Six Weeks in Solitary [4/5/21]

• According to a February 19 article from the Davis Vanguard, incarcerated individuals in the California Medical Facility are suffering from mental health problems due to a lockdown that was imposed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, but has resulted in the solitary confinement of people with physical and mental health issues. • The […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/22/21]

• Nonprofit organization Citizens for Prison Reform and the Open MI Door Campaign co-released a report called “Solitary: The Family Experience.” The report discusses the effects of solitary confinement on the families of individuals held in segregation by the Michigan Department of Corrections. The groups also provide recommendations for alternatives to solitary confinement. • Undark […]

At San Quentin, the Response to COVID-19 Brings More Isolation and Suffering to People with Mental Illness

The following piece is written by Juan Moreno Haines, an award-winning journalist incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. Haines is an editor at the San Quentin News, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, a past recipient of a Solitary Confinement Reporting Project grant, and a Contributing Writer at Solitary Watch. Since the COVID-19 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/8/21]

• Brie Williams, Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco and director of the group AMEND, and UCSF medical school student Amanda Li wrote in the Public Health Post about a study their team conducted. The study found that “the prevalence of high blood pressure was 31% higher among those held in solitary confinement.” […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/1/21]

• The Atlantic published the first article in what will be a five-part series by Solitary Watch’s Jean Casella, Katie Rose Quandt, and Sarah Shourd, on the epidemic of deaths in U.S. jails. The article, written by Shourd, tells the story of two families in California who called the police for help when their sons […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/25/21]

• The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the ACLU of Virginia reached a settlement with the Virginia Department of Corrections in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Nicolas Reyes. Reyes, an incarcerated man with mental illness, “allegedly was held in solitary confinement for more than a dozen years” because he does not speak English. Per the […]

In New York's State Prisons, One Night in Solitary Can Derail an Education

Carlos wrote a play that was an extension of Dante’s Inferno. Jesse did a capstone research project on how pro se litigants—those who represent themselves—fare in court. Richard wrote a 20-page multidisciplinary report about the “tug of war” between negative risk factors and positive influences in the lives of young people. Victor’s studies were particularly […]

At San Quentin, a Desperate Man Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Conditions in a COVID-19 Isolation Unit

Editor’s Note: Juan Moreno Haines is an award-winning journalist incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. In February, before the pandemic visibly hit the United States, Haines wrote a prescient piece that was published in The Appeal (and supported by a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project) documenting how San Quentin […]

“I Hope Our Daughters Will Not Be Punished”

By Justine van der Leun Editor’s Note: This powerful article was published in June on the website of Dissent Magazine, and is reprinted in part on Solitary Watch with the permission of the author and publisher. It provides a rare look at the experiences of women in solitary confinement, where the trauma of isolation and deprivation compound the […]