Seven Days in Solitary [9/1/21]

• The New York Times reports that federal officials announced the temporary closure of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal jail in Lower Manhattan. They have described it as part of an effort to improve conditions at the jail, which have been dangerous for years, but only received widespread attention in 2019 after the suicide […]

A Month in Solitary [5/3/21]

• Brian Nelson spent 23 years of his 28-year sentence in solitary confinement, many of them in the notorious Tamms supermax state prison in Illinois, which has since been closed. After his release, Nelson dedicated himself to advocating for the rights of people in prison through his work with the Uptown People’s Law Center in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/18/20]

• The Associated Press reported that all federal prisons have been locked down in anticipation of the potentially violent protests that could erupt across the country on the inauguration day of Joe Biden. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has reportedly begun to move some of its Special Operations Response Team (SORT) from federal prisons to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/11/20]

• The Washington Post reported that British District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, based on the high risk of suicide and self-harm he would face imprisoned in the U.S. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, struggles with mental illness and is currently held in a British prison. Citing […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/4/20]

• According to the Mercury News, 57-year-old Todd Ashker filed a complaint about the “torturous” conditions in solitary at Kern Valley State Prison. Ashker was the lead plaintiff in a 2016 landmark settlement that ordered Ashker and hundreds of others to be released from solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). But years […]

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 [10/12/20]

• According to the Washington Post, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Richard Durbin sent two letters to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Michael Carvajal: one condemning federal prisons’ reliance on solitary confinement during the pandemic and the second calling the BOP to act immediately to stop the spread of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/14/20]

• The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) reported that plaintiffs in the 2015 landmark settlement of the class action lawsuit Ashker v. Governor of California filed a petition for the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision by a three-judge panel, which reversed a lower court in ruling that the California Department of […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [8/24/20]

• The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the work of 60-year-old Dolores Canales, who co-founded California Families Against Solitary Confinement in 2011. Canales is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Unlock the Box campaign, a group that has worked closely with Solitary Watch. Canales’ son is currently incarcerated at Theo Lacy […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/10/20]

• Courthouse News Service reported that U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled that confining people in what are officially general population cells for 23 hours a day does not violate the landmark 2015 settlement banning indefinite solitary confinement in California state prisons. While Samuel Miller, an attorney with Center for Constitutional Rights, argued that the […]