London Calling


For the next two weeks, Solitary Watch will be on hiatus while my colleague Aviva Stahl and I take a reporting trip to the United Kingdom. While there, we will be speaking with officials and inspectors of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, as well as prison reform advocates, scholars, and currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. We  also […]

Solitary Watch Spring 2015 Print Edition

Solitary Watch Newsletter – Spring, 2015

For the past four years, Solitary Watch has been sending a quarterly print edition, with selected stories from the website, to individuals in solitary confinement. Our list now numbers more than 1,500. If you know someone inside who would like to receive our mailings, please email their address to, or send it to Solitary […]

Lifelines to Solitary


Dear Solitary Watchers: We approach our readers with an appeal for support only once a year. And even then, we don’t ask you to help us with general operating expenses, but rather with a very special part of our work. All year long, while we are carrying on our research and reporting on the human rights crisis in […]

New Solitary Watch Print Edition

Solitary Watch Summer 2013 Print Edition

Our summer newsletter recently which went out to 500+ people in solitary confinement. This quarter’s print edition includes articles on the obstacles to reporting on solitary confinement and the California prison hunger strike, as well as news briefs from around the country. It also includes a moving plea from the mother of a young son held […]

Solitary Survivor Sarah Shourd Joins SW to Produce Play Featuring Voices from Solitary Confinement

sarah shourd

Sarah Shourd has joined Solitary Watch as a contributing editor and director of an innovative theater project based on the experiences of people in solitary confinement in the United States. Sarah, who spent more than a year in solitary confinement in an Iranian prison after being detained while hiking in Iraq near the border, has been […]

Solitary Watch Print Edition


On this first day of summer, it occurs to us that we’ve never posted our spring newsletter, which went out to 500+ people in solitary more than a month ago. This quarter’s print edition includes articles on children in solitary and on closing Tamms supermax prison, along with news briefs from around the country. It […]

Voices from Solitary: “That’s the Only Mail I Get…”

Barbed wire

The following was written a few days before Christmas by a man, now in his fifties,  who has been in prison for 26 years. He wrote this in response to receiving a holiday card and note from Solitary Watch. To help us keep in touch with people in solitary confinement throughout the year, please consider a […]

Holiday Kickstarter for Our “Lifelines to Solitary” Project

Drawing by Martin Vargas

Dear Readers, Supporters, and Friends: In the three years since the founding of Solitary Watch, there has been a remarkable groundswell of activism around solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. Solitary confinement is increasingly seen as a major issue of domestic human rights, with a true and growing movement opposing its use and abuse. […]

New from Solitary Watch: “Solitary 101” PowerPoint Presentation

101 slide

Our “Solitary 101” PowerPoint, developed for the recent Midwest Coalition for Human Rights conference on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, is now available online. The 60-slide PowerPoint includes sections on the history of solitary confinement, solitary as it is practiced in the United States today, and the growing movement against solitary confinement. We encourage educators and advocates to use, share, and […]

New on Solitary Watch: “Action” Page

Many readers of Solitary Watch have asked us to add to our site a list of things they can do to oppse the use and abuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. The mission of Solitary Watch is primarily to shine a light into these domestic black sites and expose the practice of solitary confinement in […]