How Do You Report on What Happens in Solitary? Ask the People Who Live There.

Dear Readers, Supporters, and Friends: The torture of solitary confinement is something that takes place not only behind closed doors, but behind layer upon layer of steel and concrete. It happens deep inside places that have been called “prisons within prisons,” which in the name of “security” are kept strictly off limits to all observers, including […]

Raising Up the Uniquely Powerful Voices of Incarcerated Journalists

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Readers: In recent months, a lot of well-deserved recognition has gone to whistleblowers—those courageous individuals who, often at great risk to themselves, take steps to expose corruption and abuse that would otherwise remain hidden from public view. In an era rife with secrets and lies, whistleblowers are rightly being celebrated for […]

Letters from the Hole

Every year, hundreds of human beings in solitary confinement reach out to Solitary Watch through the old-fashioned practice of letter-writing. A while back, I wrote this piece about what it is like to correspond with people who live in solitary confinement. (It has since helped inspire coverage of our work by The New Yorker, WNYC’s “The Takeaway,” and Al Jazeera’s […]

Pat Nolan's Evangelical Prison Reform

When it comes to Washington politics, a handful of congressman lead the way in shaping prison reform. At the forefront of this movement are John Conyers, Michigan’s ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee; Bobby Scott, Virginia’s indefatigable opponent of solitary confinement; and Cedric Richmond, who, as a member of the Louisiana legislature, has spoken out […]

Journalists Barred from Prison Isolation Units

The following essay by Solitary Watch’s James Ridgeway appears in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, which also includes an excellent story on the difficulties involved in reporting on prisons in general. For more on prison media policies, see our accompanying article by Rachel M. Cohen. Supermax prisons and solitary confinement units are our domestic […]