at Colorado Supermax

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Records kept by the Colorado Department of Corrections show 61 instances from March 1, 2012 to March 1 of this year of corrections officers using force on men held at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP), where prisoners are held in administrative segregation on lockdown for 23 hours a day. The “use of force” log, obtained by Denver’s Westword, […]

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

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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]

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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]

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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

Isolation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

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 […]

Freed from an Iranian Prison, Sarah Shourd Speaks Out for U.S. Inmates in Solitary Confinement

The New York Times today features an op-ed titled “Tortued by Solitude.” The author is Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans who were imprisoned in Iran beginning in the summer of 2009, when they were arrested and charged with espionage while hiking on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan. Her two male companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, […]

Cruel and Usual: U.S. Solitary Confinement

The title above is the title of the article we wrote for Al Jazeera English, which ran as a feature today on their web site. It begins as follows; please use the link at the end to read the full piece. The spectre of Bradley Manning lying naked and alone in a tiny cell at the Quantico Marine Base, […]

On Bradley Manning, Solitary Confinement, and Selective Outrage

For the past few weeks, progressive online media sources have been burning with outrage over the conditions in which accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning is being held. Manning (as we first noted on Solitary Watch back in July) is in 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement at a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, denied sunlight, exercise, possessions, and all but the most limited contact […]