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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/22/19]

• KSBY reported that the family of Russell Hammer, a 62-year old man who died in the custody of California’s San Luis Obispo Jail in 2017, filed a lawsuit claiming Hammer “was placed in solitary confinement, neglected and left to eat his own feces.” The lawsuit asserts the jail has historically denied medical and mental […]

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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/18/18]

• The Tribune covered a protest this weekend calling for the San Luis Obispo Sheriff Ian Parkinson to step down from his re-election campaign, after a video exposed the conditions of the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill man being held in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail in California. Holland had been […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/31/17]

• KAUZ Channel 6 reported that 48 individuals held in solitary confinement at the James Allred Unit in Iowa Park, Texas, have begun refusing meals in a hunger strike against conditions at the prison. According to the wife of an individual held at Allred, the hunger strikers “feel their rights are being violated.” • Five […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/26/2016]

• Judge Esla Alcala, a member of Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals, filed an opinion expressing “great concern” about the use of the death penalty in the state, including automatic placement in solitary on death row. “I have gone to death row and I have seen those cells, and I can’t fathom living in a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/8/14]

• On Monday, June 2, the New York City medical examiners office ruled the death of a man who died in a Rikers Island jail cell last fall to be a homicide. Bradley Ballard died of complications of diabetes along with the results of genital self-mutilation. According to the Associated Press: “Ballard, who family members […]

In States That "Reduce" Their Use of Solitary Confinement, Suffering Continues for Those Left Behind

Under pressure from activists, lawsuits, and even a few reformers within the corrections system, several states have significantly reduced the number of people they hold in solitary confinement in their prison systems. These reductions, achieved largely through “reclassifying” prisoners and returning the least troublesome ones to the general population, have rightly been celebrated by opponents […]

Children in Solitary

This week, the The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released a policy statement condemning the use of solitary confinement for juveniles. There is no comprehensive data on how many teens and even younger children are in solitary confinement in the United States, but it is safe to say that the number run into the […]

New Ban on Solitary Confinement for Child Prisoners in Mississippi

The United States, alone among industrialized nations, incarcerates thousands of juveniles in adult prisons, after trying and sentencing them as adults. We also lead the world in the practice of solitary confinement. These two facts have come together to create a horrifying reality: hundreds of children languishing in isolation cells. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty […]