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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/15/17]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a visit to Pennsylvania’s prisons by Are Høidal, warden of Halden prison in Norway, which is often cited as having the most humane prison system in the world. While Pennsylvania currently holds more than 2,000 people in solitary confinement, Halden has no solitary unit at all. “I  think you have too much […]

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 [08/27/2017]

• New York City has agreed to pay out nearly $5 million to people who were placed in solitary confinement immediately upon arriving Rikers under the “old time policy,” whereby former prisoners who were released before completing disciplinary solitary sentences, were forced to finish them if they were rearrested. According to the New York Daily News, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/23/2017]

• “North Carolina inmates who break prison rules will spend significantly less time in solitary confinement under a new policy that state leaders hope will help make prisons safer,” reported the Charlotte Observer. “Under the state’s new disciplinary policy, which took effect Monday, inmates who commit offenses generally can’t be sent to solitary for longer than […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/04/2017]

• The Crime Report examined the issue of solitary confinement on death row, specifically in Texas. Anthony Graves, who spent sixteen years in isolation on death row before his conviction was overturned, said “Men are literally going insane and attempting suicide because of the way we’re allowing the state to house death row inmates.” • […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/14/2017]

• The family of a man who committed suicide while in solitary confinement is suing the state of Montana, alleging that the state prison failed to adequately address his mental health issues. Matthew Brandemihl, 32, died in September 2014 after being arrested for violating his probation; he had previously attempted suicide on the inside and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/30/2017]

• Guards at the Milwaukee County Jail may face criminal charges, after a man in solitary confinement died of dehydration due to the water in his cell being cut off. Terrill Thomas, 38, who had a history of mental illness, had his water turned off as punishment for flooding his cell – and it stayed […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/16/2017]

• Two recently published academic works explore important, under-researched aspects of the use of solitary confinement in America’s prisons and jails. “Solitary Confinement Until Death by State-Sponsored Homicide,” a law review article by American University professor Robert Johnson, examines the use of isolation on death row. Another piece, published in the Journal of Urban Health, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [04/02/2017]

• Prison officers at the Tecumseh State Prison in Nebraska are concerned that the “soft” treatment of people on the inside, including a reduction in the use of solitary confinement, is putting the safety of guards at risk. “We’re rewarding bad behavior. You’re seeing it every day in the news,” one officer told the Omaha […]

Seven Days in Solitary [03/26/2017]

• Milwaukee County Sheriff officials have said they are not responsible for the death of a newborn at their downtown jail, which occurred in July 2016. The mother of the dead infant, Shadé Swayzer, was 8 months pregnant when she was arrested. She was subsequently placed in solitary confinement. Swayzer says that when she went […]