Seven Days in Solitary [10/15/17]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a visit to Pennsylvania’s prisons by Are Høidal, warden of Halden prison in Norway, which is often cited as having the most humane prison system in the world. While Pennsylvania currently holds more than 2,000 people in solitary confinement, Halden has no solitary unit at all. “I  think you have too much […]

Pressure Grows in Canada for Strict Limits on the Use of Solitary Confinement in Federal and Provincial Prisons

The use of solitary confinement in Canada could soon undergo major changes as prominent figures and organizations issue ever louder calls to reform the practice – or even abolish it entirely. “Ending segregation is not a revolutionary, unrealistic, or aspirational idea,” says Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. “It is primarily […]

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, […]

New Feature: Milestones in Solitary Reform

This week we debut a new feature on Solitary Watch: a timeline that tracks the rapidly accumulating (and accelerating) reforms made to solitary confinement policies and practices across the country. “Milestones in Solitary Reform” – created and maintained by Amy Fettig of the ACLU National Prison Project, and Margo Schlanger of the University of Michigan Law School, with […]

As California Implements Some Solitary Confinement Reforms, Prisoners Remain Skeptical

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) had begun the process of implementing reforms the Department has crafted over the past year addressing the long-term solitary confinement of gang members in the California prison system. California currently holds over 3,000 inmates in segregation units due […]

California Announces Reform of Controversial Policies That Led to Prison Hunger Strike

The Associated Press has reported that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is reforming its policies regarding the controversial Security Housing Units (SHUs), where thousands of inmates are held in solitary confinement for an average of 6.8 years. According to the AP: Gang members would no longer have to renounce their gang membership. […]