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ADX H-Unit on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Being Force-Fed

Federal supermax prison ADX-Florence

According to reports this morning from inside the U.S. Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, CO, eight to nine people held in the super-secret H-Unit are on hunger strike and are being force-fed. While run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the unit has strong FBI involvement in its management. In November of […]

Voices from Solitary: “A Prison Where the Building Becomes the Shackles”

adx

Former political prisoner Ray Luc Levasseur was raised in Maine, born to a working-class family of Quebecois origin. He became politically radicalized at a young age, first after serving a term of duty in Vietnam, and again after spending two years in a Tennessee prison.  In 1986, Ray Luc Levasseur was convicted for militant activities conducted […]

Voices from Solitary: Life in H-Unit, ADX Federal Supermax

adx watchtowers

The excerpts that follow come from a declaration by Mahmud Abouhalima, who was convicted of taking part in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (a charge he still denies). Sentenced to 240 years, he initially spent most of his time in the general population at federal maximum security prisons, where he was permitted […]

Inside ADX Supermax, Part 1: “A Bloody Nightmare”

Harold Cunningham

In June 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven prisoners at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX Florence) against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The facility houses approximately 450 men from across the country in solitary confinement units. The lawsuit alleges that inmates diagnosed with mental illnesses are denied constitutionally adequate […]

Why Holder’s Pledge That Snowden “Will Not Be Tortured” Is a Lie

snowden

In a letter pressing Russia not to grant asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Attorney General Eric Holder made the highly disingenuous promise that Snowden will not be tortured if he is returned to the United States. “I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russian government the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. […]

Voices from Solitary: American Supermax

TAMMS CORRECTIONAL CENTER

Joseph Dole is serving a life without parole sentence for a conviction that he continues to fight pro se. He was confined in Tamms Supermax Prison for a full decade, from 2002 through 2012, when a court ruling gave him and others at Tamms a due process right to a fair hearing, which allowed him to win a […]

Voices from Solitary: This Place Is Nothing More Than a Torture Chamber

Pelican Bay State Prison

The following was written by Tony, 35, who is engaged in the statewide hunger strike against long-term solitary confinement and related issues at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California. Incarcerated sine he was nineteen years old, he has been in the Security Housing Units (SHU) for over nine years, longer than the average […]

Records Show Excessive Use of Force at Colorado Supermax

csp

Records kept by the Colorado Department of Corrections show 61 instances from March 1, 2012 to March 1 of this year of corrections officers using force on men held at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP), where prisoners are held in administrative segregation on lockdown for 23 hours a day. The “use of force” log, obtained by Denver’s Westword, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/12/13]

solitary

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. •  Media coverage on the urgency of closing Guantanamo was heavy throughout the past week, with an estimated 100  of the 166 detainees hunger striking. Most recently, Al Jazeera […]

“Systemic Failures Persist” in California Prison Mental Health Care, Judge Rules

CA_Suicides_2011

California Governor Jerry Brown’s bid to end federal control over the state prison system’s mental health system was denied in federal court on Friday, April 5, in a sharply worded ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton. In the 68-page ruling, Judge Karlton determined that “systemic failures persist in the form of inadequate suicide […]