Seven Days in Solitary [2/17/20]

• KIRO 7 reported that the family of Damaris Rodriguez, a 43-year-old mother of five who died in the South Correctional Entity Jail in Des Moines, Washington, in 2017, has released a video documenting her death. When Rodriguez’s husband called 911 to request an ambulance for her mental health episode, police took Rodriguez to the jail, where she was put in solitary confinement […]

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 [12/30/19]

• The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the suicide rate in California prisons has reached an all-time high this year, in what the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) called “an inmate suicide crisis.” There have been 36 reported suicides in 2019, which means that for every 100,000 people incarcerated in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/19]

• Katherine Hawkins, the Senior Legal Analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, testified on Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Hawkins cited a 2017 report by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that found “shockingly high” stays in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/13/19]

• As NorthJersey.com reported, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, hailed as “the strongest legislation restricting solitary in the nation,” by ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. The bill, taking effect next year, will ban solitary confinement for longer than 20 consecutive days and prohibit the isolation of youth, elderly people, pregnant […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/19]

• The Nation published an article exposing the force-feeding conducted by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on the H Unit at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. Through several extensive interviews with men formerly held on the unit, author Aviva Stahl found that the men—many of whom were Muslims and had […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/20/19]

• As reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative last week released its report on Louisiana’s use of solitary confinement last week. The report, based on two years of research by Vera in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LADOC), found more than 17 percent […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/13/19]

• The Raleigh News & Observer reported that 32-year-old Jordan Jedlica died last week from low sodium levels, after he was found unresponsive in a solitary confinement cell at Warren Correctional Institution in North Carolina. His family says he had no history of medical problems and the doctor told them severely low sodium levels would cause […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/19]

• The Appeal reported that incarcerated hunger strikers protesting the use of solitary confinement and “retaliatory transfers” have been kept in appalling conditions at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama. An incarcerated organizer described what happened when the water was shut off in cells: “They was forced to stay in a cell with urine in the commode […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/8/19]

• According to WBRC, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released their investigation of the Alabama Department of Corrections, which found “violations are severe, systemic, and exacerbated by serious deficiencies in staffing and supervision.” The report found a “high level of violence that is too common, cruel, of an unusual nature, and pervasive” and “the use […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/25/19]

• According to WHYY public radio, neurological researchers Michael Zigmond and Richard Smeyne have recently aimed their studies at understanding the physical impairment of the brain caused by solitary confinement. While the damaging psychological effects of isolation have been widely examined, Smeyne says that physical damage might prove more powerful than psychological damage in legal proceedings. The researchers’ […]