California Assembly Reviews Solitary Confinement Policies As Prisoners Threaten New Hunger Strike

On Monday, February 25th, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, held a hearing on the state’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). The hearing comes 18 months after the committee held a similar hearing prompted by ¬†a three-week long hunger strike in June 2011 that involved thousands of California prisoners across […]

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 […]

Feds to Open New Supermax Prison Cells at "Gitmo North"

Even as it announces a review and reduction of its solitary confinement practices, the¬†U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed to Solitary Watch that¬†a¬†newly acquired prison ln Illinois will hold federal prisoners in supermax¬†conditions. “Thomson will be a high security prison holding inmates with various security needs, including SMU¬†and ADX type inmates,” said BOP spokesperson Chris Burke […]