Seven Days in Solitary [6/28/2015]

by | June 28, 2015

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.

• Advocates and advocates gathered on Rikers Island to demand justice for Kalief Browder, a 22-year-old who committed suicide after spending three years at the jail, including 400 days in solitary confinement. A college essay he wrote about solitary confinement was published by Essence magazine and other outlets.

• Solitary Watch’s Victoria Law was interviewed about her work by the outlet Truth-Out. Law notes, “When we talk about solitary confinement, even though solitary confinement is used throughout women’s prisons and jails, coverage is often about what happens to men.”

• The Week published an opinion piece entitled, “Why the next big battle at the Supreme Court may be over solitary confinement.”

• Louisiana’s attorney general has continued to push for a retrial for Albert Woodfox, the only member of the Angola Three who still remains behind bars. Woodfox has been in solitary confinement for over forty years and has already had two previous convictions overturned.

• Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was formally sentenced to death just last week, was transferred to US supermax prison Florence ADX. CNN published an article exploring what life is like inside the facility.

• Three individuals incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections filed a lawsuit alleging that the use of solitary confinement in the state amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. According to the AP, the lawsuit claims that “for decades, inmates in Illinois prisons have been kept in isolation in “tiny, filthy, cold and barren cages” for 23 hours or more, with some inmates being placed in solitary confinement for infractions as minor as rolling their eyes at a guard or using abusive language.”

• Several news outlets reported on developments in the latest season of Orange is the New Black, which specifically addressed the placement of trans people in solitary confinement. (See Salon, the Huffington Post, and other outlets).


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