Isolated California Prisoners Continue Their Fight for Reform

Since the widespread hunger strikes across California protesting the conditions of long-term solitary confinement in the California prison system, there have yet to be any indications of substantive change on the horizon. According to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, three hunger strikers have committed suicide–two in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing and another at Calipatria […]

New Video: National Religious Campaign Against Torture Takes a Stand on Solitary Confinement

Originally formed, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, to address U.S. torture abroad, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture is now one of the leading groups dedicated to ending torture in U.S. prisons, with a specific focus on the widespread use and abuse of solitary confinement. Since its founding in 2006, according to the group, […]

Now Available: Solitary Watch Print Edition

The latest quarterly print edition of Solitary Watch is now available here as a pdf:  Solitary Watch Print Edition, Fall-Winter 2011 We are also happy to send hard copies free of charge to prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, advocates, and non-profit groups; send your requests to In this edition: Suffering in Solitary: The Plight of Prisoners […]

New York State Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Solitary Confinement Reforms, Spike in Prison Suicide Rate

A week ago today (while Solitary Watch was traveling), advocates for prisoners with mental illness gathered in Albany for a hearing on the “SHU Exclusion Law,” which is designed to divert or remove prisoners with serious mental illness from solitary confinement units and into residential mental health treatment units. This report, from Gannett’s Albany Bureau, […]

Beyond Guantánamo, There's Long-Term Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons

While it never uses the term “solitary confinement,” the front-page story in yesterday’s New York Times titled “Beyond Guantánamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates” is in effect a survey of long-term solitary at the federal level. The article describes “an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back […]