Seven Days in Solitary [10/14/19]

• The North Carolina Health News reported that Mecklenburg County jail has opened its first psychiatric unit, as a voluntary therapeutic alternative to solitary confinement for people with mental illness. Sergeant Charles Pearson said, “Some of them… they can’t function in another pod, they can’t be around a lot of people, they can’t follow orders. They […]

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 [6/3/19]

• According to NPR, the family of Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old man who died of dehydration in April 2016 in the Milwaukee County Jail, will receive $6.75 million in a settlement with the county and Armor Correctional Health Services, the company operating the jail’s health care at the time. The lawsuit says, “They forced him to […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/25/19]

• WAVY reported that a federal judge issued an opinion following the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell, who died in solitary confinement at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Virginia in 2015. Diagnosed as “manic and psychotic,” Mitchell had been ordered to be transferred to a state […]

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 [1/28/19]

• The New York Times reported that New York City settled the civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Kalief Browder, and agreed to pay $3.3 million. Browder, arrested for stealing a backpack when he was 16 years old, committed suicide after being released from nearly three years on Rikers Island, […]

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 [12/16/18]

• As part of an ongoing series, the Virginian-Pilot published an article discussing the widespread placement of mentally ill people in local jails across the country and exploring cheaper, more humane, and more effective alternatives. Behind the statistic that over 3,000 U.S. jails “house roughly 186,000 people in serious psychological distress” is the reality that […]

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. […]