Seven Days in Solitary [4/13/14]

Solitary confinement news roundup

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. • A California judge has ruled that the state’s prisons violated the Constitution by using excess force against people with mental illness. State officials will now be required to make […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/16/14]

Solitary confinement news roundup

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 the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Robert King of the Angola 3, University of California Santa Cruz Professor Craig Haney and […]

At Hearing on Solitary Confinement in California Prisons, Advocates Challenge “Reforms”

Demonstrators gather at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday. Photo by Pete Brook.

“We’re here to question the existence and effects of the SHU,” stated California Assembly Member Tom Ammiano on Tuesday, “and we don’t think this new proposed policy goes nearly far enough.” Ammiano, who chairs the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, was speaking at the second joint California Assembly-Senate hearing on the use of solitary confinement, including SHUs (Security Housing […]

California Assembly Reviews Solitary Confinement Policies As Prisoners Threaten New Hunger Strike

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On Monday, February 25th, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, held a hearing on the state’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). The hearing comes 18 months after the committee held a similar hearing prompted by  a three-week long hunger strike in June 2011 that involved thousands of California prisoners across […]

California Bill Would Lift Media Ban on Access to Prisons

This important story was put out yesterday from Californians United for a Responsible Budget, via San Francisco Bay View. If legislation like this were passed in other states, as well as in California, it would go a long way toward exposing to the public the truth about supermax prisons and solitary confinement units–which are not only torture chambers, […]

California Bill Would Increase Media Access to Prisoners

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The nation’s supermax prisons and solitary confinement units are virtual black sites, off-limits and therefore invisible to both the public and the press. While laws vary from state to state, the media are for the most part barred from touring these facilities, and forbidden to conduct in-person interviews with prisoners being held in solitary confinement. These rules are made […]

Historic California Assembly Hearing on Solitary Confinement

In response to the statewide prison hunger strike in July, the Public Safety Committee of the California State Assembly, chaired by State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, met on Tuesday to discuss the conditions in California’s Secure Housing Units. The hearing began at approximately 1:30 PM. Assemblyman Ammiano  opened his remarks saying, “Recent events brought these units […]