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 [1/21/18]

• WTOP reported the suicide of 20-year-old Jordyn Charity, who had been held at the supermax Red Onion State Prison in Virginia. Charity was convicted  of murder at age 16 and was serving a 168-year sentence. The Virginia Department of Corrections has not revealed whether Charity was being held in solitary confinement. Though officials at the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/14/18]

• The Nation published an article about the case of Sharqawi Al Hajj, a man from Yemen who has been held in Guantánamo Bay for 15 years without charge. The article references a federal judge’s findings that, during his detention at Guantánamo Bay, Al Hajj suffered “patent… physical and psychological coercion,” including, as Al Hajj’s […]

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 […]