Seven Days in Solitary [11/25/19]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections agreed to a settlement with the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) and the ACLU of Pennsylvania last week that will end indefinite solitary confinement for people held on death row in the state. The 136 people with death sentences will now have over 42 hours […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/19]

• The New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement’s #HALTSolitary campaign released a statement in response to the failure of the New York legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which would have banned solitary for longer than fifteen days across New York State and implemented effective alternatives to isolation. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/17/19]

• In a Spanish-language broadcast, Univision reported that a hunger strike in support of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act has reached 29 participants. The advocates gathered outside the office of New York Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, calling for the HALT bill to be brought to a vote. The HALT bill currently has […]

Behind the Pennsylvania Prison Lockdown: Public Health Crisis or Powerplay?

This article is published in partnership with Truthout. Patricia Marshall Vickers still remembers the week in late August 2018 when she stopped hearing from her son. Incarcerated in Pennsylvania since he was 17 years old, Vickers’s son faithfully called his mother from prison at least every other day—until suddenly, he didn’t. Vickers learned that other family members were […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/24/17]

• Arthur Johnson, a 65-year-old man currently serving a life sentence at State Correctional Institution Greene in Pennsylvania, was awarded $325,000 in a settlement for being subjected to 37 years of solitary confinement. Johnson claimed in the lawsuit that the prolonged solitary confinement constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated his due process rights. It’s […]

After 33 Years in Solitary Confinement, Former Black Panther Russell Shoatz Will Have His Day in Court

Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, a former Black Panther who escaped from Pennsylvania prisons twice in the 1970s, was held in solitary confinement for nearly thirty-three years, including twenty-two consecutive years, from 1991 to 2014. During that time, Shoatz was in confined to his cell, in complete social isolation, for 23-24 hours a day. He contends that his time […]

Pennsylvania Prison System Faces Lawsuit Over Suicide of Young Man with Mental Illness

On July 17, 2012, Brandon Palakovic, 23, committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell while housed in a solitary confinement unit at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Cresson, a Pennsylvania prison that has since closed its doors. Nearly two years later, on July 8, 2014, Palakovic’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC). […]