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. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/21/2016]

• Philly.com addressed the use of solitary for kids held in the city’s jails; in 2015, juveniles at Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center were placed in punitive segregation 41 times, for an average of 32 days. “It was the worst time of my life,” said Donyea Phillips, who tried to commit suicide during an 11-month stint […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/07/2016]

• Mother Jones journalist Shane Bauer wrote about Damien Coestly, a prisoner Bauer met while he was reporting undercover at the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. Coestly has since committed suicide while he was placed in a segregation cell at the facility. • New York City released data on the number of violent incidents at […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/5/2016]

• Rhode Island’s House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to consider legislation that would create a commission to study the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons. Representative Aaron Regunberg, who is sponsoring the legislation, had previously proposed a bill that would limit the use of isolation to 15 days. • A British man has […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/22/2016]

• Under a bill just signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will be required to report annually on the number of people placed in solitary confinement. • A federal judge has finalized the terms of the settlement in Rasho V. Baldwin, which charged that Illinois […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/29/2015]

• A San Francisco federal jury awarded $25,000 to a Pelican Bay prisoner, Jesse Perez, whose cell was trashed in retaliation for his activism against solitary confinement. Before his cell was searched in October 2012 Perez had filed a lawsuit and published articles criticizing California’s use of isolation; jurors determined that guards had violated his free-speech […]

Shakeup in Alaska Prisons Targets "Overuse" of Solitary Confinement

Alaska’s prison system is “broken” according to Governor Bill Walker following a damning review of the Department of Corrections, including its overuse of solitary confinement and a recommendation for the practice to be used “sparingly and appropriately.” The review was ordered by Walker in August following highly-publicized outcry about a string of deaths of individuals […]