Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention Is a Grim Reality—and Only Likely to Get Worse

Last month, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in conjunction with The Intercept, NBC News, and Univision, published the results of an extensive investigation into the use of solitary confinement in American immigration detention facilities. The report, which reviewed 8,488 recorded stays in solitary confinement between 2012 and early 2017, found that solitary was […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/14/19]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that the new sheriff of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, Garry McFadden, has formally closed the disciplinary detention unit at the county jail, which used to hold teenagers in solitary for 23 hours a day and deny them access to phone calls, visitors, books, and classes. McFadden explained his reasoning for […]

The Solitary Confinement of Paul Manafort and the Temptations of Moral and Political Relativism

It’s been interesting to observe in recent days the growing consternation on the Right over Paul Manafort’s month-long stay in solitary confinement in a regional jail in Virginia, which began on June 15 after his $10 million bail was revoked based on allegations of witness tampering. After appeals from Manafort’s lawyers that his confinement was “severely impacted […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/18]

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a 48-year-old man, Dan Vasalech, has been placed in solitary confinement in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh for a remark he made criticizing the administration’s decision to lock down the jail so that the corrections officers could attend the funeral of a recently deceased officer. Vasalech received a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/12/17]

• One of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox, who served the longest stretch in solitary confinement documented in the United States of 43 years and 10 months, discussed on Love + Radio his experience as a Black man in society, in the Louisiana prison system, and in solitary: “The thing about pain is it’s always fresh. No matter […]

Seven Days in Solitary [08/27/2017]

• New York City has agreed to pay out nearly $5 million to people who were placed in solitary confinement immediately upon arriving Rikers under the “old time policy,” whereby former prisoners who were released before completing disciplinary solitary sentences, were forced to finish them if they were rearrested. According to the New York Daily News, […]

Presidential Prison Politics

As prison issues and criminal justice reform become increasingly popular items on the nation’s political agenda, the 2016 presidential candidates are getting in line. Most have shifted their prison policies toward reform in recent years (or months), and almost all say they support basic reforms like reduced mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders. Nonetheless, headlines […]