Seven Days in Solitary [01/03/2016]

Our Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

by | January 3, 2016

• Coverage continues of the recent solitary confinement settlement in New York state, with articles appearing in the New York Times and Al Jazeera America, among other outlets.

• A Colorado State Senator wrote about the hunger strikes that occurred in Aurora and other immigration detention centers across the country. Two participants “reported to [him that] all of the asylum seekers on hunger strike are held in solitary confinement, and report their sleep is consistently interrupted.”

• Fusion listed reforms to solitary as #3 in their list of “Seven ways our criminal justice system got a little more just in 2015.” They note, “the most chilling punishment in the American incarceration system might be solitary confinement. This year, two states with two of the largest prison populations in the country announced major reforms of how many inmates are kept in solitary and how they’re treated there.”

• Governor Jerry Brown named a new head to California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, former state prison guard and warden Scott Kernan. Outgoing Secretary of Corrections Jeffrey Beard oversaw a substantial reduction in the prison population and reached a settlement allowing for reductions and limitations on the use of solitary.

• Colorado’s Department of Corrections released a report tracking recent reforms to the use of solitary in the state. The report release was covered by Westword and prompted an editorial from the team at the Denver Post.

Aviva Stahl

AVIVA STAHL is a Brooklyn-based reporter who writes about science/health at the intersection of mass incarceration, national security, and trans rights. She’s written for the New York Times, Wired, Buzzfeed News, Solitary Watch, and other outlets. Find her @stahlidarity and at

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