Voices from Solitary: Six by Ten

The following accounts have been excerpted from Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, a recently published collection of thirteen oral history narratives from people impacted by solitary confinement. Part of the Voice of Witness series published by Haymarket Books, the volume was compiled and edited by ACLU attorney and campaign strategist Taylor Pendergrass and multimedia journalist […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/21/19]

• On January 16, Paul Ford died in his solitary cell at Kilby Prison, the second incarcerated person in the custody of Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to commit suicide this year. Although Ford had been diagnosed with a mood disorder and had attempted suicide several times before while in prison, his mental health screening for placement […]

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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/11/18]

• According to the Chicago Reporter, the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago increased its use of solitary confinement on children by nearly 25 percent from 2016 to 2017, despite a twenty percent drop in the detained juvenile population. Superintendent Leonard Dixon believes that solitary is “something that you use to ensure that your […]

Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose September 9 as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/18]

• As Dr. Christine Blasey Ford faced attacks and death threats for publicly accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Victoria Law published an article in Truthout highlighting the punishment, humiliation, and danger incarcerated survivors frequently face when they report sexual assaults in prison. Solitary confinement, under the guise of “protection” or as retaliation by prison […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/26/18]

• The Intercept reported on the use of solitary confinement as retaliation against organizers of the nationwide prison strike against the forced labor and inhumane conditions in prisons across the country that began on August 21. An incarcerated man in Ohio, Imam Hasan, reported being placed in solitary confinement last month for his role in organizing […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/12/18]

• Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) issued a press release reporting the conditions at Stillwater Prison in Minnesota, where incarcerated men have been locked down, effectively in solitary confinement, for the past 27 days. A recorded conversation with a man held at Stillwater described the conditions of the lockdown as a “humanitarian crisis,” including confinement “for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/15/18]

• 40-year-old Efraín Romero de la Rosa died this week in an apparent suicide, while being held in solitary confinement at the Stewart Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia run by private prison company CoreCivic. De la Rosa, a man originally from Puebla, Mexico but living in Raleigh, North Carolina, suffered […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/18]

• The Associated Press published an anonymous firsthand account from an 18-year-old Honduran boy who experienced abuse at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center and participated in the recent lawsuit against alleged brutality and use of solitary confinement at the facility. The plaintiff reported incidents including officers withholding food and a group of officers kicking him so […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/18]

• The Associated Press reported on a lawsuit filed by immigrant youth held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia. The suit claims that the children faced physical restraints, solitary confinement, and abuse from the detention center staff. A child development specialist recalled, “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking […]