For Thousands of People Trapped in Solitary Confinement Under COVID, Silence = Death. Please Help Us Break the Silence.

Dear Friends: Torture is not health care. Torture is not protection. Torture is not the way to survive a pandemic. Solitary confinement has been globally recognized as torture. Yet in response to COVID-19, 300,000 incarcerated individuals—a five-fold increase from the pre-pandemic population—have been forced to endure solitary confinement, and suffer the deep and lasting damage […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/23/20]

• The Boston Globe reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney’s office conducted an investigation, finding “reasonable cause to believe” that the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MDOC) has been violating the rights of people with mental health conditions by failing to provide them with proper care. MDOC has been placing people in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/16/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a second wave of the coronavirus is hitting Pennsylvania prisons and jails, despite a statewide lockdown in March, keeping people locked in their cells for over 23 hours a day. Claire Shubik-Richards, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society said, “What we’re seeing is a full-blown resurgence of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/9/20]

• The ABA Journal reported that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that six prison officials at the John T. Montford Psychiatric Facility in Lubbock, Texas are not entitled to qualified immunity from the lawsuit filed against them by incarcerated man Trent Taylor. The lawsuit claims that Taylor spent six days alone in cells […]

At San Quentin Prison, Men Ravaged by Covid-19 and Decades of Incarceration Hold an Election of Their Own

For much of this year, Solitary Watch has been working with Juan Moreno Haines, Senior Editor at the award-winning prison publication the San Quentin News. A recipient of a grant through our Solitary Confinement Reporting Project, he is now a Contributing Writer. Haines, 63, continued reporting even as he fought COVID-19 from a solitary confinement cell during the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/2/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a circuit court recently ruled that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) violated the 8th Amendment rights of Ernest Porter by holding him in solitary confinement for 33 years on death row. Porter’s death sentence was vacated in 2003, but the PADOC continued to hold him on death row. After the […]

Inside One Lawyer’s Quest to End Solitary Confinement

Last week, Rolling Stone published an article written by Solitary Watch staff writer Katie Rose Quandt about New Mexico civil rights attorney Matthew Coyte, whose has filed lawsuits against lawsuits against counties across the state for the damaging effects of solitary confinement in local jails. Coyte’s victories in these suits—and their hefty cost to local governments—is not […]