New Fact Sheet Confirms the Key Role of Prison Oversight in Ending Solitary Confinement

by | August 29, 2023

Today, Solitary Watch is publishing the sixth in a new series of fact sheets offering facts, analysis, and resources on a variety of topics related to solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and immigrant and juvenile facilities. This fact sheet, written by Mirilla Zhu, is titled “Solitary Confinement & Prison Oversight.”

Download “Solitary Confinement & Prison Oversight: Solitary Watch Fact Sheet #6” (2023, PDF)

As the fact sheet states, “To ensure the effective implementation of solitary confinement reforms, and to monitor prison conditions more generally, a small but increasing number of states have established prison oversight bodies that operate independently of corrections agencies. While independent oversight bodies vary in structure and effectiveness, and come with challenges and limitations of their own, many advocates believe that oversight will play a key role in the success of efforts to end solitary confinement.”

The first fact sheet in the new series addresses “Racism and Solitary Confinement,” while the second covers the often overlooked “Collateral Consequences of Solitary Confinement.” The third in the series documents the “Psychological Effect of Solitary Confinement,” the fourth challenges misconceptions about “Solitary Confinement and Prison Safety,” and the fifth explores “Solitary Confinement and the Brain: The Neurological Effects.” Future entries in the fact sheet series will cover the specific impacts of solitary on LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and children, as well as solitary and the law and the high fiscal costs of solitary confinement—with six more fact sheets currently in progress. All existing fact sheets can be found together on this page.

Fact sheets are designed to be accessed online and also printed out and copied for use by educators, advocates, policymakers, and others.

Jean Casella

Jean Casella is the director of Solitary Watch. She has also published work in The Guardian, The Nation, and Mother Jones, and is co-editor of the book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. She has received a Soros Justice Media Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She tweets @solitarywatch.

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