Lawsuits Challenge the Cruelty of Decades in Solitary Confinement on Death Row

In a dissenting opinion written earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that “If extended solitary confinement alone raises serious constitutional questions, then 20 years of solitary confinement, all the while under threat of execution, must raise similar questions, and to a rare degree, and with particular intensity.” Yet in a majority of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [04/02/2017]

• Prison officers at the Tecumseh State Prison in Nebraska are concerned that the “soft” treatment of people on the inside, including a reduction in the use of solitary confinement, is putting the safety of guards at risk. “We’re rewarding bad behavior. You’re seeing it every day in the news,” one officer told the Omaha […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/15/2017]

•  At the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility in Shirley, MA, “dozens” of people allegedly refused to be locked in their cells after fights broke out on a unit. “According to the Department of Corrections, sprinkler heads were broken off, camera systems and the computer system were destroyed, and inmates used fire extinguishers and other makeshift weapons […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/25/2016]

• The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Allegheny County in Pennsylvania for placing pregnant women in solitary confinement, a practice that is said to put both the mother and her child at risk. According to the lawsuit, some women have been placed in isolation in the Pittsburgh jail for relatively minor rule violations, like […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/04/2016]

• The Vera Institute released a new report about the use of solitary confinement in Oregon. Key findings from the report included: that “disciplinary segregation is overused, overly long, and characterized by isolating conditions,” that “stays in administrative segregation can be long, isolating and unproductive,” and that “people of color and people with mental health […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/07/2016]

• Mother Jones journalist Shane Bauer wrote about Damien Coestly, a prisoner Bauer met while he was reporting undercover at the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. Coestly has since committed suicide while he was placed in a segregation cell at the facility. • New York City released data on the number of violent incidents at […]

At Louisiana's Angola Prison, Lawsuit Claims, the Sick Face Neglect, Isolation, and Death

Men incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola, are suing prison officials and the Louisiana Department of Corrections for failing to provide adequate healthcare to the more than 6,000 people currently held there. In a scathing, 63-page complaint, lawyers representing Angola’s prison population allege that men are routinely denied appropriate medical care, resulting in “unnecessary pain and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/7/15]

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. • A New Jersey bill hopes to reduce the limits on solitary confinement to no more than two days in a row for 15-year-olds, no more than three for those […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/20/14]

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. • Writing in The New York Times, Deborah Jiang-Stein describes journeying to the West Virginia prison where she was born, and discovering she spent the fist year of life […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/20/14]

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. • April 17 marked Albert Woodfox’s 42nd year in solitary confinement. Woodfox, a member of the Angola 3, remains locked up even though his sentence has been overturned three times. […]