Measure to Limit Solitary Confinement Advances in Senate Immigration Bill

The immigration reform bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week includes an amendment that would curtail the use of solitary confinement on immigrant detainees. While the measure’s reach is limited, its passage by the Committee nonetheless represents a significant step for human rights activists working to help shape the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, which […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4.20.13]

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 a piece by Susan Greene in the Colorado Independent, the “Colorado ACLU reports young people are being forced to spend lengthy stints in cement isolation rooms referred […]

Solitary Confinement in Virginia's Prisons

For anyone who missed it, this front page article in Sunday’s Washington Post gives excellent coverage to the widespread use of solitary confinement in Virginia’s state prisons. It begins with a glance at one of the nation’s most notorious supermax prisons, Red Onion, and then goes on to discuss efforts to limit the use of solitary in Virginia–which […]

California Bill Would Increase Media Access to Prisoners

The nation’s supermax prisons and solitary confinement units are virtual black sites, off-limits and therefore invisible to both the public and the press. While laws vary from state to state, the media are for the most part barred from touring these facilities, and forbidden to conduct in-person interviews with prisoners being held in solitary confinement. These rules are made […]

New York State Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Solitary Confinement Reforms, Spike in Prison Suicide Rate

A week ago today (while Solitary Watch was traveling), advocates for prisoners with mental illness gathered in Albany for a hearing on the “SHU Exclusion Law,” which is designed to divert or remove prisoners with serious mental illness from solitary confinement units and into residential mental health treatment units. This report, from Gannett’s Albany Bureau, […]

New Video: ACLU Launches "Stop Solitary" Campaign

The American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project has initiated a national campaign against what it calls “the dangerous overuse of solitary confinement” in U.S. prison and jails. The Stop Solitary campaign’s web page, which launched earlier this year, describes its mission: The ACLU, together with our state-based affiliates, scholars, activists, mental health experts, and faith-based organizations […]

NYC Bar Association Issues Report on "The Brutality of Supermax Confinement"

The New York City Bar Association’s Committee on International Human Rights has turned its sights on the American prison system, and produced a concise, well-documented, and important report on solitary confinement in the United States. As the report’s authors write: The policy of supermax confinement, on the scale which it is currently being implemented in the […]

"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 […]

"Pawns in a Failed Experiment": Testimony of Dr. Craig Haney on Solitary Confinement

Dr. Craig Haney, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, testified before the California Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety on August 23rd, 2011 regarding the issue of California’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). Dr. Haney provides a historical overview of the use of solitary confinement, litigation and research on solitary confinement, and […]