Opposing the Architecture of Isolation: Architects Against Solitary Confinement

Guest Post by Raphael Sperry Raphael Sperry is an architect, green building consultant, teacher, and outspoken advocate on the role of architecture in social justice issues. He founded and directs the “Alternatives to Incarceration / Prison Design Boycott Campaign” of the non-profit Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and has presented his research at numerous professional […]

Lawsuit Filed Against Solitary Confinement of 800 "Seriously Mentally Ill" in Pennsylvania

The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania  (DRNP) has filed a lawsuit against John Wetzel, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, charging that the confinement of prisoners in Restricted Housing Units (RHUs) amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” of those diagnosed as “seriously mentally ill.” The suit seeks an end to long-term segregation of such individuals […]

The End of Tamms Supermax

As the new year began, the notorious Tamms state supermax in southern Illinois closed its doors forever. The closure marked the end of a decade-long effort that combined legal and political pressure with press exposes and tireless grassroots organizing. One excellent recap of this effort and its remarkable outcome was published by In These Times, here. Two […]

Tamms Supermax: Report Reveals More Guards Than Prisoners, Soaring Costs

The Belleville News-Democrat known for a 2009 exposé that helped rouse opposition to conditions at Tamms Supermax, has now provided new ammunition in the longstanding battle to close the notorious prison. In addition to being both unnecessary and abusive, Tamms is incredibly inefficient, according to a new story by George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer. Tamms Supermax, which is part […]

Bonnie Kerness: Pioneer in the Struggle Against Solitary Confinement

Guest Post by Lance Tapley In 1986 Ojore Lutalo, a black revolutionary in the Trenton State Prison — now the New Jersey State Prison — wrote to Bonnie Kerness’s American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office in Newark. His letter described the extreme isolation and other brutalities in the prison’s Management Control Unit, which he called a “prison […]

Unlock the Box: The Fight Against Solitary Confinement in New York

An important new report on solitary confinement was released today by the New York Civil Liberties Union, titled Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York’s Prisons. Based on a year of research, correspondence with more than a hundred prisoners, and multiple open records requests, this report offers a detailed and powerful picture of how solitary confinement […]