Seven Days in Solitary [2/4/19]

• The New York Times reported that 36-year-old Lamekia Dockery, mother of five children, died in July of last year at the Elkhart Community Corrections facility in Indiana after being denied medical attention for six days. In response to Dockery’s constant vomiting and screams of pain, correctional staff accused her of lying, wrote her up […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/28/19]

• The New York Times reported that New York City settled the civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Kalief Browder, and agreed to pay $3.3 million. Browder, arrested for stealing a backpack when he was 16 years old, committed suicide after being released from nearly three years on Rikers Island, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/24/18]

• The East Bay Times reported that a federal class-action lawsuit filed Friday claims two jails in Alameda County, California, violate the constitutional rights of the individuals held there through the use of “safety cells.” These cells are used for people who express suicidal thoughts, who are stripped naked, given a smock, and isolated without […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/14/18]

• Yale University’s Liman Center, in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, produced a report Reforming Restrictive Housing with data collected in 2017 of the number of people in restricted housing in federal and state prisons across the nation. The survey, based on numbers reported by the prisons, found that the number of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/7/18]

• The Vera Institute of Justice, in partnership with the University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, launched a new section of its Safe Alternatives to Segregation Resource Center. Called “Promising Practices,” the new section compiles information on reform efforts and alternatives to solitary confinement that have been implemented […]

Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose September 9 as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work […]

Voices from Solitary: A Concrete Death

Branton Noojin received an Honorable Mention for Nonfiction in PEN America’s 2018 Prison Writing Contest for authoring the following piece, “Solitary Confinement,” which is republished here by permission of the author and PEN. Noojin, currently serving a 100-year sentence for murder and voluntary manslaughter, has spent seven years in solitary confinement overall. Here, he provides a striking […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/15/18]

• 40-year-old Efraín Romero de la Rosa died this week in an apparent suicide, while being held in solitary confinement at the Stewart Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia run by private prison company CoreCivic. De la Rosa, a man originally from Puebla, Mexico but living in Raleigh, North Carolina, suffered […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/18]

• The Associated Press reported on a lawsuit filed by immigrant youth held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia. The suit claims that the children faced physical restraints, solitary confinement, and abuse from the detention center staff. A child development specialist recalled, “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking […]

Voices From Solitary: Resurrection

The author of the following poem, William Blake, has spent 31 continuous years in solitary confinement in New York State prisons. Sentenced to 77 years to life for killing a sheriff’s deputy in a failed escape attempt when he was 23 years old, Blake is being held in administrative segregation, meaning there is no clear […]