Seven Days in Solitary [4/20/14]

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. • April 17 marked Albert Woodfox’s 42nd year in solitary confinement. Woodfox, a member of the Angola 3, remains locked up even though his sentence has been overturned three times. […]

Women in Solitary Confinement: "The Isolation Degenerates Us Into Madness"

A mass prisoner hunger strike rocked California’s prison system this past summer, drawing international attention to the extensive use of solitary confinement in the United States. Increasingly, solitary is finding its way into the mainstream media and onto activist agendas. Nearly all of the attention, however, has focused on solitary confinement in men’s prisons; much less is known about the […]

New Directive May Curtail Use of Solitary Confinement in Immigrant Detention

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week issued a new “directive” that appears aimed at limiting the use of solitary confinement on individuals held in immigrant detention. The directive is being cautiously celebrated by human rights, civil liberties, and immigrants’ rights groups, who at the same time warn that a great deal will depend upon how […]

Transgender Immigrant Detainees Locked in Solitary Confinement

Today’s Advocate has an excellent article by Andrew Harmon, dissecting the abuses faced by transgender detainees in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. It begins with the story of a transgender woman who spent eight months in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail: A few days after Christmas last year, Ruby Corado, a longtime transgender activist in […]

New Resource: Solitary Confinement FAQ

Our amazing intern/reporter/researcher Sal Rodriguez, author of several fact sheets and articles on this site, has produced a new resource: Frequently Asked Questions on Solitary Confinement. Questions include: What is solitary confinement? How many people are held in solitary confinement? Who gets put in solitary confinement? What are conditions like in solitary confinement? How long do […]

Abu Ghraib, California: Report Shows Brutal Abuse of Prisoners in LA County Jails

A report released yesterday by the ACLU National Prison Project and ACLU of Southern California shows a pattern of brutal abuse in the Los Angeles County Jail system, which at times crossed the line into torture. The abuse has been carried out by the sheriff’s deputies in charge of prisoners in the county’s jails, who according to eyewitnesses have […]

Abu Ghraib on the Allegheny: Sexual and Physical Abuse at Pennsylvania Prison

A story out of Pennsylvania reveals the extreme abuse to which some U.S. prisoners are subjected. Yesterday, a suspended prison guard from the State Correctional Institution (SCI)-Pittsburgh was arrested on charges that he sexually or physically assaulted more than 20 inmates–and the district attorney has signalled that there are more arrests to come. As the AP reports: The 92 criminal charges […]

"A Form of Torture": Testimony of Laura Magnani on Solitary Confinement

Laura Magnani, Interim Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, testified before the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee on the issue of solitary confinement. Magnani speaks about the findings of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, the circumstances of women in solitary confinement, and argues that prolonged solitary […]

"The Destruction of the Human Spirit": Testimony of Rev. William McGarvey on Solitary Confinement

Reverend William McGarvey, a member of the national board of More Light Presbyterians and former chair for the Justice, Advocacy and Caring Committee of the Presbytery of San Francisco, spoke at the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee hearing on California’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). He was representing the Bay Area Religious Campaign Against Torture, a […]