Seven Days in Solitary [12/2/19]

• KTVU Fox 2 TV in the Bay Area reported on the death of 29-year-old Edwin Villalta, who committed suicide at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County in 2017 after being held in “Administrative Isolation” for seventeen days. Villalta’s family said he suffered from PTSD after his time in the Marines, which they say was not taken into […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/18/19]

• Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced a House Resolution that she calls “The People’s Justice Guarantee,” which lays out steps for a “humane and effective justice system,”“mass decarceration,”  and diversionary alternatives for community safety. According to The Appeal, Pressley said, “The criminal legal justice system is racist, xenophobic, rogue, and fundamentally flawed beyond reform. It […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/11/19]

• The ACLU will host a briefing on Capitol Hill on legislation recently introduced by U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA). HR4488, the Solitary Confinement Study and Reform Act of 2019, would establish national standards to limit the use of solitary in U.S. correctional facilities. The briefing will take place in Room 121, Cannon House Office Building, 27 Independence Ave SE, Washington, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/28/19]

• According to the Hartford Courant, Judge Stefan Underhill has called the conditions “unconstitutional” for people held on Connecticut’s death row. While Connecticut has abolished capital punishment, a “compromise law” passed in 2012 mandated that in the absence of the death penalty, those sentenced to death must be held in solitary confinement for the rest of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/14/19]

• The North Carolina Health News reported that Mecklenburg County jail has opened its first psychiatric unit, as a voluntary therapeutic alternative to solitary confinement for people with mental illness. Sergeant Charles Pearson said, “Some of them… they can’t function in another pod, they can’t be around a lot of people, they can’t follow orders. They […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/7/19]

• A groundbreaking and disturbing new study published by the JAMA Network found that people held in solitary confinement during their incarceration had a “significantly” higher likelihood of dying within the first year of their release back into the community. The study used data from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety tracking nearly 230,000 incarcerated people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/19]

• Katherine Hawkins, the Senior Legal Analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, testified on Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Hawkins cited a 2017 report by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that found “shockingly high” stays in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/19]

• The Associated Press reported on recently released video footage that provides information about the death last year of 22-year-old Shali Tilson at the Rockdale County Jail in Georgia. The footage shows officers neglected to conduct the mandated checks every fifteen minutes on Tilson, who had a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had been placed in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/16/19]

• The Colorado Independent reported on the story of Sam Mandez, a 41-year-old man who was sentenced to life without parole under the state’s felony murder law for being the lookout at a robbery at which someone was killed. Mandez was fourteen years old at the time. Under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life […]

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 [7/22/19]

• Reuters (along with many other media outlets) reported that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, or ADX, in Florence, Colorado, on Friday, after being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking and murder conspiracy charges. Guzmán said that the conditions he had faced at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, […]