Seven Days in Solitary [8/31/14]

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 federal judge approved the state of California’s plan to reduce the solitary confinement of prisoners suffering from mental illness. According to a recent story in The New York […]

Pennsylvania Prison System Faces Lawsuit Over Suicide of Young Man with Mental Illness

On July 17, 2012, Brandon Palakovic, 23, committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell while housed in a solitary confinement unit at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Cresson, a Pennsylvania prison that has since closed its doors. Nearly two years later, on July 8, 2014, Palakovic’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC). […]

Voices from Solitary: What Have You Done to My Brother?

The author of the following piece, K. Kabasha Griffin-El, is currently part of the general population at Pennsylvania’s SCI Greene. In this reflection, Griffin-El describes visiting his brother, Jerome Griffin, whom he hadn’t seen for more than two decades. Griffin-El has been incarcerated for 19 years and experienced solitary confinement firsthand, but nothing prepared him […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/24/2014]

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. • Shane Bauer, who has written extensively about solitary confinement for the outlet Mother Jones, was forcibly escorted out of the American Correctional Association conference by armed guards. • […]

New York City Officials and Advocates Push for Change to the "Culture of Brutality" on Rikers Island

Update, 8/22/14:  On Thursday, August 21, the New York City Council passed legislation introduced by Councilman Danny Dromm of Queens that would require corrections officials to release quarterly reports documenting information about inmates being held in solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail. Presenting this information to the New York City Board of Corrections would create increased transparency […]

Civil Rights Groups Demand Change for Transgender Women Held in Solitary in New York’s Prisons

Update, 8/20/14: Yesterday, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project released a new call to action to “Demand Safer Housing for Trans People in New York State Prisons.” After once again citing our investigation, SLRP tells the story of Synthia China Blast, a transwoman who has spent a decade in isolation in New York’s prisons, with an accompanying video […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/17/2014]

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 man who survived three years in solitary confinement in a New Jersey prison has had his lawsuit against the state’s Department of Corrections dismissed, on the grounds […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/10/2014]

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. • According to the latest report published by New York City’s Board of Corrections, more than 90% of those placed in disciplinary segregation at Riker’s Island do not receive […]

Transgender Women in New York State Prisons Face Solitary Confinement and Sexual Assault

It was Gay Pride weekend in New York City, but the event’s celebratory spirit was absent from Michelle Scott’s tidy second-floor apartment on a leafy street near Brooklyn College. Her child, Carey Smith, is a transgender woman currently locked up in solitary confinement in Upstate Correctional Facility, a men’s supermax prison located in the Adirondacks. […]

What Solitary Confinement Does to the Human Brain

“Loneliness is a destroyer of humanity.”     —Jesse Wilson, held in solitary at ADX Florence federal supermax prison Based on the evidence amassed by researchers in the last several decades, we have reached a point in time when we may unequivocally state that solitary confinement inflicts psychological damage and distress on those subjected to […]