Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/18]

• The 2014 wrongful death case of 57-year-old James Embry has been revived, and WDRB News obtained a video showing Embry emaciated in the last moments of his life. Embry starved to death in solitary confinement, after refusing 35 out of his 36 last meals at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/6/18]

• The Vera Institute of Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative released a new report called “Rethinking Restrictive Housing,” which studied the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails across five states. The report found that young men, people with mental illnesses, and people of color were disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement. The report’s […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/18]

• The Guardian published an article on Anthony Ray Hinton’s recently released book The Sun Does Shine, in which he discusses his 30 years of wrongful imprisonment as a Black man in the Alabama prison system for three murders he did not commit. Hinton describes his years spent in solitary confinement, “barely able to breath in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/18]

• The Boston Globe reported that individuals held at MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts organized a hunger strike against the facility’s contaminated water last month. Wayland Coleman, an incarcerated man at MCI-Norfolk, acquired and distributed bottled water to others, and was subsequently placed in solitary confinement because officials claimed that the water was a valuable item that “could potentially […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/18]

• The Denver Post reported on the reforms taking place in Colorado’s Division of Youth Services (DYS), which have drastically reduced the use of solitary confinement for youth and resulted in a decrease of violence in most facilities. The reforms aim to move the state juvenile correctional system from a punitive jail environment to a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/18]

• The Washington Post reported that federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled unconstitutional the state of Virginia’s practice of placing death row individuals in solitary confinement. In 2015, Virginia allegedly stopped placing individuals with death sentences in solitary confinement, but the state had refused to maintain this prohibition. However, Brinkema, the first federal judge to determine […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/15/17]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a visit to Pennsylvania’s prisons by Are Høidal, warden of Halden prison in Norway, which is often cited as having the most humane prison system in the world. While Pennsylvania currently holds more than 2,000 people in solitary confinement, Halden has no solitary unit at all. “I  think you have too much […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/24/2016]

• A coalition working to end solitary for children held a series of kick-off events in Washington DC. Supporters include Venida Brower, whose son Kalief committed suicide after spending time in isolation on Rikers Island as a teenager. • New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the number of people held in solitary has […]

California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Reforms, Internal Documents Show

How influential were the three hunger strikes held by California prisoners in spurring the sweeping changes to solitary confinement policies that were announced yesterday? The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has repeatedly stated that they were already planning to reform long-term solitary confinement before the hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013. But internal documents obtained […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/23/13]

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 one hospitalized. The New York Times reports that […]

Families of California Prisoners Respond to Controversial Reforms of Solitary Confinement

The following is a response by  California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement (CFASC), an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the use of solitary confinement in California prisons, to the recent revision of gang validation policies. Gang validation is the primary means by which the over three thousand inmates in Security Housing Units (SHU) are […]