Seven Days in Solitary [1/11/20]

• The Washington Post reported that British District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, based on the high risk of suicide and self-harm he would face imprisoned in the U.S. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, struggles with mental illness and is currently held in a British prison. Citing […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/30/20]

• The Arizona State Law Journal published an article written by law professor Laura Rovner and assistant professor Nicole Godfrey, entitled, “COVID-19 in American Prisons: Solitary Confinement is Not the Solution.” By mid-November, at least 182,593 incarcerated people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,412 incarcerated people have died. The article […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/9/20]

• The ABA Journal reported that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that six prison officials at the John T. Montford Psychiatric Facility in Lubbock, Texas are not entitled to qualified immunity from the lawsuit filed against them by incarcerated man Trent Taylor. The lawsuit claims that Taylor spent six days alone in cells […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/19/20]

• The New York Times reported that the number of people held in solitary confinement in New York City jails has remained largely the same since 2017, despite a steady decrease in the jails’ overall population. Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed for a reduction in the use of solitary confinement, since the death of […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/20/20]

• The Cornell Chronicle published an article highlighting the findings of a study released in March, studying the affects of short stints in solitary confinement on a person’s experience once they are released from prison. In their study, professor Christopher Wildeman and researcher Lars Andersen found those held in solitary—even for as short as one or […]

Voices from Solitary: Satan's Domain

The following piece was written by Tashon Burke, a 28-year-old African American man struggling with mental illness, who estimates he has spent nearly eight years in solitary confinement throughout his incarceration. This past February, Burke was transferred from the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) at SCI Houtzdale in Pennsylvania to the SCI Fayette Special Management Unit […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [6/8/20]

• The New York Daily News reported that prosecutors for the Bronx District Attorney will not pursue criminal charges related to the death of Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx, transgender woman, last June. Polanco died from an epileptic seizure while being held in punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, at Rikers Island jail in New York […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [3/30/20]

• Dozens of national articles have covered the dangerous effect COVID-19 has had—and threatens to have—on prisons, jails, and detention centers in the U.S., as well as the measures some jurisdictions are taking to deal with that danger. The Prison Policy Initiative has tracked some of the responses from state and local correctional facilities and compiled […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/2/20]

• The Montgomery Advertiser reported that the families of four men who committed suicide in Alabama prisons in the past two years have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming they faced cruel and unusual punishment. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) violates their own policies, including routine security […]

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 [12/23/19]

• The Associated Press published an article on the high rate of suicides by people held in solitary confinement across New York state prisons. A report from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision found that 30 of the 130 suicides between 2004 and 2013 in New York prison occurred in solitary […]