Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose yesterday as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work stoppages […]

Voices from Solitary: Double Jeopardy

Originally published in Issue 3 of the Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement newsletter End Solitary!, the following account was written by Tracey Morgan, who was first sent to jail as a teenager. At age 21, upon her arrival at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW), Morgan was placed in solitary confinement. The reason, she says, was that she cried […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/2/18]

• The Guardian reported further suppression and retaliation against incarcerated organizers of the Nationwide Prison Strike, specifically through the use of solitary confinement and long-distance transfers. According to a spokesperson for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, “Leaders were picked off, one by one, and thrown into solitary in anticipation of the strike that was coming.” […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/12/18]

• Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) issued a press release reporting the conditions at Stillwater Prison in Minnesota, where incarcerated men have been locked down, effectively in solitary confinement, for the past 27 days. A recorded conversation with a man held at Stillwater described the conditions of the lockdown as a “humanitarian crisis,” including confinement “for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/22/18]

• The Midland Reporter-Telegraph covered a hearing with lawmakers in Santa Fe this week regarding allegations of abuse and solitary confinement at Otero County Processing Center and Cibola County facility, both privately operated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in New Mexico. Joselin Mendez, who was held at Cibola County facility after fleeing gender discrimination […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/15/18]

• 40-year-old Efraín Romero de la Rosa died this week in an apparent suicide, while being held in solitary confinement at the Stewart Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia run by private prison company CoreCivic. De la Rosa, a man originally from Puebla, Mexico but living in Raleigh, North Carolina, suffered […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/13/18]

• Solitary Watch obtained a copy of a letter to prison and corrections department officials, written by some of the men in the solitary confinement unit at Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, expressing their desire to meet with prison officials and discuss the conditions in their unit. The letter declared that of they did not receive […]

News Match Doubles Donations to Solitary Watch Through December 31

Dear Readers, Supporters, Colleagues, and Friends: Every year, Solitary Watch seeks to grow beyond its past achievements. Driven by the vision of tens of thousands of people still locked in solitary confinement in American prisons and jails, we try to work harder, dig deeper, and reach farther with clear, honest, and often game-changing reporting that shines […]

The Human Rights of the Inhumane

Almost as soon as the handcuffs came off, Anders Behring Breivik delivered a Nazi salute to the courtroom gathered for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state. He is about as loathsome as it gets—a white supremacist mass murderer, taking every opportunity to spread a message of hate. In 2011, Breivik massacred a summer camp of […]

Off the Block

As the first of several journeys for Solitary Watch’s Alternatives Project, my colleague Aviva Stahl and I spent two weeks in Britain, visiting prisons and interviewing officials of HM Prison Service and its oversight bodies, advocates, lawyers, scholars, and currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. Our aim was to discover how solitary is—and is not—used in […]

Can International Laws and Standards Help Curb Solitary Confinement in the United States?

The United States prides itself in being a leader in the international community. But when it comes to some human rights issues—including the use of solitary confinement—the U.S. lags far behind most other nations. Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, many new declarations, treaties, and standards have been produced […]