Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/6/20]

• NPR’s Joseph Shapiro produced a piece that ran on “All Things Considered” about the use of lockdowns and solitary confinement around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The piece focused on a recent report from the national Unlock the Box campaign, which is based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch, and found that […]

Voices From Solitary: Postcards From a Prison Pandemic

Incarcerated writer James Keown has been composing a series, “Postcards From a Prison Pandemic,” about the coronavirus’s impact on the medium-security MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts, where he has spent the past two decades. Here we include excerpts from three of his posts. First, writing in April, he compared bracing for the impact of coronavirus to watching an […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/11/20]

• The Texas Tribune reported that of the people in prison who have been tested for the coronavirus, 70 percent have tested positive. Only one percent of the prison population, or 1,700 people, has been tested but the percentage of positive results far outweighs the ten percent of Texas residents throughout the whole state whose […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/20/20]

• The Washington Post reported that attorneys visited the DC jail unannounced last week under a court order to inspect the conditions and health care precautions being taken. Of the 1,442 people held in DC custody, 452 people—or one-third—are held in isolation, where they are prohibited from showering or cleaning their cells. One of the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/13/20]

• The Appeal reported that the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has reopened the notorious solitary confinement unit Camp J to house incarcerated people infected with COVID-19. The unit was known as “the dungeon” for its starkly inhumane conditions. Fate Winslow, held at the Angola prison, said, “We are still packed in like sardines. The prison […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/24/20]

• The Miami Herald reported that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 51-year-old Cheryl Weimar, claiming two male officers attacked the psychiatrically disabled woman held at Lowell Correctional Institution in Florida last August, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down. One of the alleged attackers, Ryan Dionne, remains on staff at the prison. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/3/20]

• The Boston Globe reported that prison administrators locked down the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, following an incident on January 10 when three correctional officers were reportedly assaulted. Dozens of incarcerated people interviewed by Prisoners’ Legal Services reported being locked in their cells all day and all night, only let out for fifteen […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/20/20]

• NPR obtained the findings from a 2017 investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Adelanto Processing Center in California, operated by the private prison company GEO Group. The report found the facility in violation of ICE standards for several reasons, including […]

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 [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 […]