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 [1/28/18]

• In a long article in the Annual Review of Criminology, Dr. Craig Haney provides a comprehensive review of the growing consensus against solitary confinement in the academic, legal, scientific, medical, and even correctional fields. The piece provides theoretical backing and empirical evidence of the detrimental consequences of depriving individuals of meaningful human contact through the use of solitary, as […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/10/17]

• Disability Rights Oregon released a report this week documenting the psychological harm children face at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles, east of Portland. Young people at the juvenile detention facility are held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time without human contact and without the ability to read, write, […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [11/27/2016]

• A report was released examining the “disproportionate and discriminatory” placement of people with disabilities in Washington’s jails. “Cruel But Not Unusual,” which was published by the non-profit Disability Rights Washington, also identifies best practices and recommendations for reform. • Whisteblower Chelsea Manning has formally asked President Obama to grant her clemency. Manning, who is […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/04/2016]

• The federal Bureau of Prisons has announced plans to reduce its use of “double-celling,” a practice in which multiple people are locked up in cramped isolation cells for periods of up to 23 or 24-hours per day. “People confined to solitary develop coping mechanisms–constant pacing is one, very strict routines is another,” said Allan […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/06/2015]

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. • Coverage continued of the landmark settlement reached in California. The New York Times published an editorial supporting the development, and a Guardian story featured the stories and experiences of […]

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 [1/19/13]

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. • An NPR report by Laura Sullivan discusses the treatment of people with mental illness in Chicago’s Cook County Jail–and in jails around the country–including the extensive use of solitary […]

Voices from Solitary: "Suicide Is Preferable to Long-Term Segregation"

The following comes from a man currently incarcerated at Washington State’s Monroe Correctional Complex. The Washington State corrections system has been said by local media to use solitary confinement less than other states, with only 2.7 percent of prisoners (or ~400) in long-term solitary confinement. However, Solitary Watch has noted that the figure is actually twice this, […]

The "Vicious Cycles" Created by Solitary Confinement

In 1993, Dr. Stuart Grassian, following extensive interviews with men in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU), reported that extensive periods in solitary confinement lead to what he referred to as a “syndrome” particular to prison isolation units. Anxiety, ruminations, panic attacks, aggression, paranoia, and psychotic symptoms were observed as a consequence of […]

Washington Prisoner Subjected to Solitary Confinement for "Involuntary Protection"

A recent News Tribune article highlighted the relatively limited use of solitary confinement in Washington state. Only 2.7 percent of the state’s 17,800 inmates, or about 400, are currently held at the maximum custody level. According to Washington Department of Corrections policy, those placed in the Intensive Management Unit (IMU) are there for either being disruptive to […]