Holder Makes Obama Administration's First Public Statement on Solitary Confinement

In a weekly video message earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder made the first public statement on solitary confinement to emerge from the Obama White House (or, as far as we know, any U.S. presidential administration). A statement accompanying the 3-minute video on the Department of Justice’s website outlines the position taken by Holder–and, by implication, the DOJ […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/7/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • Home Secretary Theresa May is again pressing the British High Court to allow the extradition of Haroon Aswat to the United States.  Last year, the European Court of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/16/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • The United Nations Human Rights Committee held a two-day hearing to evaluate US compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and explicitly examined the extensive […]

Twenty Years After the Lucasville Uprising, Trying to Tell the Story

Guest Post by Staughton Lynd Staughton Lynd is a lawyer, historian, educator, author, and lifelong activist for peace and justice. For four decades, he and his wife, Alice Lynd, have worked on prisoners’ rights issues, especially in Ohio where they live. The Lynds were of counsel in a landmark 2001 class action suit, Austin v. Wilkinson, which challenged the constitutionality of […]

Guarding the Fortresses: How Prison Policies Limit Media Access to Solitary Confinement

Journalists face serious obstacles to reporting on prisons–and even more to uncovering the truth about solitary confinement. (See James Ridgeway’s essay “Fortresses of Solitude.”) Public oversight of governmental institutions, which can help to prevent corruption and abuse by those in power, is seen as a hallmark of an engaged, democratic citizenry. However, when it comes […]

Ohio Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike for Transfer from Solitary to Death Row

Four prisoners have at the supermax Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown have gone on a hunger strike to protest their solitary confinement. Their only demand: that they be moved to the state’s Death Row. The prisoners—Bomani Shakur, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Namir Abdul Mateen—were sentenced to death for their involvement in the 1993 prison uprising in Lucasville, […]