Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/18]

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a 48-year-old man, Dan Vasalech, has been placed in solitary confinement in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh for a remark he made criticizing the administration’s decision to lock down the jail so that the corrections officers could attend the funeral of a recently deceased officer. Vasalech received a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/18]

• The 2014 wrongful death case of 57-year-old James Embry has been revived, and WDRB News obtained a video showing Embry emaciated in the last moments of his life. Embry starved to death in solitary confinement, after refusing 35 out of his 36 last meals at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/27/18]

• The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit this week against the forced labor practices of private prison company CoreCivic, which runs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities including the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. The lawsuit claims that CoreCivic’s “Dollar-a-Day” program pays immigrants nearly nothing to carry out duties that in other […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/18]

• The Boston Globe reported that individuals held at MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts organized a hunger strike against the facility’s contaminated water last month. Wayland Coleman, an incarcerated man at MCI-Norfolk, acquired and distributed bottled water to others, and was subsequently placed in solitary confinement because officials claimed that the water was a valuable item that “could potentially […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/21/18]

• WTOP reported the suicide of 20-year-old Jordyn Charity, who had been held at the supermax Red Onion State Prison in Virginia. Charity was convicted  of murder at age 16 and was serving a 168-year sentence. The Virginia Department of Corrections has not revealed whether Charity was being held in solitary confinement. Though officials at the […]

In Open Letter to President Obama, Groups Push for Solitary Confinement Reforms

More than 100 organizations from across the United States sent an open letter to President Obama Friday calling for the elimination of long-term and indefinite solitary confinement. The signatories – including civil and human rights groups, religious organizations, and groups of defense attorneys and mental health professionals – ask the President to take quick and […]

Toxic Traps: Environmental Hazards Threaten Two Federal Supermax Prisons

The following article originally appeared on Counterpunch. A Solitary Watch investigation into the sites of the federal government’s two “supermax” facilities—the first open for two decades, the second slated to open soon—reveals a number of possible serious environmental hazards. The prisons, ADX Florence in Colorado and AUSP Thomson in Illinois, are built to hold men […]

California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Reforms, Internal Documents Show

How influential were the three hunger strikes held by California prisoners in spurring the sweeping changes to solitary confinement policies that were announced yesterday? The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has repeatedly stated that they were already planning to reform long-term solitary confinement before the hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013. But internal documents obtained […]