Seven Days in Solitary [4/8/19]

• According to WBRC, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released their investigation of the Alabama Department of Corrections, which found “violations are severe, systemic, and exacerbated by serious deficiencies in staffing and supervision.” The report found a “high level of violence that is too common, cruel, of an unusual nature, and pervasive” and “the use […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/19]

• Democracy Now! interviewed Albert Woodfox, who spent over 44 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana after being wrongfully convicted of a prison guard’s murder. Woodfox discussed his recently released memoir Solitary and shared memories of his time incarcerated as a member of the Angola 3, along with Herman Wallace and Robert King, who formed the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/25/19]

• WAVY reported that a federal judge issued an opinion following the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell, who died in solitary confinement at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Virginia in 2015. Diagnosed as “manic and psychotic,” Mitchell had been ordered to be transferred to a state […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/19]

• As temperatures in New York dropped to ten degrees last week, the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn—a facility operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons that houses 1,600 mostly pretrial individuals—lost power and administrators locked down the facility for several days, leaving many detained individuals without heat, lighting, warm meals, clean clothing, medical […]

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 […]