Unlocking the Box in Louisiana

Update, Nov 18: Gov. John Bel Edwards was reelected to a second term on Saturday, November 16, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Eddie Rispone in the Louisiana gubernatorial election.   The following is an excerpt from Louisiana on Lockdown, a report jointly published in June 2019 by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/19]

• The Texas Observer published an article about Russell Johnson, who died this past summer in solitary confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Coffield Unit. His sister, Tambra Marsh, had noticed during her visits that her brother had psychologically deteriorated since his placement in solitary in 2016. Johnson talked about the voices haunting […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/19]

• Katherine Hawkins, the Senior Legal Analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, testified on Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Hawkins cited a 2017 report by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that found “shockingly high” stays in […]

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 [9/9/19]

• 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 [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 [7/29/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that U.S. District Court Judge Billy Ray issued an injunction for Fulton County, Georgia, to release mentally ill women from solitary confinement within 30 days. The Georgia Advocacy Office filed a lawsuit on behalf of 30 to 40 women held at South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail in April, presenting evidence that […]

Voices from Solitary: I Spent 16 Months in Solitary Confinement, and Now I’m Fighting to End It

The following piece was written by Kiana Calloway, a formerly incarcerated organizer with Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), a grassroots organization in New Orleans made up of formerly incarcerated people and their allies that works for policy change and for full civil and human rights for people impacted by the criminal justice system. He is also […]

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 [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 […]