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 [7/13/19]

• As NorthJersey.com reported, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, hailed as “the strongest legislation restricting solitary in the nation,” by ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. The bill, taking effect next year, will ban solitary confinement for longer than 20 consecutive days and prohibit the isolation of youth, elderly people, pregnant […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/19]

• The Nation published an article exposing the force-feeding conducted by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on the H Unit at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. Through several extensive interviews with men formerly held on the unit, author Aviva Stahl found that the men—many of whom were Muslims and had […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/19]

• According to NPR, the family of Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old man who died of dehydration in April 2016 in the Milwaukee County Jail, will receive $6.75 million in a settlement with the county and Armor Correctional Health Services, the company operating the jail’s health care at the time. The lawsuit says, “They forced him to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/19]

• Democracy Now! interviewed Albert Woodfox, who spent over 44 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana after being wrongfully convicted of a prison guard’s murder. Woodfox discussed his recently released memoir Solitary and shared memories of his time incarcerated as a member of the Angola 3, along with Herman Wallace and Robert King, who formed the […]

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 [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 [8/19/18]

• According to The Appeal, the Promise of Justice Initiative released a report examining the high rate of deaths in the custody of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison (EBRPP) in Louisiana. Twenty-five men, fifteen of whom were African American and most of whom suffered from a mental or physical illness, died at EBRPP between 2012 […]

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 [4/22/18]

• A press release from the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced the re-introduction of a bill called the Solitary Confinement Reform Act, which would mandate a reduction in the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP) use of solitary confinement, improve mental health services in BOP facilities, provide resources to facilities to aid in enforcing these changes, and […]