Seven Days in Solitary [12/30/19]

• The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the suicide rate in California prisons has reached an all-time high this year, in what the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) called “an inmate suicide crisis.” There have been 36 reported suicides in 2019, which means that for every 100,000 people incarcerated in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/16/19]

• WORT Community Radio reported that one person has died at Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin since the facility was locked down on November 4. Unconfirmed reports state that the death was a suicide. The lockdown has imposed severe restrictions, equivalent to solitary confinement, on the people held at the prison, according to Jacob Glicklich, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/28/19]

• According to the Hartford Courant, Judge Stefan Underhill has called the conditions “unconstitutional” for people held on Connecticut’s death row. While Connecticut has abolished capital punishment, a “compromise law” passed in 2012 mandated that in the absence of the death penalty, those sentenced to death must be held in solitary confinement for the rest of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/19]

• The Texas Observer published an article about Russell Johnson, who died this past summer in solitary confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Coffield Unit. His sister, Tambra Marsh, had noticed during her visits that her brother had psychologically deteriorated since his placement in solitary in 2016. Johnson talked about the voices haunting […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/9/19]

• According to the Associated Press, NBC news anchor Lestor Holt spent two nights in a cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, to report on criminal justice reform. Holt stayed in the prison’s death row unit, where people are isolated in their cells for 23 hours a day. The man housed next to Holt had […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/5/19]

• According to CNN, the cause of 27-year-old Layleen Polanco’s death in June on the transgender “restricted housing unit” at Rikers Island in New York has been revealed as an epileptic seizure. Attorney David Shanies said that Polanco had suffered several seizures at Rikers and corrections officials were aware of her condition. “When an epileptic person […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/22/19]

• Reuters (along with many other media outlets) reported that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, or ADX, in Florence, Colorado, on Friday, after being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking and murder conspiracy charges. Guzmán said that the conditions he had faced at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, […]

Voices from Solitary: I Spent 16 Months in Solitary Confinement, and Now I’m Fighting to End It

The following piece was written by Kiana Calloway, a formerly incarcerated organizer with Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), a grassroots organization in New Orleans made up of formerly incarcerated people and their allies that works for policy change and for full civil and human rights for people impacted by the criminal justice system. He is also […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/13/19]

• As NorthJersey.com reported, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, hailed as “the strongest legislation restricting solitary in the nation,” by ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. The bill, taking effect next year, will ban solitary confinement for longer than 20 consecutive days and prohibit the isolation of youth, elderly people, pregnant […]