Seven Days in Solitary [10/15/17]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a visit to Pennsylvania’s prisons by Are Høidal, warden of Halden prison in Norway, which is often cited as having the most humane prison system in the world. While Pennsylvania currently holds more than 2,000 people in solitary confinement, Halden has no solitary unit at all. “I  think you have too much […]

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 [09/24/2017]

• Texas announced it was ending the use of punitive segregation in its facilities, and will instead rely on other restrictions – like loss of good time, commissary or phone privileges – to deal with bad behavior. The decision will not affect the 4,000 or so people currently held in administrative segregation in the state. • The […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/21/2017]

• A Panamanian man killed himself at a privately run immigration detention center in Georgia after spending 19 days in solitary confinement. The death of Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, is supposedly being investigated by federal authorities. Trump has promised to detain more immigrants than ever before, and to relax protections for people inside immigration detention, including when […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/14/2017]

• The family of a man who committed suicide while in solitary confinement is suing the state of Montana, alleging that the state prison failed to adequately address his mental health issues. Matthew Brandemihl, 32, died in September 2014 after being arrested for violating his probation; he had previously attempted suicide on the inside and […]

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 [1/29/2017]

•  Timothy Muise was released from solitary confinement at MCI Norfolk in Massachusetts after being sent there for two weeks for speaking by phone to a local radio station, on the topic of lack of accountability in the Department of Corrections. His placement in the hole “pending investigation” of what was classified as a lowest level disciplinary […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [11/27/2016]

• A report was released examining the “disproportionate and discriminatory” placement of people with disabilities in Washington’s jails. “Cruel But Not Unusual,” which was published by the non-profit Disability Rights Washington, also identifies best practices and recommendations for reform. • Whisteblower Chelsea Manning has formally asked President Obama to grant her clemency. Manning, who is […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/26/2016]

• Judge Esla Alcala, a member of Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals, filed an opinion expressing “great concern” about the use of the death penalty in the state, including automatic placement in solitary on death row. “I have gone to death row and I have seen those cells, and I can’t fathom living in a […]

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 [4/17/2016]

• The US Field Army Manual on interrogation lists a technique called “separation,” or solitary confinement. In recently released talking points obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the Office of the Secretary of Defense noted that solitary does not fit the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, “as it is a technique used extensively […]