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Seven Days in Solitary [1/26/14]

Solitary confinement news roundup

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. • In early January, a South Carolina judge ruled that the treatment of individuals with mental illness in state prisons was unconstitutional – particularly the disproportionate use of solitary […]

Mentally Ill in South Carolina’s Prisons Suffer Decades of Abuse and Neglect

Photo: South Carolina Department of Corrections, Trial Exhibit

A court ruling out of South Carolina this week deserves the attention of anyone concerned with the use of solitary confinement and other brutal conditions and practices on the hundreds of thousands of people with mental illness who are held in our nation’s prisons. The best reporting on the ruling comes from The Atlantic’s Andrew […]

Women in Solitary Confinement: “The Isolation Degenerates Us Into Madness”

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A mass prisoner hunger strike rocked California’s prison system this past summer, drawing international attention to the extensive use of solitary confinement in the United States. Increasingly, solitary is finding its way into the mainstream media and onto activist agendas. Nearly all of the attention, however, has focused on solitary confinement in men’s prisons; much less is known about the […]

“This Draconian System of Punishment and Abuse”: An Interview with Former Political Prisoner Ray Luc Levasseur

Photo copyright Matthew Robbins, from the Portland Phoenix.

The following is a partial transcript of an interview with Ray Luc Levasseur, a former political prisoner who spent over fifteen years in solitary confinement, primarily at USP Marion and ADX Florence. Levasseur was raised in Maine, born to a working-class family of Quebecois origin. He became politically radicalized about race and class at a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/22/13]

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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. • Salon writes about the solitary confinement of Michael Douglas’s son, Cameron Douglas, after the actor made an Emmy-night statement denouncing the conditions in which his son is being […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/8/13]

Pictured: Solitary confinement cell

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. • According to the tally kept by the Miami Herald, 22 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are engaged in a hunger strike, with 20 being force-fed. This week marks […]

New Video: Dr. Terry Kupers on Solitary Confinement and Mental Health

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Dr. Terry Kupers, Institute Professor at the Wright Institute in San Francisco and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, is among the foremost national experts on the mental health effects of solitary confinement. Dr. Kupers delivered the keynote address at the Strategic Convening on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, sponsored by the Midwest […]

Opposing the Architecture of Isolation: Architects Against Solitary Confinement

Photo: Christoph Gielen, Untitled XVI Arizona, 2010.

Guest Post by Raphael Sperry Raphael Sperry is an architect, green building consultant, teacher, and outspoken advocate on the role of architecture in social justice issues. He founded and directs the “Alternatives to Incarceration / Prison Design Boycott Campaign” of the non-profit Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and has presented his research at numerous professional […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4.12.13]

solitary

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. • Developments surrounding the systemic failures in California prisons were covered heavily by the media. Most recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on California judges’ threat to find Gov. Jerry Brown […]

Guarding the Fortresses: How Prison Policies Limit Media Access to Solitary Confinement

adx watchtowers

Journalists face serious obstacles to reporting on prisons–and even more to uncovering the truth about solitary confinement. (See James Ridgeway’s essay “Fortresses of Solitude.”) Public oversight of governmental institutions, which can help to prevent corruption and abuse by those in power, is seen as a hallmark of an engaged, democratic citizenry. However, when it comes […]