Seven Days in Solitary [11/23/20]

• The Boston Globe reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney’s office conducted an investigation, finding “reasonable cause to believe” that the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MDOC) has been violating the rights of people with mental health conditions by failing to provide them with proper care. MDOC has been placing people in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/26/20]

• The Durango Herald reported that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Grants County, New Mexico claimed that county jail officials failed to properly monitor Fernando Rodriguez before he apparently killed himself in a solitary confinement cell. The lawsuit claims that officers failed to note his drug addiction and failed to document the needle marks in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/27/20]

• The Appeal published an article written by Victoria Law about the continued use of solitary confinement across New York State prisons, despite support in both houses of the state legislature for the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which would cap the maximum stay in solitary at fifteen days. […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/20/20]

• The Cornell Chronicle published an article highlighting the findings of a study released in March, studying the affects of short stints in solitary confinement on a person’s experience once they are released from prison. In their study, professor Christopher Wildeman and researcher Lars Andersen found those held in solitary—even for as short as one or […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/22/20]

• On the Last Week Tonight show, John Oliver discussed the alarmingly high rates of coronavirus in prisons and jails across the U.S., as the New York Times reported that the five largest known outbreaks of the virus are in correctional facilities. Oliver explained that prisons and jails are not equipped to handle public health crises and […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [6/8/20]

• The New York Daily News reported that prosecutors for the Bronx District Attorney will not pursue criminal charges related to the death of Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx, transgender woman, last June. Polanco died from an epileptic seizure while being held in punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, at Rikers Island jail in New York […]

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 [5/4/20]

• The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) published an article highlighting the impending danger posed by severe negligence at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, where deaths caused by indifference to medical conditions have been documented from before the COVID-19 outbreak. Roger Rayson, a 47-year-old from Jamaica, was the first immigrant to die in ICE custody under […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/20/20]

• The Washington Post reported that attorneys visited the DC jail unannounced last week under a court order to inspect the conditions and health care precautions being taken. Of the 1,442 people held in DC custody, 452 people—or one-third—are held in isolation, where they are prohibited from showering or cleaning their cells. One of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/13/20]

• The Appeal reported that the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has reopened the notorious solitary confinement unit Camp J to house incarcerated people infected with COVID-19. The unit was known as “the dungeon” for its starkly inhumane conditions. Fate Winslow, held at the Angola prison, said, “We are still packed in like sardines. The prison […]