The Ten Worst Prisons in America

“The Ten Worst Prisons in America,” our eleven-part article, premiered yesterday over at MotherJones.com with the notorious ADX Florence federal supermax. A new worst prison will be published each weekday (with some dishonorable mentions at the end), so please check in from time to time for new postings. What follows is the introduction to the series. “If you […]

The Prisoner's Catch-22

Guest Post by Alan CYA #65085 Editors’ Note: We’ve written before about two laws from the 1990s that make it close to impossible for prisoners to challenge any injustices and abuses they encounter in various part of the American criminal justice system—whether in the courts or in prison itself. This guest post on the subject […]

Two Clinton Era Laws That Allow Cruel and Unusual Punishment (Redux)

Since late last night, when we published our post about Albert Woodfox’s appeal, several readers have written to us about the grim legacy of the AEDPA–the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. That’s because the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cited the AEDPA extensively in ruling that Woodfox’s conviction should not be overturned, and he should not receive a […]

N.J. Prison Abused Inmates During Month-Long Lockdown

Solitary confinement in U.S. prisons can take many forms–including the temporary lockdown of units, buildings, or entire prisons. These 24-hour lockdowns are routinely instituted in response to perceived threats to prison safety or authority. On occasion, they can extend to days, weeks, or even months, during which the prison is under a kind of martial law even more extreme than its […]

Cruel Punishment Is Not Unusual for Clarence Thomas

Veteran New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse has an opinion piece today on Clarence Thomas’s “silent but sure” stance on prisons, and “specifically the meaning of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’” Thomas’s position is highly relevant to the issue of solitary confinement, since critics of long-term lockdown argue that it violates […]