What Trump and Sessions Could Mean for Solitary Confinement in America's Prisons

“The degree of civilization in a society,” Dostoevsky famously said, “can be judged by entering its prisons.” U.S. prisons have, for decades, offered a grim enough picture of American civilization. But what might they look like after a few months, or years, of President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions? In particular, what might […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/14/2016]

• California is considering new legislation that would sharply limit the use of solitary confinement for children. Under the law, which has passed the state Senate and is awaiting a vote in the Assembly, a child could only be placed in isolation if they posed a risk to themselves, others or the facility, and would […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/17/2016]

• The US Field Army Manual on interrogation lists a technique called “separation,” or solitary confinement. In recently released talking points obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the Office of the Secretary of Defense noted that solitary does not fit the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, “as it is a technique used extensively […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/10/2014]

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. • According to the latest report published by New York City’s Board of Corrections, more than 90% of those placed in disciplinary segregation at Riker’s Island do not receive […]

Holder Makes Obama Administration's First Public Statement on Solitary Confinement

In a weekly video message earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder made the first public statement on solitary confinement to emerge from the Obama White House (or, as far as we know, any U.S. presidential administration). A statement accompanying the 3-minute video on the Department of Justice’s website outlines the position taken by Holder–and, by implication, the DOJ […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/16/13]

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 […]

No Obama Budget Freeze for Prisons

In the nation with the world’s highest incarceration rate, amid talk of dangerously high deficits and budget freezes, the White House proposes dramatically increasing spending on U.S. prisons. A newly released report from the Justice Policy Institute, titled “The Obama Administration’s 2011 Budget: More Policing, Prisons, and Punitive Policies,” analyzes the priorities reflected in the president’s overall spending […]