Seven Days in Solitary [8/2/21]

•  Although the Virginia Department of Corrections claims to be shifting their solitary confinement practice to “restorative housing,” the Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement and ACLU of Virginia maintain that many people are still held in isolation for 20 hours a day, the Progress-Index reports. Coalition organizer Natasha White said, “[VDOC] can claim they’ve ended solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/7/21]

• A new report found that at least 786 people died in Louisiana’s jails and prisons between 2015 and 2019. The report is the result of research conducted by Andrea Armstrong of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and a team of law students as part of the Death Behind Bars in Louisiana project, […]

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 [2/15/21]

• A US District Judge ordered the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) to “stop retaliation and threats of retaliation against incarcerated people” for participating in a lawsuit regarding the department’s use of solitary confinement. The ongoing lawsuit, which was filed in 2019 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Legal Services, and the Florida Justice Institute, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/1/21]

• The Atlantic published the first article in what will be a five-part series by Solitary Watch’s Jean Casella, Katie Rose Quandt, and Sarah Shourd, on the epidemic of deaths in U.S. jails. The article, written by Shourd, tells the story of two families in California who called the police for help when their sons […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/18/20]

• The Associated Press reported that all federal prisons have been locked down in anticipation of the potentially violent protests that could erupt across the country on the inauguration day of Joe Biden. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has reportedly begun to move some of its Special Operations Response Team (SORT) from federal prisons to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/11/20]

• The Washington Post reported that British District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, based on the high risk of suicide and self-harm he would face imprisoned in the U.S. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, struggles with mental illness and is currently held in a British prison. Citing […]

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 […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [12/21/20]

• The New Orleans Lens reported that the non-profit Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) released a report, claiming that prison administrators and staff responded inadequately to the coronavirus pandemic, causing unnecessary death and suffering. The report found, “Principally, correctional officials [in Louisiana] responded to COVID- 19 or exposure to the virus by placing people in solitary confinement or putting portions […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/7/20]

• The Intercept reported that a group of immigrants held at the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsen, Alabama banded together in July, all demanding coronavirus tests. But instead of providing testing, prison officials locked down the unit and transferred ten of the most vocal people to solitary confinement. One immigrant, Sebastian Abalo Cunna, wrote, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/30/20]

• The Arizona State Law Journal published an article written by law professor Laura Rovner and assistant professor Nicole Godfrey, entitled, “COVID-19 in American Prisons: Solitary Confinement is Not the Solution.” By mid-November, at least 182,593 incarcerated people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,412 incarcerated people have died. The article […]