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, […]

Settlement in 11-Year Lawsuit Promises Relief from Abuse for Mentally Ill in South Carolina's Prisons

On May 31, 2016, a settlement was released in the longstanding class-action lawsuit between South Carolina-based Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities Inc (P&A) and the South Carolina Department of Corrections. If approved by a judge, the settlement would benefit the approximately 3,500 individuals with mental illness incarcerated in South Carolina. P&A and SCDC […]

Locked Down Alone: New Report Documents Solitary Confinement in Ohio's Prisons

This month the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and Disability Rights Ohio released a collaborative review of solitary confinement and mental illness in Ohio prisons. After extensive research, tours of Ohio prisons, and interviews and surveys of incarcerated individuals, their families and prison staff, they released the report Shining a Light on Solitary Confinement: […]

Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression"

Despite being held in solitary confinement for years, men known as Kinetik, Dhati, and Brother M, primary leaders of the Free Alabama Movement, have been instrumental in organizing a statewide prison work stoppage in Alabama that began on Sunday, May 1. Currently, the prison labor strike has begun at Alabama’s Holman, Staton, and Elmore Correctional Facilities. St. Clair’s stoppage […]