The Solitary Confinement of Paul Manafort and the Temptations of Moral and Political Relativism

It’s been interesting to observe in recent days the growing consternation on the Right over Paul Manafort’s month-long stay in solitary confinement in a regional jail in Virginia, which began on June 15 after his $10 million bail was revoked based on allegations of witness tampering. After appeals from Manafort’s lawyers that his confinement was “severely impacted […]

Voices From Solitary: Resurrection

The author of the following poem, William Blake, has spent 31 continuous years in solitary confinement in New York State prisons. Sentenced to 77 years to life for killing a sheriff’s deputy in a failed escape attempt when he was 23 years old, Blake is being held in administrative segregation, meaning there is no clear […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/20/18]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that 39-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bigham committed suicide only days after being placed in solitary confinement at Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina, where no visitors, phone calls, or books are allowed, with the exception of religious material. A spokesperson for the NC ACLU said, “This tragedy is a terrible reminder […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/6/18]

• The Vera Institute of Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative released a new report called “Rethinking Restrictive Housing,” which studied the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails across five states. The report found that young men, people with mental illnesses, and people of color were disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement. The report’s […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/8/18]

• The Brownsville Herald reported that Cameron County, Texas, has agreed to pay the family of Fernando Longoria $1 million after he died during a 10-day stay at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Brownsville on charges of a DWI. According to the lawsuit, Longoria, husband and father of three, fell into a violent seizure and […]

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 [3/18/18]

• The Tribune covered a protest this weekend calling for the San Luis Obispo Sheriff Ian Parkinson to step down from his re-election campaign, after a video exposed the conditions of the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill man being held in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail in California. Holland had been […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/18]

• The Denver Post reported on the reforms taking place in Colorado’s Division of Youth Services (DYS), which have drastically reduced the use of solitary confinement for youth and resulted in a decrease of violence in most facilities. The reforms aim to move the state juvenile correctional system from a punitive jail environment to a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/18]

• The Washington Post reported that federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled unconstitutional the state of Virginia’s practice of placing death row individuals in solitary confinement. In 2015, Virginia allegedly stopped placing individuals with death sentences in solitary confinement, but the state had refused to maintain this prohibition. However, Brinkema, the first federal judge to determine […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/29/17]

• According to the Trentonian, James Covington, a physically and mentally disabled man held at the Doylestown detention center in Pennsylvania for unpaid fines, claims that he suffered an unprovoked racist attack when three white corrections officers picked on him for his height, called him the N-word, assaulted him to the point of breaking his […]