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 […]

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Brutality in Solitary Confinement Unit at North Carolina Prison

Lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of eight people held in solitary confinement at Central Prison against officers and administrators at the facility. As reported by the Associated Press: A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at North Carolina’s Central Prison alleges correctional officers used “blind spots” out of view of security cameras […]

Guantanamo “Is Not an Aberration”: How the War on Terror Came Home

An important new article by Laura Rovner and Jeanne Theoharis appears in the current issue of American University Law Review. Both Rovner and Theoharis have been deeply involved in the issue of solitary confinement: As director of the Civil Rights Clinic and the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, Rovner has overseen several challenges in the federal courts […]

The Prisoner’s Catch-22

Guest Post by Alan CYA #65085 Editors’ Note: We’ve written before about two laws from the 1990s that make it close to impossible for prisoners to challenge any injustices and abuses they encounter in various part of the American criminal justice system—whether in the courts or in prison itself. This guest post on the subject […]

The End of Mississippi’s Notorious Supermax Unit

Even in a nation known for its draconian prison conditions and brutal lockdown units, the supermax portion of Mississippi’s state penitentiary stood out.  Critics and residents described it as a “horrific” and “wretched” place of “hopelessness and despair.” Or, as Chris Joyner described it last week in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Unit 32 was a nightmare, if sworn […]

N.J. Prison Abused Inmates During Month-Long Lockdown

Solitary confinement in U.S. prisons can take many forms–including the temporary lockdown of units, buildings, or entire prisons. These 24-hour lockdowns are routinely instituted in response to perceived threats to prison safety or authority. On occasion, they can extend to days, weeks, or even months, during which the prison is under a kind of martial law even more extreme than its […]