New Solitary Watch Print Edition, Free to Prisoners and Advocates

The latest four-page Solitary Watch Print Edition includes a report from June’s historic Senate hearing on solitary confinement, a powerful essay by prisoner Enceno Macy, and news briefs from around the country. The print editions is available for download as a PDF file, below. (For PDFs earlier editions, click here.) <Solitary Watch Print Edition: Fall 2012> Hard copies […]

Amnesty International Releases Report Condemning California Prison Isolation Units

On Thursday, September 27, Amnesty International published its report on the conditions of California’s supermax units, entitled The Edge of Endurance: Conditions in California’s Security Housing Units. The Security Housing Units (SHUs), which currently house over 3,000 inmates in predominantly single-cell isolation, hold inmates in small cells for at least 22 1/2 hours every day. The report notes […]

Federal Government Seeks Dismissal of Supermax Suicide Lawsuit

The U.S. government is currently contending with two federal lawsuits that challenge the torturous conditions at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. Both suits allege that the social isolation and sensory deprivation at ADX are so extreme that they drive prisoners to madness, self-mutilation, and suicide–yet the Bureau of Prisons offers them next to nothing […]

Solitary Policies in California Revised, As Prisoner Leaders Promote End to Racial Hostilities

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has recently circulated a memo regarding the most recent revised edition of its Step Down Program (SDP) and Security Threat Group (STG) Program proposal. The revised policies come one year after a series of statewide hunger strikes by prisoners in the Security Housing Units (SHU) in Pelican Bay and […]

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Hear Testimony on the Torture of Solitary Confinement

Well over one hundred people filled a conference suite at Temple University in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 18, to hear testimony on the effects of solitary confinement. They included survivors of solitary, family members, community members, advocates, and lawmakers. The hearing was held by the Democratic Policy Committee of Pennsylvania at the request of Representative Ronald G. Waters […]

New York Prisoner Gets Five Years in Solitary for Cell Phone Smuggled in by Guard

Philip Miller was midway through a twenty-year sentence for robbery at Sing Sing Prison in New York, with an almost spotless prison record, when he was caught with a mobile phone in his cell in April 2010. He was charged with two disciplinary violations: “possession of contraband” and also “altering state property,” since he had hidden the cell phone […]