Seven Days in Solitary [8/5/19]

• According to CNN, the cause of 27-year-old Layleen Polanco’s death in June on the transgender “restricted housing unit” at Rikers Island in New York has been revealed as an epileptic seizure. Attorney David Shanies said that Polanco had suffered several seizures at Rikers and corrections officials were aware of her condition. “When an epileptic person […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/29/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that U.S. District Court Judge Billy Ray issued an injunction for Fulton County, Georgia, to release mentally ill women from solitary confinement within 30 days. The Georgia Advocacy Office filed a lawsuit on behalf of 30 to 40 women held at South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail in April, presenting evidence that […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/19]

• The New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement’s #HALTSolitary campaign released a statement in response to the failure of the New York legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which would have banned solitary for longer than fifteen days across New York State and implemented effective alternatives to isolation. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/19]

• Democracy Now! interviewed Albert Woodfox, who spent over 44 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana after being wrongfully convicted of a prison guard’s murder. Woodfox discussed his recently released memoir Solitary and shared memories of his time incarcerated as a member of the Angola 3, along with Herman Wallace and Robert King, who formed the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/11/19]

• The WAMU radio show “1A” hosted Terry Kupers, a leading expert on the psychological effects of solitary confinement, and Robert Hood, former warden of the ADX federal supermax in Florence, Colorado, for an episode addressing the reality incarcerated people face at ADX under conditions of severe isolation. Kupers, who has visited 30 supermaxes across the […]

Behind the Pennsylvania Prison Lockdown: Public Health Crisis or Powerplay?

This article is published in partnership with Truthout. Patricia Marshall Vickers still remembers the week in late August 2018 when she stopped hearing from her son. Incarcerated in Pennsylvania since he was 17 years old, Vickers’s son faithfully called his mother from prison at least every other day—until suddenly, he didn’t. Vickers learned that other family members were […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/21/19]

• On January 16, Paul Ford died in his solitary cell at Kilby Prison, the second incarcerated person in the custody of Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to commit suicide this year. Although Ford had been diagnosed with a mood disorder and had attempted suicide several times before while in prison, his mental health screening for placement […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/11/18]

• According to the Chicago Reporter, the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago increased its use of solitary confinement on children by nearly 25 percent from 2016 to 2017, despite a twenty percent drop in the detained juvenile population. Superintendent Leonard Dixon believes that solitary is “something that you use to ensure that your […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/18]

• According to the LAist, incarcerated people at Orange County’s Theo Lacy Facility in California began a hunger strike this week in protest of the conditions at the jail, including the use of solitary confinement. Philip Sloan, currently awaiting trial at the jail, said, “We are protesting the overall treatment—or mistreatment—of inmates of all ethnic backgrounds. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/18]

• The Tacoma News Tribune reported that immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Tacoma, Washington, have engaged in hunger strikes to protest separation from their children, inhumane conditions at the facility, and a forced labor program, among other concerns. Two of the hunger strikers, one of […]