Louisiana on Lockdown: Voices from Louisiana's Solitary Confinement Cells

For the recent report Louisiana on Lockdown, a collaboration between Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, more than 700 people held in solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons completed a 12-page survey—the largest single survey conducted of people in solitary. The respondents provided vivid and deeply […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/2/19]

• The ACLU of Virginia announced that a lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) has moved forward, after Federal District Court Judge Robert Payne dismissed an attempt by the VDOC to dismiss the suit. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Nicolas Reyes, a Hispanic man who spent over twelve years in solitary confinement at Red […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/26/19]

• According to the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), nine people held at Scotland Correctional Institution in North Carolina, calling themselves the Scotland 9, have been hunger striking for nearly a month since July 31. The strikers are calling for recreation to be re-instated, increased allowance of phone calls, an end to sleep deprivation practices, and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/5/19]

• According to CNN, the cause of 27-year-old Layleen Polanco’s death in June on the transgender “restricted housing unit” at Rikers Island in New York has been revealed as an epileptic seizure. Attorney David Shanies said that Polanco had suffered several seizures at Rikers and corrections officials were aware of her condition. “When an epileptic person […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/19]

• The Advocate reported on the release of a report by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, which reflects the survey responses of 709 people in solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons. Over 77 percent who responded said that they had been held in solitary for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/13/19]

• The Raleigh News & Observer reported that 32-year-old Jordan Jedlica died last week from low sodium levels, after he was found unresponsive in a solitary confinement cell at Warren Correctional Institution in North Carolina. His family says he had no history of medical problems and the doctor told them severely low sodium levels would cause […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/6/19]

• The Sacramento Bee published recently released footage from 2017 of corrections officers brutally assaulting a man with psychiatric disabilities, while he was being held in a suicide watch cell at the Auburn Main Jail in Placer County, California. The video, which officials initially withheld from the public, at one point shows eight officers piled on […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/19]

• The Appeal reported that incarcerated hunger strikers protesting the use of solitary confinement and “retaliatory transfers” have been kept in appalling conditions at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama. An incarcerated organizer described what happened when the water was shut off in cells: “They was forced to stay in a cell with urine in the commode […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/15/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Georgia Advocacy Office and the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit, claiming that women with psychiatric disabilities reside isolated in “unimaginable conditions,” including pools of urine, food and feces-smeared floors, a smell of vomit, and overflowing toilets. Attorney Sarah Geraghty from the Southern Center said, “It […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/11/19]

• The WAMU radio show “1A” hosted Terry Kupers, a leading expert on the psychological effects of solitary confinement, and Robert Hood, former warden of the ADX federal supermax in Florence, Colorado, for an episode addressing the reality incarcerated people face at ADX under conditions of severe isolation. Kupers, who has visited 30 supermaxes across the […]

Behind the Pennsylvania Prison Lockdown: Public Health Crisis or Powerplay?

This article is published in partnership with Truthout. Patricia Marshall Vickers still remembers the week in late August 2018 when she stopped hearing from her son. Incarcerated in Pennsylvania since he was 17 years old, Vickers’s son faithfully called his mother from prison at least every other day—until suddenly, he didn’t. Vickers learned that other family members were […]