Seven Days in Solitary [12/9/19]

• Mother Jones reported that a federal judge in California approved the class action status of a lawsuit filed against the private prison company GEO Group for its forced labor practices in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities across the country. The lawsuit challenges the company’s Housing Unit Sanitation Policy that requires detained people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/2/19]

• KTVU Fox 2 TV in the Bay Area reported on the death of 29-year-old Edwin Villalta, who committed suicide at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County in 2017 after being held in “Administrative Isolation” for seventeen days. Villalta’s family said he suffered from PTSD after his time in the Marines, which they say was not taken into […]

Massachusetts Department of Correction Gives a Lesson in How to Get Around Solitary Confinement Reforms

In April 2018, advocates in Massachusetts celebrated the signing of the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA), which mandated changes throughout the state’s criminal justice system. Included among the reforms were some new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement, set to go into effect at the beginning of 2019. But advocates say that instead of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/18/19]

• Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced a House Resolution that she calls “The People’s Justice Guarantee,” which lays out steps for a “humane and effective justice system,”“mass decarceration,”  and diversionary alternatives for community safety. According to The Appeal, Pressley said, “The criminal legal justice system is racist, xenophobic, rogue, and fundamentally flawed beyond reform. It […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/4/19]

• According to the Crime Report, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report last week that found an increase in the use of solitary confinement across the New York prison system. “The total number of disciplinary solitary sanctions has actually increased, from 37,600 in 2015 to 38,249 in 2018,” according to the report, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/28/19]

• According to the Hartford Courant, Judge Stefan Underhill has called the conditions “unconstitutional” for people held on Connecticut’s death row. While Connecticut has abolished capital punishment, a “compromise law” passed in 2012 mandated that in the absence of the death penalty, those sentenced to death must be held in solitary confinement for the rest of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/7/19]

• A groundbreaking and disturbing new study published by the JAMA Network found that people held in solitary confinement during their incarceration had a “significantly” higher likelihood of dying within the first year of their release back into the community. The study used data from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety tracking nearly 230,000 incarcerated people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/19]

• The Associated Press reported on recently released video footage that provides information about the death last year of 22-year-old Shali Tilson at the Rockdale County Jail in Georgia. The footage shows officers neglected to conduct the mandated checks every fifteen minutes on Tilson, who had a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had been placed in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/16/19]

• The Colorado Independent reported on the story of Sam Mandez, a 41-year-old man who was sentenced to life without parole under the state’s felony murder law for being the lookout at a robbery at which someone was killed. Mandez was fourteen years old at the time. Under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/9/19]

• According to the Associated Press, NBC news anchor Lestor Holt spent two nights in a cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, to report on criminal justice reform. Holt stayed in the prison’s death row unit, where people are isolated in their cells for 23 hours a day. The man housed next to Holt had […]

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 […]