Seven Days in Solitary [11/25/18]

• Crosscut reported that Amar Mergensana, a 40-year-old asylum seeker from the Russian Republic of Buryatia in Siberia, died this week after he committed suicide in the custody of Northwest Detention Center, an ICE facility operated by GEO Group in Tacoma, Washington. The immigrant advocacy organization NWDC Resistance called for an investigation into his death, claiming […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/7/18]

• The Vera Institute of Justice, in partnership with the University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, launched a new section of its Safe Alternatives to Segregation Resource Center. Called “Promising Practices,” the new section compiles information on reform efforts and alternatives to solitary confinement that have been implemented […]

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 [9/23/18]

• The Tacoma News Tribune reported that immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Tacoma, Washington, have engaged in hunger strikes to protest separation from their children, inhumane conditions at the facility, and a forced labor program, among other concerns. Two of the hunger strikers, one of […]

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 [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 [6/3/18]

• The 2014 wrongful death case of 57-year-old James Embry has been revived, and WDRB News obtained a video showing Embry emaciated in the last moments of his life. Embry starved to death in solitary confinement, after refusing 35 out of his 36 last meals at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/18]

• The Denver Post reported on the reforms taking place in Colorado’s Division of Youth Services (DYS), which have drastically reduced the use of solitary confinement for youth and resulted in a decrease of violence in most facilities. The reforms aim to move the state juvenile correctional system from a punitive jail environment to a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/18]

• The Washington Post reported that federal judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled unconstitutional the state of Virginia’s practice of placing death row individuals in solitary confinement. In 2015, Virginia allegedly stopped placing individuals with death sentences in solitary confinement, but the state had refused to maintain this prohibition. However, Brinkema, the first federal judge to determine […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/18/18]

• According to the Alabama Political Reporter, Federal District Judge Myron Thompson last week ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to either remove individuals with serious mental illness from solitary confinement or provide a reason for their placement in solitary. Thompson ruled last summer that mental health care in the Alabama prison system was […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]