Seven Days in Solitary [7/02/2017]

• A legislative commission in Rhode Island, tasked with studying the use of solitary confinement in the state, has reported back to lawmakers and made recommendations for reform. According to one local outlet, the Department of Corrections has already made some policy changes with regards to the number of phone calls permitted to people in the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/11/2017]

• The Federal Bureau of Prisons has systematically violated the Eighth Amendment rights of people with mental health issues locked up at Lewisburg prison in Pennsylvania, according to a lawsuit filed by the DC Prisoners’ Project of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. “The isolation of prisoners with mental illness and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/9/2017]

• The NPR show “Hidden Brain” interviewed UC Irvine criminology professor Keramet Reiter about what happens to the mind in isolation. “Reiter says inmates living in isolation crave things we might take for granted, such as the touch of another person or the sight of the moon. They often find it hard to differentiate one […]

Seven Days in Solitary [03/26/2017]

• Milwaukee County Sheriff officials have said they are not responsible for the death of a newborn at their downtown jail, which occurred in July 2016. The mother of the dead infant, Shadé Swayzer, was 8 months pregnant when she was arrested. She was subsequently placed in solitary confinement. Swayzer says that when she went […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/19/2017]

•  Lawyers for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is currently held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, have filed papers asking that their client be transferred to general population and be granted visiting privileges to speak to his wife. According to CNN, “During the week, Guzman spends 23 hours […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [11/27/2016]

• A report was released examining the “disproportionate and discriminatory” placement of people with disabilities in Washington’s jails. “Cruel But Not Unusual,” which was published by the non-profit Disability Rights Washington, also identifies best practices and recommendations for reform. • Whisteblower Chelsea Manning has formally asked President Obama to grant her clemency. Manning, who is […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/18/2016]

• The Kansas Court of Appeals has ordered a lower court to consider the constitutionality of extended stays in administrative segregation. Cledith Bohanon, who filed the lawsuit, has been in the box at Hutchinson Correctional Facility for the past 850 days. • The Daily Beast told the story of Benjamin Van Zandt, who at 17 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/11/2016]

• CNN profiled changes in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections with regards to the use of solitary confinement. “Inmates with mental illness are no longer held in solitary confinement. Additionally, all staff members — 15,000 to 16,000 people, according to [DOC Secretary] Wetzel — are trained in Mental Health First Aid.” • James Holmes, who […]

New Report Documents Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement on Mental Illness

A new report released yesterday highlights the disturbing use of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals with mental illness. Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness, released by Disability Rights Washington, details the widespread practice of housing men, women, and children with mental illness in solitary confinement. The report shows that prisons […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/04/2016]

• The federal Bureau of Prisons has announced plans to reduce its use of “double-celling,” a practice in which multiple people are locked up in cramped isolation cells for periods of up to 23 or 24-hours per day. “People confined to solitary develop coping mechanisms–constant pacing is one, very strict routines is another,” said Allan […]