Seven Days in Solitary [5/14/2017]

• The family of a man who committed suicide while in solitary confinement is suing the state of Montana, alleging that the state prison failed to adequately address his mental health issues. Matthew Brandemihl, 32, died in September 2014 after being arrested for violating his probation; he had previously attempted suicide on the inside and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/3/2016]

• The isolation of transgender women has been in the media since Netflix released its fifth season of Orange is the New Black, including with high-profile interviews on the issue by Laverne Cox and CeCe McDonald. To learn more about the experiences of transgender women in solitary confinement, read an August 2014 Solitary Watch investigation about […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/19/2015]

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. • The Advocate continued its coverage of the case of Ky Peterson, a 23-year-old trans man held in solitary confinement in an all-female facility in Georgia. Meanwhile, a 22-year-old trans […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/13/14]

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. • California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC) has filed a lawsuit against the state’s corrections officials, demanding disclosure of information regarding solitary confinement policies under the California Public Records […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/7/14]

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. • Home Secretary Theresa May is again pressing the British High Court to allow the extradition of Haroon Aswat to the United States.  Last year, the European Court of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/16/14]

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. • The United Nations Human Rights Committee held a two-day hearing to evaluate US compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and explicitly examined the extensive […]

Reducing Solitary Confinement in Maine

In the latest issue of the Portland Phoenix, Lance Tapley interviews Maine’s new corrections commissioner, Joseph Ponte. Before Ponte’s appointment, a grassroots movement in Maine raised public awareness around use and abuse of solitary confinement in Maine State Prison’s Special Management Unit (SMU), and led to an attempt to pass legislation limiting solitary. Since he was installed last winter, Ponte has […]

Maine Cuts Supermax Population, Reforms Solitary Confinement Practices

As Lance Tapley reported last week, recent developments in Maine demonstrate the difference that reform-minded leadership can make to prison conditions, including the use and abuse of solitary confinement. Even as it has grown exponentially over recent decades, the use of solitary has generally been treated not as a human rights issue but as a matter of correctional […]