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 […]

New Report Documents Brutal Treatment of People with Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons and Jails

“Across the United States, staff working in jails and prisons have used unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force on prisoners with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.” This is the conclusion of Callous and Cruel: Use of Force Against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons a Human Rights Watch report […]

Officials, Advocates Call for Restrictions on Solitary Confinement in Wisconsin

In January of this year, the Wisconsin prison system implemented new policies which will revamp the way in which solitary confinement is used as a correction measure against prisoners violating prison rules. While the Legislature endorsed the changes, guards, people in prison, and prison activists say that it remains unclear whether the adjustments means fewer people will […]

Voices from Solitary: The Life of an Escape Artist

The following comes from Steven Jay Russell, who is currently serving a 144-year sentence at the all-solitary Allan B. Polunsky Unit in Texas. Notorious for masterminding four successful, non-violent escapes from Texas correctional facilities, his story is recounted in the movie I Love You Phillip Morris. Russell, who has been held in administrative segregation for nearly two decades, is the first person in U.S. history […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/23/2014]

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. • At his first news conference devoted exclusively to conditions on Rikers Island, Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced plans to create a $14.8 million “enhanced supervision housing” (EHS) to hold […]