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 […]

Judged Incompetent to Stand Trial, People with Mental Illness Still Languish in Pennsylvania Jails

Some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens—people facing criminal charges who are not competent to stand trial because of mental disabilities—have begun a class action lawsuit over the state’s provision of mental health treatment. Last month, eleven plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, sued the heads of a state agency and of the two state […]

In Landmark Settlement, Solitary Confinement to Be Dramatically Reduced in California Prisons

California prison officials have agreed to limit the practice of long-term solitary confinement, four years after the first hunger strike began in protest of the practice. Under a historic agreement reached in the Ashker v. Brown suit between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of individuals in […]

After Hunger Strikes, Solitary Reforms Come to California's Prisons—and Leave Thousands Behind

Four years ago today, approximately 6,600 people in California prisons launched a hunger strike in protest of long-term solitary confinement. The protest would be the first of three large-scale actions by state prisoners to bring awareness to the issue of long-term solitary confinement. At the epicenter was Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, home of […]