Seven Days in Solitary [11/26/17]

• The Salem News reported that in Massachusetts, where individuals can currently be kept in solitary confinement for up to 10 years, the House and Senate have both approved a criminal justice bill that includes new restrictions on the use of solitary in state prisons. The bill requires the approval of a new “segregation review board […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/5/17]

• In an article in The Conversation, a clinical psychologist who has conducted neuroscience research in a Connecticut state prison points out that solitary confinement “can lead to hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia; it can increase anxiety, depression and apathy as well as difficulties in thinking concentrating, remembering, paying attention and controlling impulses,” which not only lessen […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/25/2016]

• The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Allegheny County in Pennsylvania for placing pregnant women in solitary confinement, a practice that is said to put both the mother and her child at risk. According to the lawsuit, some women have been placed in isolation in the Pittsburgh jail for relatively minor rule violations, like […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/04/2016]

• The Vera Institute released a new report about the use of solitary confinement in Oregon. Key findings from the report included: that “disciplinary segregation is overused, overly long, and characterized by isolating conditions,” that “stays in administrative segregation can be long, isolating and unproductive,” and that “people of color and people with mental health […]

New Report Highlights 10 Destructive Myths About Solitary Confinement

As the first in a planned series of reports, the Vera Institute for Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative has published Solitary Confinement: Common Misconceptions and Emerging Safe Alternatives. As noted in  the overview to the report: Evidence mounts that the practice produces many unwanted and harmful outcomes—for the mental and physical health of those placed […]

A Fortnight in Solitary [5/17/2015]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past two weeks that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • Curry County, New Mexico has again been sued on allegations of abuse at its jail facilities. Alejandro “Alex” Romero, 36, did not receive any medication for his diagnosed […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/29/2015]

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. • Federal investigators have concluded that Baltimore City illegally placed teens in solitary confinement.  One youth spent 143 days in isolation. • The New York Times Magazine published an in-depth article about […]

How Many Prisoners Are in Solitary Confinement in the United States?

The number of inmates held in solitary confinement in the United States has been notoriously difficult to determine. Most states do not publish the relevant data, and many do not even collect it. Attempts to come up with a figure have been denounced as imperfect, based on state-by-state variances and shortcomings in data-gathering and in conceptions of what constitutes […]