Seven Days in Solitary [7/23/2017]

• “North Carolina inmates who break prison rules will spend significantly less time in solitary confinement under a new policy that state leaders hope will help make prisons safer,” reported the Charlotte Observer. “Under the state’s new disciplinary policy, which took effect Monday, inmates who commit offenses generally can’t be sent to solitary for longer than […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/21/2016]

• Philly.com addressed the use of solitary for kids held in the city’s jails; in 2015, juveniles at Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center were placed in punitive segregation 41 times, for an average of 32 days. “It was the worst time of my life,” said Donyea Phillips, who tried to commit suicide during an 11-month stint […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/07/2016]

• Mother Jones journalist Shane Bauer wrote about Damien Coestly, a prisoner Bauer met while he was reporting undercover at the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. Coestly has since committed suicide while he was placed in a segregation cell at the facility. • New York City released data on the number of violent incidents at […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/3/2016]

• The isolation of transgender women has been in the media since Netflix released its fifth season of Orange is the New Black, including with high-profile interviews on the issue by Laverne Cox and CeCe McDonald. To learn more about the experiences of transgender women in solitary confinement, read an August 2014 Solitary Watch investigation about […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/14/2016]

• Excerpts from “Hell is a Very Small Place” were featured on In These Times and Longreads. The book was also reviewed by incarcerated whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The book, which is edited by Solitary Watch’s Jean Casella, Jim Ridgeway and Sarah Shourd, is the first to feature firsthand accounts of life in solitary. • Taylor Pendergrass of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/24/2016]

• The Crime Report published a report from a two-day colloquium about the use of segregation that occurred last fall and involved corrections agencies, academic experts and advocates. The colloquium aimed to “further a national consensus on ending the over-use of extreme isolation in prisons.” • A Colorado statistician who accused state prison officials of manipulating statistics […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/17/2016]

• RH Reality Check published an article about trans people in prison “suffer[ing] rape, coercion, denial of medical treatment.” The piece also discusses the frequency with which trans people are placed in solitary confinement, ostensibly for their own protection. • San Francisco is considering placing limits on the time incarcerated youth can spend in solitary confinement. The […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/15/2015]

• Nine individuals held in 23 and 24-hour isolation in Middlesex County jail’s C-pod have filed a lawsuit, alleging their conditions of confinement violate their constitutional rights. One passage of the lawsuit reads, “In C-Pod, time passes in long silences broken by the sudden outbursts of the mentally ill, who scream, bang on the walls and toilets, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/8/2015]

• In Jezebel, Solitary Watch Contributing Writer Aviva Stahl interviews Synthia China Blast, a transgender woman who was isolated in involuntary protective custody for almost 20 years. Blast talks about her children, the abuse she suffered and the defense mechanisms she adopted in jail and after she was released. • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/1/2015]

• The Center for Constitutional Rights has appealed a district court ruling in a case that seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the Bureau of Prison’s restrictive Communication Management Units (CMUs). CCR lawyer Rachel Meerpol said, “Communications Management Units impose harsh restrictions on prisoners’ communication with their families and with fellow prisoners for years at a […]

85% of LGBTQ People Behind Bars Report Spending Time in Solitary

This month, advocates and people behind bars received statistical proof for something they have long suspected—that gay, lesbian and transgender individuals in prison are placed in solitary confinement at significantly greater rates than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. On October 16, the organization Black & Pink released a groundbreaking report, “Coming Out of Concrete Closets,” which examines […]