Audit of Solitary Confinement in Federal Prisons: An Inside Job Reaches Foregone Conclusions

A long-awaited audit of the use of solitary and other forms of isolated confinement in the federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) recommends minor reforms while affirming the overall legitimacy and efficacy of a system that holds more than 10,000 people in extreme isolation. At 242 pages in length, the Federal Bureau of Prisons: Special Housing Unit Review […]

New York Prisoner Gets Five Years in Solitary for Cell Phone Smuggled in by Guard

Philip Miller was midway through a twenty-year sentence for robbery at Sing Sing Prison in New York, with an almost spotless prison record, when he was caught with a mobile phone in his cell in April 2010. He was charged with two disciplinary violations: “possession of contraband” and also “altering state property,” since he had hidden the cell phone […]

Voices from Solitary: Katfish on Life in “The Bucket”

Katfish’s blog posts appear on Tales from the Cells, a web site featuring writing by prisoners, maintained by Nikita. Katsfish–whose given name is Mike Harris–is currently serving time in FCI Yazoo City, a federal prison near Jackson, Mississippi. Before he was transferred to “the Zoo” last fall, he was in FCI Big Spring, in west central Texas. Although both […]

Lessons from Solitary

Guest Post by David Chura Editors’ Note: David Chura has spent forty years working with–and writing about–“kids in the system”: at-risk children in foster care, group homes, homeless shelters, psych hospitals, drug rehab, special education, and alternative high schools, as well as in juvenile and adult corrections facilities. (Chura’s blog is As a teacher in […]