Seven Days in Solitary [12/9/19]

• Mother Jones reported that a federal judge in California approved the class action status of a lawsuit filed against the private prison company GEO Group for its forced labor practices in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities across the country. The lawsuit challenges the company’s Housing Unit Sanitation Policy that requires detained people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/2/19]

• KTVU Fox 2 TV in the Bay Area reported on the death of 29-year-old Edwin Villalta, who committed suicide at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County in 2017 after being held in “Administrative Isolation” for seventeen days. Villalta’s family said he suffered from PTSD after his time in the Marines, which they say was not taken into […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/4/19]

• According to the Crime Report, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report last week that found an increase in the use of solitary confinement across the New York prison system. “The total number of disciplinary solitary sanctions has actually increased, from 37,600 in 2015 to 38,249 in 2018,” according to the report, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/19]

• The Texas Observer published an article about Russell Johnson, who died this past summer in solitary confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Coffield Unit. His sister, Tambra Marsh, had noticed during her visits that her brother had psychologically deteriorated since his placement in solitary in 2016. Johnson talked about the voices haunting […]

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 [9/30/19]

• Katherine Hawkins, the Senior Legal Analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, testified on Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Hawkins cited a 2017 report by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that found “shockingly high” stays in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/19]

• The Associated Press reported on recently released video footage that provides information about the death last year of 22-year-old Shali Tilson at the Rockdale County Jail in Georgia. The footage shows officers neglected to conduct the mandated checks every fifteen minutes on Tilson, who had a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had been placed in solitary […]

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 [7/13/19]

• As NorthJersey.com reported, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, hailed as “the strongest legislation restricting solitary in the nation,” by ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. The bill, taking effect next year, will ban solitary confinement for longer than 20 consecutive days and prohibit the isolation of youth, elderly people, pregnant […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/19]

• The Advocate reported on the release of a report by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, which reflects the survey responses of 709 people in solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons. Over 77 percent who responded said that they had been held in solitary for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/19]

• The Nation published an article exposing the force-feeding conducted by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on the H Unit at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. Through several extensive interviews with men formerly held on the unit, author Aviva Stahl found that the men—many of whom were Muslims and had […]