Seven Days in Solitary [11/12/17]

• One of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox, who served the longest stretch in solitary confinement documented in the United States of 43 years and 10 months, discussed on Love + Radio his experience as a Black man in society, in the Louisiana prison system, and in solitary: “The thing about pain is it’s always fresh. No matter […]

Lawsuits Challenge the Cruelty of Decades in Solitary Confinement on Death Row

In a dissenting opinion written earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that “If extended solitary confinement alone raises serious constitutional questions, then 20 years of solitary confinement, all the while under threat of execution, must raise similar questions, and to a rare degree, and with particular intensity.” Yet in a majority of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/26/2016]

• Judge Esla Alcala, a member of Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals, filed an opinion expressing “great concern” about the use of the death penalty in the state, including automatic placement in solitary on death row. “I have gone to death row and I have seen those cells, and I can’t fathom living in a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/5/2016]

• Rhode Island’s House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to consider legislation that would create a commission to study the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons. Representative Aaron Regunberg, who is sponsoring the legislation, had previously proposed a bill that would limit the use of isolation to 15 days. • A British man has […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/15/2016]

• A Bronx woman is suing New York City for $10 million after spending more than two years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. Candie Hailey, 32, also alleges she was subject to physical and sexual abuse by guards before eventually being acquitted on attempted murder charges and released. • In its continuing coverage of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/07/2014]

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 Philadelphia Inquirer profiled the case of Khasiem Carr, “one of more than 1,000 Pennsylvania inmates with mental illness kept in isolation for 90 days or more between […]

Fates Worse Than Death?

The following article was published earlier this week by the Marshall Project, the new nonprofit news organization focused exclusively on criminal justice. It can be read in full on the Marshall Project’s site.  In 1987, when he was 23 years old and in court on a drug charge, William Blake shot two sheriff’s deputies in […]

Pope Francis Denounces Solitary Confinement, Calls for Prison Conditions That "Respect Human Dignity"

In a wide-ranging speech on Thursday, Pope Francis revealed himself as a passionate criminal justice reformer. His words also suggest that he is familiar with the controversies surrounding solitary confinement and supermax prisons, and strongly opposes their use. Speaking at the Vatican to representatives of the International Association of Penal Law, the Pope said: “All Christians and people […]