Seven Days in Solitary [8/25/21]

• An opinion piece in USA Today reports that low rates of vaccination among prison staff nationally are driving COVID outbreaks in prisons. The authors of the piece work with the UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project, which found that fewer than half of prison staff had been vaccinated, despite the fact that the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/18/21]

A New Yorker article by Eyal Press looks at the work of Angela Armstrong, who has spent the past decade examining conditions inside of carceral facilities in Louisiana. This past June, she launched a revolutionary database compiling death statistics for Louisiana prisons and jails, attempting to improve transparency. Armstrong’s database reports on individuals moved to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/11/21]

•  A study conducted in 2017 concluded that recent incrementalist reforms in Washington state prisons’ Intensive Management Units, where people are held for 22 hours a day in isolation, failed to alleviate the suffering of solitary confinement. In this study, published in the journal Health Justice, interviewers spoke with 183 people, both incarcerated people and staff, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/2/21]

•  Although the Virginia Department of Corrections claims to be shifting their solitary confinement practice to “restorative housing,” the Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement and ACLU of Virginia maintain that many people are still held in isolation for 20 hours a day, the Progress-Index reports. Coalition organizer Natasha White said, “[VDOC] can claim they’ve ended solitary […]

Voices from Solitary: Everyday Torture

Christopher Blackwell, 40, is serving a 45-year prison sentence in Washington State. He co-founded Look 2 Justice, an organization that provides civic education to system-impacted communities and actively works to pass sentencing and policy reform legislation. When the COVID pandemic hit his prison, he was on the same unit as Tim Pauley (who has given […]