What Trump and Sessions Could Mean for Solitary Confinement in America's Prisons

“The degree of civilization in a society,” Dostoevsky famously said, “can be judged by entering its prisons.” U.S. prisons have, for decades, offered a grim enough picture of American civilization. But what might they look like after a few months, or years, of President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions? In particular, what might […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/14/2016]

• California is considering new legislation that would sharply limit the use of solitary confinement for children. Under the law, which has passed the state Senate and is awaiting a vote in the Assembly, a child could only be placed in isolation if they posed a risk to themselves, others or the facility, and would […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/15/2016]

• A Bronx woman is suing New York City for $10 million after spending more than two years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. Candie Hailey, 32, also alleges she was subject to physical and sexual abuse by guards before eventually being acquitted on attempted murder charges and released. • In its continuing coverage of […]

What Obama's Actions Mean for Solitary Confinement in America's Prisons

Citing the “devastating, lasting psychological consequences” of solitary confinement, President Barack Obama on Monday evening announced a set of policy changes designed to dramatically reduce the use of prison isolation. The changes, which apply only to the federal prison system, will have a limited initial impact on the total number of people held in solitary, […]

In Open Letter to President Obama, Groups Push for Solitary Confinement Reforms

More than 100 organizations from across the United States sent an open letter to President Obama Friday calling for the elimination of long-term and indefinite solitary confinement. The signatories – including civil and human rights groups, religious organizations, and groups of defense attorneys and mental health professionals – ask the President to take quick and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/26/2015]

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. • North Carolina reached a $2.5 million settlement with the estate of Michael Kerr, who died of dehydration in 2014 after being held in solitary confinement for 35 days. • According […]

Obama, in Criminal Justice Speech, Denounces the “Overuse of Solitary Confinement” in U.S. Prisons

President Barack Obama said in a speech today that he has asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to “start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons.” He went on to challenge the practice as counterproductive as well as inhumane. In a speech on criminal justice delivered at the annual convention of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/4/13]

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. •  Media coverage on the urgency of closing Guantanamo was particularly heavy this week, with numerous organizations and groups calling on President Obama to take immediate action. Most recently, The […]