Seven Days in Solitary [10/20/13]

Solitary confinement cell

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 Seattle Times reports on a new program for prisoners with mental illness who are held in isolation at Washington’s Monroe Correctional Complex. According to the story, “The new Reintegration and […]

“Systemic Failures Persist” in California Prison Mental Health Care, Judge Rules


California Governor Jerry Brown’s bid to end federal control over the state prison system’s mental health system was denied in federal court on Friday, April 5, in a sharply worded ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton. In the 68-page ruling, Judge Karlton determined that “systemic failures persist in the form of inadequate suicide […]

Voices from Solitary: Suffering at the Hands of Other Human Beings

ELY Prison

The following comes from Bryan Crawley, a prisoner at Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada. Incarcerated since 2006 and convicted in 2008 for murder, he has been held in solitary confinement for his own protection since 2009 at the maximum security facility, after three years in a debriefing program. His involvement in the debriefing program, […]

Brandon Green, Chronicler of Solitary Confinement

Since first appearing in an October 16th, 2010 Voices from Solitary post, Utah State Prison, Draper, prisoner Brandon Green has been a consistent and prolific chronicler of “the vortex” that is the supermax Uinta One facility. Over 90 inmates are held in solitary confinement in the facility, where inmates are held in 8×6 cells for up to […]

Mentally Ill Utah Prisoner Sentenced to 20 Days in Solitary for Not Moving Cup Fast Enough


Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah currently holds over 91 prisoners in solitary confinement in the Uinta One facility. Prisoners have described the facility as “a place of pain and terror” and a place where inmates “expect tragedy.” While Utah Department of Corrections admits that the facility on occasion houses prisoners diagnosed as “mentally ill”, they […]

HRC: Pennsylvania Prisoner Commits Suicide in Isolation Unit


The Human Rights Coalition in Pennsylvania has reported on the July 16th suicide of Brandon Palakovic, 23, at State Correctional Institution in Cresson (SCI-Cresson). HRC notes that the “facility that is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for warehousing mentally ill prisoners in the hole and depriving them of mental health treatment.” Out of a […]

Leading Mental Health Experts Urge Illinois Legislators to Close Tamms Supermax

When it comes to the psychological effects of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, there are three acknowledged experts: Drs. Stuart Grassian, Craig Haney, and Terry Kupers. The three have collaborated on a joint statement on the closure of Tamms supermax prison, which was proposed last month by Illinois governor Pat Quinn. The statement is directed […]