Seven Days in Solitary [11/5/17]

• In an article in The Conversation, a clinical psychologist who has conducted neuroscience research in a Connecticut state prison points out that solitary confinement “can lead to hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia; it can increase anxiety, depression and apathy as well as difficulties in thinking concentrating, remembering, paying attention and controlling impulses,” which not only lessen […]

Arizona Prison Received Warnings Weeks Before Teenager's Suicide in Solitary Confinement Cell

Even in Arizona, a state notorious for its harsh prison conditions, the case of Mariam Abdullah stands out–for the extent of willful neglect she suffered, and for the tragic consequences that resulted. Abdullah, an 18-year-old housed at Perryville Prison in Arizona, committed suicide after being placed in isolation for threatening to fight another incarcerated person. […]

Lawsuit Charges Solitary Confinement in Arizona's Prisons Is Cruel and Unusual Punishment

A federal class-action lawsuit filed today by a legal team led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Prison Law Office is noteworthy on several fronts. It documents the torturous conditions in Arizona’s supermax prisons and other lockdown units. And it combines a challenge to solitary confinement with claims of “grossly inadequate” medical and mental health care, arguing that […]

Solitary Confinement Widely Used in California's Juvenile Jails

CHILDREN IN LOCKDOWN Based on findings by the state’s own court-appointed overseers, California Watch reports that “Juvenile inmates at California correctional facilities have been held in isolation nearly 24 hours straight on hundreds of occasions this year, in violation of state regulations.” An audit by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in March found multiple facilities […]

Supreme Court Takes the "Radical" Stance That Prisoners Are Human Beings

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissenting opinion to last week’s Brown v. Plata decision, called the ruling “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.”  Since Scalia is the ultimate legal literalist, we presumably ought to take his written opinions literally. So what is this decision that the Court’s most conservative justice finds […]