Seven Days in Solitary [4/15/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Georgia Advocacy Office and the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit, claiming that women with psychiatric disabilities reside isolated in “unimaginable conditions,” including pools of urine, food and feces-smeared floors, a smell of vomit, and overflowing toilets. Attorney Sarah Geraghty from the Southern Center said, “It […]

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’ […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/19]

• As temperatures in New York dropped to ten degrees last week, the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn—a facility operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons that houses 1,600 mostly pretrial individuals—lost power and administrators locked down the facility for several days, leaving many detained individuals without heat, lighting, warm meals, clean clothing, medical […]

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 [1/14/19]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that the new sheriff of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, Garry McFadden, has formally closed the disciplinary detention unit at the county jail, which used to hold teenagers in solitary for 23 hours a day and deny them access to phone calls, visitors, books, and classes. McFadden explained his reasoning for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/31/18]

• Gothamist published an article noting that thousands of people spent the holidays in isolation in New York’s state prisons, where 2,500 adults are currently held in Special Housing Units (SHU) and about 1,000 others are held in another form of solitary called keeplock. Victor Pate, a formerly incarcerated advocate who was once held in solitary at […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/9/18]

• KOB4 reported that Keith Kosirog and Adonus Encinias, two men held in solitary confinement at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas, committed suicide last Sunday. Albuquerque attorney Matt Coyte, who has represented individuals held in solitary, noted that evidence showed Kosirog had a psychiatric disability. Coyte expressed disappointment that Gov. Susana Martinez had vetoed […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/25/18]

• Crosscut reported that Amar Mergensana, a 40-year-old asylum seeker from the Russian Republic of Buryatia in Siberia, died this week after he committed suicide in the custody of Northwest Detention Center, an ICE facility operated by GEO Group in Tacoma, Washington. The immigrant advocacy organization NWDC Resistance called for an investigation into his death, claiming […]

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 [10/28/18]

• San Jose Inside reported on the settlement of the 2015 class action lawsuit Chavez v. County of Santa Clara, which challenged the use of solitary confinement at San Jose’s Main Jail as unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleged that many of those held at the Main Jail had not yet been convicted of the crime with which they […]