Seven Days in Solitary [6/17/18]

• 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran husband and father, committed suicide last month in a solitary confinement cell, after Border Patrol agents took away his three-year-old son. Muñoz and his family were applying for asylum at the border when they were informed that the family would be separated. An agent recalled, in a Washington Post article, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/18]

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a 48-year-old man, Dan Vasalech, has been placed in solitary confinement in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh for a remark he made criticizing the administration’s decision to lock down the jail so that the corrections officers could attend the funeral of a recently deceased officer. Vasalech received a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/18]

• The 2014 wrongful death case of 57-year-old James Embry has been revived, and WDRB News obtained a video showing Embry emaciated in the last moments of his life. Embry starved to death in solitary confinement, after refusing 35 out of his 36 last meals at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced […]

Voices From Solitary: Resurrection

The author of the following poem, William Blake, has spent 31 continuous years in solitary confinement in New York State prisons. Sentenced to 77 years to life for killing a sheriff’s deputy in a failed escape attempt when he was 23 years old, Blake is being held in administrative segregation, meaning there is no clear […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/20/18]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that 39-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bigham committed suicide only days after being placed in solitary confinement at Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina, where no visitors, phone calls, or books are allowed, with the exception of religious material. A spokesperson for the NC ACLU said, “This tragedy is a terrible reminder […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/6/18]

• The Vera Institute of Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative released a new report called “Rethinking Restrictive Housing,” which studied the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails across five states. The report found that young men, people with mental illnesses, and people of color were disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement. The report’s […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/18]

• The Guardian published an article on Anthony Ray Hinton’s recently released book The Sun Does Shine, in which he discusses his 30 years of wrongful imprisonment as a Black man in the Alabama prison system for three murders he did not commit. Hinton describes his years spent in solitary confinement, “barely able to breath in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/22/18]

• A press release from the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced the re-introduction of a bill called the Solitary Confinement Reform Act, which would mandate a reduction in the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) use of solitary confinement, improve mental health services in BOP facilities, provide resources to facilities to aid in enforcing these changes, and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/8/18]

• The Brownsville Herald reported that Cameron County, Texas, has agreed to pay the family of Fernando Longoria $1 million after he died during a 10-day stay at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Brownsville on charges of a DWI. According to the lawsuit, Longoria, husband and father of three, fell into a violent seizure and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/18]

• The Boston Globe reported that individuals held at MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts organized a hunger strike against the facility’s contaminated water last month. Wayland Coleman, an incarcerated man at MCI-Norfolk, acquired and distributed bottled water to others, and was subsequently placed in solitary confinement because officials claimed that the water was a valuable item that “could potentially […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/11/18]

• According to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Bristol County Jail in Massachusetts faces at least four wrongful death lawsuits claiming that the jail places mentally ill, suicidal, and drug addicted individuals in solitary confinement instead of providing them medical and mental health care. While Bristol County only holds 13 percent of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/18]

• The Denver Post reported on the reforms taking place in Colorado’s Division of Youth Services (DYS), which have drastically reduced the use of solitary confinement for youth and resulted in a decrease of violence in most facilities. The reforms aim to move the state juvenile correctional system from a punitive jail environment to a […]