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 [9/16/19]

• The Colorado Independent reported on the story of Sam Mandez, a 41-year-old man who was sentenced to life without parole under the state’s felony murder law for being the lookout at a robbery at which someone was killed. Mandez was fourteen years old at the time. Under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life […]

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 [4/8/18]

• The Brownsville Herald reported that Cameron County, Texas, has agreed to pay the family of Fernando Longoria $1 million after he died during a 10-day stay at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Brownsville on charges of a DWI. According to the lawsuit, Longoria, husband and father of three, fell into a violent seizure and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/4/18]

• In a Joint Budget Hearing on Public Protection in Albany, New York, on January 30, New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera asked Acting Corrections Commissioner Anthony Annucci a question regarding the New York’s use of solitary confinement. Rivera referred to Colorado corrections chief Rick Raemisch, who four years ago spent 24 hours in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/15/17]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a visit to Pennsylvania’s prisons by Are Høidal, warden of Halden prison in Norway, which is often cited as having the most humane prison system in the world. While Pennsylvania currently holds more than 2,000 people in solitary confinement, Halden has no solitary unit at all. “I  think you have too much […]

Opening the Door

For 13 of his 22 years in prison, Cero Smith spent 23 hours a day alone in a small concrete cell. Three times a day, a corrections officer would pass his meals through a slot in the solid steel cell door. A CO would also take him to exercise alone for one hour in a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/2/14]

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • Federal investigators have determined that the state of Pennsylvania violated both the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment and the American with Disabilities Act, by placing people with […]