Seven Days in Solitary [11/2/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a circuit court recently ruled that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) violated the 8th Amendment rights of Ernest Porter by holding him in solitary confinement for 33 years on death row. Porter’s death sentence was vacated in 2003, but the PADOC continued to hold him on death row. After the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/28/20]

• The national Unlock the Box campaign, in partnership with over 100 medical experts, human rights organizations, and faith groups, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling for clear guidelines to eliminate the use of solitary confinement as a response to COVID-19 in jails and prisons across the country. Unlock […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/10/20]

• Courthouse News Service reported that U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled that confining people in what are officially general population cells for 23 hours a day does not violate the landmark 2015 settlement banning indefinite solitary confinement in California state prisons. While Samuel Miller, an attorney with Center for Constitutional Rights, argued that the […]

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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/22/20]

• On the Last Week Tonight show, John Oliver discussed the alarmingly high rates of coronavirus in prisons and jails across the U.S., as the New York Times reported that the five largest known outbreaks of the virus are in correctional facilities. Oliver explained that prisons and jails are not equipped to handle public health crises and […]

Report: 500% Increase in Use of Solitary Confinement During COVID-19 Puts Hundreds of Thousands of People at Risk

This afternoon, Unlock the Box: The National Campaign To End Solitary Confinement released a report based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch. The press release for the report follows. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Washington, D.C.—The Unlock the Box Campaign announced today the […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [6/8/20]

• The New York Daily News reported that prosecutors for the Bronx District Attorney will not pursue criminal charges related to the death of Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx, transgender woman, last June. Polanco died from an epileptic seizure while being held in punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, at Rikers Island jail in New York […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/18/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer published the “Lockdown Diaries,” a set of writings from incarcerated people during Pennsylvania’s longest ever statewide lockdown. Instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown basically places everyone in the prison system in indefinite solitary confinement in an effort to control contagion (despite the existence of more humane and effective alternatives). Accompanied by illustrations created […]

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 […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [3/30/20]

• Dozens of national articles have covered the dangerous effect COVID-19 has had—and threatens to have—on prisons, jails, and detention centers in the U.S., as well as the measures some jurisdictions are taking to deal with that danger. The Prison Policy Initiative has tracked some of the responses from state and local correctional facilities and compiled […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/2/20]

• The Montgomery Advertiser reported that the families of four men who committed suicide in Alabama prisons in the past two years have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming they faced cruel and unusual punishment. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) violates their own policies, including routine security […]