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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/12/2017]

•  New Mexico counties have been forced to pay more than $20 million in civil rights about solitary confinement thus far, and may pay out even more in the near future – five solitary confinement-related suits have been filed against the New Mexico counties in the last 18 months. George Abila recently won a $1.9 […]

Federal Court Acknowledges Growing Legal and “Scientific Consensus” on Harms Caused by Solitary Confinement

A recent federal appeals court ruling from the Third Circuit of Appeals in Philadelphia could alter the landscape for solitary confinement impact litigation across the country. In what advocates are calling a landmark opinion, the court extensively documented the psychological and physical damage wrought by long-term solitary, quoted the accounts of solitary survivors, and acknowledged […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/12/2017]

•  State representative Aaron Regunburg, who has been chairing a Rhode Island House committee on the use of solitary confinement, was interviewed on a local radio station about the practice. “Solitary has been shown to damage mental health, and a high percentage of attempted suicides in prisons take place in solitary confinement,” notes the web […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/17/2016]

• The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School published a report entitled, “Variations in the Housing of Individuals Sentenced to Death,” which in part looks at the use of solitary on death row. • At a 10-day hearing regarding the constitutionality of a federal capital case, defense witnesses testified that the long-term […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/10/2016]

• The Delaware Supreme Court has reversed a previous ruling, in a decision that will land a person who was formally on death row, back in solitary confinement. Isaiah McCoy, 28, is awaiting a new trial after the Supreme Court overturned his convicrion. McCoy’s lawyers had successfully argued in front of a lower court that […]