How to Create Madness in Prison

Guest Post by Terry A. Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. Editors’ note: Dr. Terry Kupers is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychological effects of solitary confinement.¬†A psychiatrist with a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, forensics, and social and community psychiatry, he teaches at the¬†Wright Institute, a graduate school of psychology in Berkeley, California, while also […]

Lockdown Fuels "Cycle of Violence" at Federal Prison

The¬†Lewisburg Prison Project is¬†a nonprofit group that “provides legal and other assistance to prisoners in Central Pennsylvania. We are dedicated to the principle that prisoners are persons with incontestable rights to justice and compassion. We strive to provide safeguards for their constitutional and human rights.” Last week the Williamsport (Pennsylvania) Sun-Gazette drew on statements from […]

Another Prisoner With Mental Illness Dies in Isolation

A story on Thursday in the¬†Alexandria (Virginia) Gazette Packet begins: “Did health-care providers at city jail leave a mentally ill inmate to die in 2008? That‚Äôs the allegation at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week in the Eastern District of Virginia, charging the jail‚Äôs medical services violated the constitutional provision against […]

Cash-Strapped California to Spend $500 Million for New "Condemned Inmate Complex" (Death Row)

With what the Sacramento Bee called a¬†“twisted sense of timing,” California¬†Governor¬†Arnold Schwarzenegger announced in mid-August¬†that¬†he plans to borrow $64.7 million from the state’s general fund to move forward with construction of a new death row at San Quentin State Prison. According to¬†a Bee editorial, “the administration’s call for bids to build new digs for condemned […]

Psychiatrists on Solitary Confinement

An article about solitary confinement appears in the¬†current issue of Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association,¬† “Psychiatrists Decry Punishment That Isolates Prisoners.” It’s encouraging to see this issue at least being discussed in a forum for¬†the leading professional organization¬†of American¬†psychiatrists–which has never undertaken an official¬†review of mental health professionals’ possible¬†role in¬†torture in […]

Life and Death in Pennsylvania's Solitary Confinement Cells

Matt Stroud has been doing¬†excellent¬†reporting on solitary confinement¬†in the weekly Philadelphia City Paper. In August he published “A Death in Solitary.” When Matthew Bullock, a 32-year-old convicted killer, fashioned a noose from a bed sheet that he wasn’t supposed to have, secured it around his neck, tied it to thin steel bars in the face-high […]

Voices from Solitary: Katfish on Life in "The Bucket"

Katfish’s blog posts appear on Tales from the Cells, a web site featuring writing by prisoners, maintained by Nikita. Katsfish–whose given name is Mike Harris–is¬†currently serving time in FCI Yazoo City, a federal prison¬†near Jackson, Mississippi. Before he was transferred to¬†“the Zoo” last fall, he was in¬†FCI Big Spring, in west central Texas. Although both […]