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 […]

Court Rulings Against Canada's Use of Solitary Confinement Could Set New Standards for Reform

Recent landmark court decisions in cases challenging solitary confinement in Canada’s federal penitentiaries could reverberate beyond Canadian prison walls. In two cases launched by prison justice and civil liberties organizations, federal courts found solitary confinement as it is practiced today to be unconstitutional. The rulings would force significant changes in the Canadian penal system—but incarcerated people and their […]

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 [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/4/18]

• In a Joint Budget Hearing on Public Protection in Albany, New York, on January 30, New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera asked Acting Corrections Commissioner Anthony Annucci a question regarding the New York’s use of solitary confinement. Rivera referred to Colorado corrections chief Rick Raemisch, who four years ago spent 24 hours in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/17/17]

• According to The New York Times, a federal magistrate judge approved a class-action settlement this week, in which the City of New York agreed to pay $5 million in reparations to those who were subjected to solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail under the “old time policy,” which mandated placement in solitary upon return […]

New York Supermax

Imagine row after row of cell doors that rarely open and row after row of people trapped behind those doors, in small cells, day after day. Imagine having to hold most of your conversations by shouting through your cell door at voices whose faces you cannot see; imagine trying to sleep as a cacophony of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/26/17]

• The Salem News reported that in Massachusetts, where individuals can currently be kept in solitary confinement for up to 10 years, the House and Senate have both approved a criminal justice bill that includes new restrictions on the use of solitary in state prisons. The bill requires the approval of a new “segregation review board […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/5/17]

• In an article in The Conversation, a clinical psychologist who has conducted neuroscience research in a Connecticut state prison points out that solitary confinement “can lead to hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia; it can increase anxiety, depression and apathy as well as difficulties in thinking concentrating, remembering, paying attention and controlling impulses,” which not only lessen […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/12/2017]

•  New Mexico counties have been forced to pay more than $20 million in civil rights about solitary confinement thus far, and may pay out even more in the near future – five solitary confinement-related suits have been filed against the New Mexico counties in the last 18 months. George Abila recently won a $1.9 […]