Seven Days in Solitary [1/4/20]

• According to the Mercury News, 57-year-old Todd Ashker filed a complaint about the “torturous” conditions in solitary at Kern Valley State Prison. Ashker was the lead plaintiff in a 2016 landmark settlement that ordered Ashker and hundreds of others to be released from solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). But years […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/28/20]

• USA Today published an opinion piece by solitary survivors Johnny Perez, Jack Morris, and Pamela Winn, all of whom now advocate for the rights of incarcerated people. All three recounted their own experiences being trapped in prison for the holidays. Perez, the director of the U.S. Prisons Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/30/20]

• The Arizona State Law Journal published an article written by law professor Laura Rovner and assistant professor Nicole Godfrey, entitled, “COVID-19 in American Prisons: Solitary Confinement is Not the Solution.” By mid-November, at least 182,593 incarcerated people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,412 incarcerated people have died. The article […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/23/20]

• The Boston Globe reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney’s office conducted an investigation, finding “reasonable cause to believe” that the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MDOC) has been violating the rights of people with mental health conditions by failing to provide them with proper care. MDOC has been placing people in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/16/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a second wave of the coronavirus is hitting Pennsylvania prisons and jails, despite a statewide lockdown in March, keeping people locked in their cells for over 23 hours a day. Claire Shubik-Richards, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society said, “What we’re seeing is a full-blown resurgence of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/5/20]

• The Georgetown Law Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, along with 68 current and former prosecutors and U.S. Department of Justice officials, filed a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit calling for Dennis Hope to be released from solitary confinement in Texas. Hope has spent the last 26 years in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/7/20]

• Sara “Mariposa” Fonseca, who has been incarcerated for eighteen years in the California state prison system, including several years in solitary confinement, will be released from prison on September 11, 2020. During her lonest stinct in solitary, Fonseca wrote a play about her experience, in partnership with artist and activist Julia Steele Allen, called Mariposa […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [8/24/20]

• The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the work of 60-year-old Dolores Canales, who co-founded California Families Against Solitary Confinement in 2011. Canales is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Unlock the Box campaign, a group that has worked closely with Solitary Watch. Canales’ son is currently incarcerated at Theo Lacy […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/6/20]

• NPR’s Joseph Shapiro produced a piece that ran on “All Things Considered” about the use of lockdowns and solitary confinement around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The piece focused on a recent report from the national Unlock the Box campaign, which is based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch, and found that […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [6/8/20]

• The New York Daily News reported that prosecutors for the Bronx District Attorney will not pursue criminal charges related to the death of Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx, transgender woman, last June. Polanco died from an epileptic seizure while being held in punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, at Rikers Island jail in New York […]