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 [1/7/19]

• Courthouse News reported that two lawsuits have been filed in the past few weeks against Alameda County in California over conditions at Santa Rita Jail and Glen Dyer Detention Facility. Three women held in the custody of Santa Rita Jail claim that they are being subjected to severe sleep deprivation, which they say has […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/31/18]

• Gothamist published an article noting that thousands of people spent the holidays in isolation in New York’s state prisons, where 2,500 adults are currently held in Special Housing Units (SHU) and about 1,000 others are held in another form of solitary called keeplock. Victor Pate, a formerly incarcerated advocate who was once held in solitary at […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/24/18]

• The East Bay Times reported that a federal class-action lawsuit filed Friday claims two jails in Alameda County, California, violate the constitutional rights of the individuals held there through the use of “safety cells.” These cells are used for people who express suicidal thoughts, who are stripped naked, given a smock, and isolated without […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/16/18]

• As part of an ongoing series, the Virginian-Pilot published an article discussing the widespread placement of mentally ill people in local jails across the country and exploring cheaper, more humane, and more effective alternatives. Behind the statistic that over 3,000 U.S. jails “house roughly 186,000 people in serious psychological distress” is the reality that […]

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 [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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/4/18]

• This week, a federal judge ruled that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has failed to uphold a 2016 settlement that mandated at least eight hours of out-of-cell time per week for people with mental illness held in solitary confinement. According to NPR Illinois, about 12,000 out of the 40,000 people incarcerated in Illinois […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/28/18]

• San Jose Inside reported on the settlement of the 2015 class action lawsuit Chavez v. County of Santa Clara, which challenged the use of solitary confinement at San Jose’s Main Jail as unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleged that many of those held at the Main Jail had not yet been convicted of the crime with which they […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/18]

• According to the LAist, incarcerated people at Orange County’s Theo Lacy Facility in California began a hunger strike this week in protest of the conditions at the jail, including the use of solitary confinement. Philip Sloan, currently awaiting trial at the jail, said, “We are protesting the overall treatment—or mistreatment—of inmates of all ethnic backgrounds. […]