Seven Days in Solitary [6/26/2016]

• Judge Esla Alcala, a member of Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals, filed an opinion expressing “great concern” about the use of the death penalty in the state, including automatic placement in solitary on death row. “I have gone to death row and I have seen those cells, and I can’t fathom living in a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/8/14]

• On Monday, June 2, the New York City medical examiners office ruled the death of a man who died in a Rikers Island jail cell last fall to be a homicide. Bradley Ballard died of complications of diabetes along with the results of genital self-mutilation. According to the Associated Press: “Ballard, who family members […]

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 […]

Children in Solitary

This week, the The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released a policy statement condemning the use of solitary confinement for juveniles. There is no comprehensive data on how many teens and even younger children are in solitary confinement in the United States, but it is safe to say that the number run into the […]

New Ban on Solitary Confinement for Child Prisoners in Mississippi

The United States, alone among industrialized nations, incarcerates thousands of juveniles in adult prisons, after trying and sentencing them as adults. We also lead the world in the practice of solitary confinement. These two facts have come together to create a horrifying reality: hundreds of children languishing in isolation cells. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty […]

ACLU Takes a Strong Stand Against Solitary Confinement

Over the last two weeks, the ACLU has adopted a much more vigorous stance against solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. It has launched a listserv to bring together lawyers, activists, scholars, journalists, and others interested in the subject, and asked the UN Human Rights Council to look into solitary’s torturous effects on prisoners in the United States. […]

James Ridgeway Interviewed on Release of Scott Sisters

Solitary Watch’s James Ridgeway was interviewed yesterday on WBUR radio’s “Here and Now” program on the release of Jamie and Gladys Scott. You can listen to the interview here: http://www.hereandnow.org/2010/12/30/mississippi-sister-robbery. Our original story on the Scott sisters–one of the first to appear–can be found here:  http://solitarywatch.com/about/for-jamie-scott-an-11-robbery-in-mississippi-may-carry-a-death-sentence/. Our thoughts on the reasons why Haley Barbour might […]

After 16 Years Behind Bars for an $11 Robbery, the Scott Sisters Will Be Free at Last

The following announcement was issued today by Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, regarding Jamie and Gladys Scott. We were among the first non-local media sources to write about the Scott sisters case, back in March. The full story of their arrest and incarceration, and Jamie Scott’s struggle to stay alive in prison, can be found here and here, […]