New Report Documents Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement on Mental Illness

A new report released yesterday highlights the disturbing use of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals with mental illness. Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness, released by Disability Rights Washington, details the widespread practice of housing men, women, and children with mental illness in solitary confinement. The report shows that prisons […]

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. […]

Immigrant Detainees Routinely Placed in Solitary Confinement in New Jersey Jail

In the New Jersey’s Essex County Correctional Facility, immigrant detainees are frequently subjected to weeks or months in solitary confinement, according to a new report, Isolated in Essex: Punishing Immigrants Through Solitary Confinement, released by the New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, the American Friends Service Committee and the New York University School of Law Immigrant […]

Guarding Solitary Confinement

Recently, Solitary Watch had the opportunity to sit down with “X,” a former corrections officer who spent almost two years working on a segregation unit in Pennsylvania. (The guard requested complete anonymity in exchange for the interview). X, now 48, worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections between 2006 and 2009, and in the Special […]

"Dying to Live": Hunger Strike in Wisconsin Prison Protests Indefinite Solitary Confinement

Update, 5 pm: Based on court records, Wisconsin Watch is reporting that three men are now being force-fed as the hunger strike enters its third week. They include LaRon McKinley Bey and Cesar De Leon at Waupun Correctional Institution and Prince Aturn-Ra Uhuru Mutawakki/Norman C. Green at Columbia Correctional Institution, who has been in isolation for eighteen […]

Voices from Solitary: Solitary Is a Living Death

The Correctional Association of New York recently released Voices from Clinton, a report detailing the abuse and isolation many of the incarcerated people at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, face. (See accompanying post.)  The report follows how punishments and brutality at an already notoriously violent prison have become worse since an escape made by […]

Widespread Brutality and Solitary Confinement Followed New York Prison Escape, Report Finds

One year after the high-profile escape of two men from Clinton Correctional Facility, the Correctional Association of New York, the state’s oldest prison reform organization, has released a scathing new report on the brutality that followed the escape. Voices from Clinton, documents cruelty often rising to the level of torture, and its subsequent cover up, in […]

Solitary Confinement on Television: 'Orange Is the New Black' and Pop Culture's Lockup Landscape

Tomorrow, Netflix will release fourteen new episodes of the hit series Orange Is the New Black, inevitably renewing discussions of a host of prison issues. From the start of the series, the incarcerated women of Litchfield Penitentiary warn protagonist Piper Chapman about the horrors of “the SHU,” the federal prison’s Segregated Housing Unit. Chapman’s character, […]