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 […]

Agreement Will Reduce Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill in Oregon Prisons

Oregon corrections officials have agreed to reduce the isolation of people with serious mental illness in the Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) at Oregon State Penitentiary, settling over a year of discussions with Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), the state’s federally designated Protection and Advocacy System. The agreement, signed January 8, has the potential to significantly improve the […]

Judged Incompetent to Stand Trial, People with Mental Illness Still Languish in Pennsylvania Jails

Some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens—people facing criminal charges who are not competent to stand trial because of mental disabilities—have begun a class action lawsuit over the state’s provision of mental health treatment. Last month, eleven plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, sued the heads of a state agency and of the two state […]

Lawsuit Charges Delaware Prison System With Neglect and Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill

Last month, the Community Legal Aid Society Inc. (CLASI), along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a lawsuit against the head of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) over the department’s treatment of incarcerated people suffering from mental illness. CLASI argues that the DOC’s current practices violate the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/9/2015]

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. • Four United States senators introduced a bill that would prohibit the solitary confinement of children tried in the federal system and held in pretrial facilities and juvenile detention facilities. […]

New Report Highlights 10 Destructive Myths About Solitary Confinement

As the first in a planned series of reports, the Vera Institute for Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative has published Solitary Confinement: Common Misconceptions and Emerging Safe Alternatives. As noted in  the overview to the report: Evidence mounts that the practice produces many unwanted and harmful outcomes—for the mental and physical health of those placed […]