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 [2/18/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that three people in the custody of Georgia Department of Corrections died in just over a week. On February 4, 50-year-old Raymond Nelson was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide at Calhoun State Prison. 27-year-old Daquan Young died on February 6 at Smith State Prison, allegedly as a […]

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 […]

Voices from Solitary: I Am Enduring

The following account was published anonymously in the report Solitary at Southport, which was released last December by the Correctional Association of New York, a nonprofit organization that monitors conditions in the state’s prisons and advocates for a more humane and effective criminal justice system. Southport is one of New York’s two supermax prisons, and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/18/18]

• The New York Daily News reported that a state medical review board found that adequate medical treatment could have prevented 50 deaths in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the past five years. The board’s report found in multiple instances, people with psychiatric disabilities committed suicide […]

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 [11/4/18]

• This week, a federal judge ruled that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has failed to uphold a 2016 settlement that mandated at least eight hours of out-of-cell time per week for people with mental illness held in solitary confinement. According to NPR Illinois, about 12,000 out of the 40,000 people incarcerated in Illinois […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/14/18]

• Yale University’s Liman Center, in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, produced a report Reforming Restrictive Housing with data collected in 2017 of the number of people in restricted housing in federal and state prisons across the nation. The survey, based on numbers reported by the prisons, found that the number of […]

Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose September 9 as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/18]

• As Dr. Christine Blasey Ford faced attacks and death threats for publicly accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Victoria Law published an article in Truthout highlighting the punishment, humiliation, and danger incarcerated survivors frequently face when they report sexual assaults in prison. Solitary confinement, under the guise of “protection” or as retaliation by prison […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/16/18]

• Disability Right Montana recently released a report that found youth being placed in solitary confinement for months at a time at Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City, Montana. According to the Billings Gazette, one teenage boy reported serving nearly 100 of his first 234 days in solitary, including 71 days consecutively. Disability […]