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 [1/4/20]

• 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 [7/22/19]

• Reuters (along with many other media outlets) reported that JoaquĂ­n “El Chapo” Guzmán was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, or ADX, in Florence, Colorado, on Friday, after being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking and murder conspiracy charges. Guzmán said that the conditions he had faced at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/19]

• According to NPR, the family of Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old man who died of dehydration in April 2016 in the Milwaukee County Jail, will receive $6.75 million in a settlement with the county and Armor Correctional Health Services, the company operating the jail’s health care at the time. The lawsuit says, “They forced him to […]

"As Long As Solitary Exists, They Will Find a Way to Use It": Five Years After California's Prison Hunger Strike

This story was published in partnership with The Nation. On July 8, 2013, more than 30,000 incarcerated men and women across California began refusing to eat. It was the start of the nation’s largest ever prison hunger strike, and for some the fasting would last nearly two months. The mass protest made headlines across the country, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/22/17]

• East Bay Express reported that as of Friday, October 20, 125 out of 412 individuals incarcerated in Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland had entered their sixth day of a hunger strike. At the forefront of the demands is an end to indefinite solitary confinement. While the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson claims isolation is […]

After California Prisons Release "Gang Affiliates" From Solitary Confinement, Costs and Violence Levels Drop

Significant reductions in California’s use of solitary confinement in state prisons are expected to save the state millions of dollars, perhaps even more if state lawmakers heed the advice of the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). Contrary to warnings by Governor Jerry Brown and others, the reductions in isolation also appear to be coinciding with […]

A Month in Solitary [8/31/13]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past month that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • According to the tally kept by the Miami Herald, 35 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are engaged in a hunger strike, with 32 being force-fed and one hospitalized. Most […]

Hundreds Still on Hunger Strike in California Prisons As Situation Becomes Increasingly Dire

Nearly one year ago, J. Heshima Denham, who is being held in solitary confinement at Corcoran State Prison’s Security Housing Unit, told Solitary Watch: “The reality is there is a significant number of us for whom death holds no real fear, in fact, in some ways—as an alternative to another few decades of this—it holds some appeal. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/21/13]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. •  According to the tally kept by The Miami Herald, 70 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are hunger-striking, with 46 being force-fed and three hospitalized. Al Jazeera reports that the parole […]