Lawsuits Challenge the Cruelty of Decades in Solitary Confinement on Death Row

In a dissenting opinion written earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that “If extended solitary confinement alone raises serious constitutional questions, then 20 years of solitary confinement, all the while under threat of execution, must raise similar questions, and to a rare degree, and with particular intensity.” Yet in a majority of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/25/2017]

• Seth Ferranti, who reported on prison conditions while he was incarcerated in Bureau of Prisons custody, penned a piece for the Huffington Post about the time he was thrown in solitary, then transferred to a Communication Management Unit (CMU) for writing articles critical of the BOP. People locked up in the BOP’s two CMUs […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/30/2017]

• Guards at the Milwaukee County Jail may face criminal charges, after a man in solitary confinement died of dehydration due to the water in his cell being cut off. Terrill Thomas, 38, who had a history of mental illness, had his water turned off as punishment for flooding his cell – and it stayed […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/12/2017]

•  New Mexico counties have been forced to pay more than $20 million in civil rights about solitary confinement thus far, and may pay out even more in the near future – five solitary confinement-related suits have been filed against the New Mexico counties in the last 18 months. George Abila recently won a $1.9 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/28/2016]

• Vox addressed “how the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America” if Hillary Clinton is elected, including when it comes to solitary confinement. “Even if the Court were to only place a five-year maximum on periods in solitary confinement, that would be a significant step forward,” the piece reads. “If the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/12/2016]

• On the Marshall Project, Andrew Cohen explores the ongoing lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and its reform-minded secretary, John Wetzel. Lawyers for Arthur Johnson, an incarcerated man with intellectual disabilities who has spent the last 36 years in solitary confinement in the state’s prisons, allege that Johnson’s conditions of confinement violate the […]

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 [5/15/2016]

• A Bronx woman is suing New York City for $10 million after spending more than two years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. Candie Hailey, 32, also alleges she was subject to physical and sexual abuse by guards before eventually being acquitted on attempted murder charges and released. • In its continuing coverage of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/18/2015]

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. • Taylor Pendergrass of the New York Civil Liberties Union wrote a commentary piece for the Marshall Project linking the movement to reform solitary confinement to the broader struggle to […]