Seven Days in Solitary [7/30/2017]

• A Maine Superior Court judge has ruled that a prisoner’s length of stay in solitary confinement amounted to “an atypical and significant hardship.” Douglass Burr spent almost two years in isolation at the Special Management Unit at Maine Street Prison for allegedly presenting a security risk. In Maine, the longest someone can be held in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/16/2017]

• Two recently published academic works explore important, under-researched aspects of the use of solitary confinement in America’s prisons and jails. “Solitary Confinement Until Death by State-Sponsored Homicide,” a law review article by American University professor Robert Johnson, examines the use of isolation on death row. Another piece, published in the Journal of Urban Health, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/5/2017]

•  The Allegheny County Jail has eased up on discipline and worked towards releasing incarcerated pregnant women, according to an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Five people locked up at Allegheny sued the jail last December, on allegations that they had been place in solitary, sometimes for weeks, for minor offenses like having too […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/7/2016]

• VICE published a piece on the experiences of people with mental illness in solitary confinement. Journalist Paul Willis quotes the words of ADX prisoner Tommy Silverstein. “The mental anguish of 28 years of solitary confinement is worse than any physical pain I have ever suffered or imagined… The indefiniteness of my confinement makes my mental […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/26/2015]

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. • North Carolina reached a $2.5 million settlement with the estate of Michael Kerr, who died of dehydration in 2014 after being held in solitary confinement for 35 days. • According […]

In States That "Reduce" Their Use of Solitary Confinement, Suffering Continues for Those Left Behind

Under pressure from activists, lawsuits, and even a few reformers within the corrections system, several states have significantly reduced the number of people they hold in solitary confinement in their prison systems. These reductions, achieved largely through “reclassifying” prisoners and returning the least troublesome ones to the general population, have rightly been celebrated by opponents […]