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 [03/26/2017]

• Milwaukee County Sheriff officials have said they are not responsible for the death of a newborn at their downtown jail, which occurred in July 2016. The mother of the dead infant, Shadé Swayzer, was 8 months pregnant when she was arrested. She was subsequently placed in solitary confinement. Swayzer says that when she went […]

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 [4/24/2016]

• A coalition working to end solitary for children held a series of kick-off events in Washington DC. Supporters include Venida Brower, whose son Kalief committed suicide after spending time in isolation on Rikers Island as a teenager. • New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the number of people held in solitary has […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/21/2016]

• The Week published a piece on surviving solitary confinement. “Sitting across from Perez, you wonder how he feels in this space, a tiny, harshly lit conference room at the Urban Justice Center on Wall Street in Manhattan. Whether it brings back traumatic memories, or feels like home, or both.” • The Marshall Project posted a video […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/30/2015]

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. • A 68-year-old woman from North Carolina was arrested and put in solitary as punishment for having walked away from a halfway house almost 40 years ago because of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/14/2015]

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. • Clinton Correctional Facility has been under 24-hour lockdown for over a week, ever since two prisoners incarcerated at the facility escaped. The lockdown means that people are unable to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/7/15]

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 New Jersey bill hopes to reduce the limits on solitary confinement to no more than two days in a row for 15-year-olds, no more than three for those […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/15/2015]

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. • A US District Judge has ruled in favor of several plaintiffs named in an ongoing class action lawsuit against the use of solitary confinement in California prisons. Incarcerated individuals […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/28/2014]

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. • The Marshall Project published an article outlining the significant shifts in the legal landscape of solitary confinement over the course of recent years.  In 2014, “as a result of legislation or […]