Voices from Solitary: We Go Through Hell Here

In the following piece, Ryan Brown describes the conditions he faced during his three years in solitary confinement at Missouri’s Jefferson City Correctional Center. According to the most recent data from the Prison Policy Initiative, 32,000 people are currently incarcerated in the Missouri state prison system, with about an additional 20,000 people held in local […]

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 [11/18/18]

• The New York Daily News reported that a state medical review board found that adequate medical treatment could have prevented 50 deaths in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the past five years. The board’s report found in multiple instances, people with psychiatric disabilities committed suicide […]

Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose September 9 as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/18]

• The Associated Press published an anonymous firsthand account from an 18-year-old Honduran boy who experienced abuse at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center and participated in the recent lawsuit against alleged brutality and use of solitary confinement at the facility. The plaintiff reported incidents including officers withholding food and a group of officers kicking him so […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/25/18]

• In These Times reported on the Operation PUSH labor strikes across Florida prisons that began on January 15 of this year, organizing against what they say is the brutality of Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officers, poor living conditions, and unfair labor practices. Many of the participants in the work stoppage, according to the […]

What Trump and Sessions Could Mean for Solitary Confinement in America's Prisons

“The degree of civilization in a society,” Dostoevsky famously said, “can be judged by entering its prisons.” U.S. prisons have, for decades, offered a grim enough picture of American civilization. But what might they look like after a few months, or years, of President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions? In particular, what might […]

Presidential Prison Politics

As prison issues and criminal justice reform become increasingly popular items on the nation’s political agenda, the 2016 presidential candidates are getting in line. Most have shifted their prison policies toward reform in recent years (or months), and almost all say they support basic reforms like reduced mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders. Nonetheless, headlines […]