Landmark Settlement Reached: Solitary Confinement to Be Dramatically Reduced in California Prisons

Hundreds may be moved out of windowless solitary confinement cells at Pelican Bay and other California prisons.

California prison officials have agreed to limit the practice of long-term solitary confinement, four years after the first hunger strike began in protest of the practice. Under a historic agreement reached in the Ashker v. Brown suit between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of individuals in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/30/2015]

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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. • A 68-year-old woman from North Carolina was arrested and put in solitary as punishment for having walked away from a halfway house almost 40 years ago because of […]

Report Blasts Conditions at District of Columbia Jail

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Much has been written of late about the emergence of a bipartisan consensus on the need for criminal justice reform, encompassing both the White House and Congress. If this is true, the President and members of Congress would do well to start their reform efforts close to home, at the District of Columbia jail. The […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/23/15]

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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. • A New York Times investigation found that men at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York faced retribution after the escape of two individuals earlier this year. Dozens […]

Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement for Reading Materials, Other Minor Infractions

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Update August 19, 10:45 am:  Chelsea Manning was found guilty at her disciplinary hearing on Tuesday but avoided a sentence of solitary confinement. “I was found guilty of all four charges at today’s board; I am receiving 21 days of restrictions on recreation – no gym, library or outdoors,” announced a tweet from her official Twitter […]

Prison Watchdog Says Solitary Confinement in Canada Is “Out of Control”

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A recent report showing an upsurge in the occurrence of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons, and its disproportionate use for Black and Aboriginal individuals and those with mental health issues, shocked even Canada’s outgoing prison ombudsman. “I have looked at segregation in significant detail over the last several years and I was still surprised to […]

Voices from Solitary: A Second-by-Second Attack on Your Soul

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The following is a collection of excerpts from an interview with Johnny Perez, who went to prison at the age of 21 and served a total of 13 years in various New York City and State facilities. He spent an accumulated three years in solitary confinement, with his longest consecutive stay being ten months. Since his 2013 release, Perez […]

British Supreme Court Rules Against Unlawful Use of Prolonged Solitary Confinement

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom handed down a ruling this week against the use of prolonged solitary confinement without mandatory external review.

Britain’s highest court has ruled that putting individuals in solitary confinement for an extended period of time without external review is unlawful. The appellants Kamel Bourgass and Tanvir Hussain were both wrongfully held in solitary for more than six months because the process lacked oversight, the UK Supreme Court ruled. “The decisions to continue the […]

Voices from Solitary: Segregation Medical

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The following account is by Casha Russell, who has spent the past eight months in the segregation unit at Illinois’s Logan Correctional Facility, a women’s prisons three hours south of Chicago. Russell was sentenced to one year in segregation for allegedly burning her wife and co-defendant with hot water. (Both Russell and her wife insist […]

UN Human Rights Experts (Again) Push for Access to U.S. Prisons, Call for Solitary Confinement Reform

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez, has repeatedly asked permission to visit U.S. prisons to report on solitary confinement and other prison conditions.

The United Nations’ top experts on the human rights of people in detention are calling on the United States to open the doors of its prisons to an official visit. Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, and Seong-Phil Hong, the Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, made the request after President […]