Mandela in Solitary

“I found solitary confinement the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one’s mind, which can begin to play tricks. Was that a dream or did it really happen? One begins to question everything.” –Nelson Mandela, from his 1994 autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom Nelson […]

Voices from Solitary: Growing Old in Isolation

Shawn Fisher, who is serving a life sentence at Massachusetts Correctional Institution–Shirley, has written to Solitary Watch making the argument that the treatment of many elders in prison is in fact a form of solitary confinement. An organization of lifers in Massachusetts has urged the state legislature to adopt some sort of compassionate leave act that would […]

North Carolina Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike

On July 16th, inmates at Central Prison, Bertie Correctional Institution and Scotland Correctional Institution launched a hunger strike in protest of various prison conditions, including solitary confinement.  North Carolina Department of Corrections currently holds over 7,000 inmates out of approximately 36,000 in “Close Custody.” Among these are inmates are those held in Maximum Control, Protective […]