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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/27/18]

• The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit this week against the forced labor practices of private prison company CoreCivic, which runs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities including the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. The lawsuit claims that CoreCivic’s “Dollar-a-Day” program pays immigrants nearly nothing to carry out duties that in other […]

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 [4/15/18]

• Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) published a report following up on a previous report that they released in May 2015, which revealed the Oregon State Penitentiary has been holding about 40 severely mentally ill individuals in solitary confinement at the Behavioral Health Unit, isolated in their cells for at least 23 hours a day. After […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/25/18]

• In These Times reported on the Operation PUSH labor strikes across Florida prisons that began on January 15 of this year, organizing against what they say is the brutality of Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officers, poor living conditions, and unfair labor practices. Many of the participants in the work stoppage, according to 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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/18]

• The Washington Post reported that federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled unconstitutional the state of Virginia’s practice of placing death row individuals in solitary confinement. In 2015, Virginia allegedly stopped placing individuals with death sentences in solitary confinement, but the state had refused to maintain this prohibition. However, Brinkema, the first federal judge to determine […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/18/18]

• According to the Alabama Political Reporter, Federal District Judge Myron Thompson last week ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to either remove individuals with serious mental illness from solitary confinement or provide a reason for their placement in solitary. Thompson ruled last summer that mental health care in the Alabama prison system was […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/14/18]

• The Nation published an article about the case of Sharqawi Al Hajj, a man from Yemen who has been held in Guantánamo Bay for 15 years without charge. The article references a federal judge’s findings that, during his detention at Guantánamo Bay, Al Hajj suffered “patent… physical and psychological coercion,” including, as Al Hajj’s […]