As COVID-19 Spreads Through Prisons, Solitary Confinement Is Used to Punish Whistleblowers and Suppress Protests

In early April, as reports of deaths from COVID-19 began to emerge from U.S. prisons and jails, Aaron Campell posted a desperate 20-minute Facebook Live video shot using a contraband cell phone. The video showed sick people gasping and coughing on his unit in the low-security federal FCI Elkton in Ohio, and one of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/04/2016]

• The federal Bureau of Prisons has announced plans to reduce its use of “double-celling,” a practice in which multiple people are locked up in cramped isolation cells for periods of up to 23 or 24-hours per day. “People confined to solitary develop coping mechanisms–constant pacing is one, very strict routines is another,” said Allan […]

In Open Letter to President Obama, Groups Push for Solitary Confinement Reforms

More than 100 organizations from across the United States sent an open letter to President Obama Friday calling for the elimination of long-term and indefinite solitary confinement. The signatories – including civil and human rights groups, religious organizations, and groups of defense attorneys and mental health professionals – ask the President to take quick and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/9/2015]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • Four United States senators introduced a bill that would prohibit the solitary confinement of children tried in the federal system and held in pretrial facilities and juvenile detention facilities. […]

Obama, in Criminal Justice Speech, Denounces the “Overuse of Solitary Confinement” in U.S. Prisons

President Barack Obama said in a speech today that he has asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to “start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons.” He went on to challenge the practice as counterproductive as well as inhumane. In a speech on criminal justice delivered at the annual convention of the […]

Federal Bureau of Prisons Details Plans for Limited "Audit" of Solitary Confinement Practices

Last week, representatives of six nonprofit organizations critical of solitary confinement met in a closed-door meeting in Washington, D.C., with the team hired to conduct an internal audit of the federal Bureau of Prisons’ controversial “segregation” policies. The idea for an audit came out of Senator Dick Durbin’s June 2012 Senate hearing on solitary confinement, […]

Under Fire, Federal Bureau of Prisons Audits Use of Solitary Confinement—and Buys a New Supermax Prison

Amidst growing criticism of its abundant use solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons has quietly set in motion an “internal audit” to review its “restricted housing operations.” The audit, which has been contracted out to a Washington think tank and will be conducted largely by former corrections officials, seems unlikely to bring any dramatic change […]