Seven Days in Solitary [5/25/20]

• The LA Times reported that 74-year-old Chuong Woong Ahn, an immigrant from South Korea held at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Mesa Verde Processing Center in California, died by suicide on May 17. Lawyers had requested Ahn’s release and his sister had prepared for him to live with her upon release. Despite Ahn’s […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/18/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer published the “Lockdown Diaries,” a set of writings from incarcerated people during Pennsylvania’s longest ever statewide lockdown. Instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown basically places everyone in the prison system in indefinite solitary confinement in an effort to control contagion (despite the existence of more humane and effective alternatives). Accompanied by illustrations created […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/11/20]

• The Texas Tribune reported that of the people in prison who have been tested for the coronavirus, 70 percent have tested positive. Only one percent of the prison population, or 1,700 people, has been tested but the percentage of positive results far outweighs the ten percent of Texas residents throughout the whole state whose […]

Voices from Solitary: Message from a Solitary Confinement Survivor for People Under Self-Quarantine

Mwalimu S. Shakur was in Pelican Bay State Prison’s notorious Security Housing Unit in 2013, when tens of thousands of people incarcerated throughout California launched a mass hunger strike. He and others were protesting the polices of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) around indefinite isolation in solitary confinement (also known as indeterminate […]

In San Quentin, Getting the Flu Can Land You in Solitary Confinement

Incarcerated journalist Juan Moreno Haines is the Senior Editor of the San Quentin News. In 2017, Haines received the Silver Heart Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. This article was produced with a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project, which is managed by Solitary Watch with funding from the Vital Projects Fund. An illustration by O. […]

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 [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 [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 [3/4/19]

• According to the Associated Press, the ACLU of New Mexico released a report last week based on prison records obtained under public records law and a survey of incarcerated people. The report disputed the state’s account that they use solitary at a rate of 4 percent, finding that in reality, the state uses solitary at a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/18/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that three people in the custody of Georgia Department of Corrections died in just over a week. On February 4, 50-year-old Raymond Nelson was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide at Calhoun State Prison. 27-year-old Daquan Young died on February 6 at Smith State Prison, allegedly as a […]

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 […]